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British Columbia boarding schools

Combining innovation and a commitment to supporting the entire educational spectrum — BC continues to put its educational money where its mouth is.

St. Michaels University School

  Looking for a boarding school in BC? St. Michaels University School is a coed boarding and day school with a global reputation for academic excellence.

On this page we cover boarding schools in the province of British Columbia. For a complete guide to boarding in Canada, including information about admissions, please see our introductory guide.

Table of contents

  1. List of boarding schools in British Columbia

  2. Choosing a school

  3. Tuition

  4. Compare boarding schools

  5. Going to school in British Columbia
  6. Further resources


Boarding schools

  • St. Michaels University School
  • St. Margaret's School
  • Brookes Shawnigan Lake
  • Shawnigan Lake School
  • Brentwood College School
  • Bodwell High School
  • Queen Margaret's School

School NameTypePaceCost

St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$17,235 to $61,590

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (220 students)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $49,300

Brookes Shawnigan Lake

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Boarding school (110 students)
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB boarding school on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 7 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $44,500

Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • Boarding school (440 students)
Shawnigan Lake School is the largest boarding school in Canada. Located in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, we offer a comprehensive program to 500 young men and women in grades 8-12. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$25,500 to $61,200

Brentwood College School (est. 1923)

  • Mill Bay, British Columbia
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (114 students)
  • Boarding school (398 students)
Brentwood is a truly co-educational, progressive boarding school for Grades 9 to 12 located on an oceanfront campus on Vancouver Island, BC. Tuition runs from $23,300 to $57,500. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$23,800 to $60,500

Bodwell High School (est. 1991)

  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (378 students)
Bodwell High School in North Vancouver is a full boarding school that enrolls 600 students. Tuition starts at $15,000. We provide Education for a Changing World. The school motto is "Strength in Diversity." [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$18,150 to $34,200

Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)

  • Duncan, British Columbia
  • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • Boarding school (90 students)
Queen Margaret's School is an independent day/boarding Senior School for girls in Grades 8-12 and co-ed Junior School from Preschool to Grade 7 in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$5,100 to $52,400

Our boarding school guide has advice specific to finding boarding schools in Canada. For insights that are more general (on how to evaluate school options) we recommend you review our hub on choosing a school.

Private school expos

Private school expos are ideal launching pads for your school-finding journey. All expos are held in the fall at a number of centres across Canada. There are three expos hosted in Ontario, one in Toronto, one in Halton-Peel, and one in Ottawa. Expos are also held each fall in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. All are opportunities to speak with administrators from leading boarding schools within the regions in which the expos are held.

Parent discussion forum

Word-of-mouth is another powerful tool in your school-finding arsenal. The Our Kids private school discussion forum allows you to discuss your options and debate topics around gifted education. You can use our community of parents, educational experts, alumni, and schools to help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.

Upcoming open house events

Attending open houses is obviously a great way to learn more about a school and get a feel for the environment. For some advice on open house visits, go here. For questions to ask that are specific to boarding programs, refer to our main boarding school hub.

School nameDateLocation
Queen Margaret's SchoolMarch 31, 2017 8:00 amMarkham Fair Grounds
10801 McCowan Road Makham Ontario L0H 1G0
Queen Margaret's SchoolApril 07, 2017 9:00 amQueen Margaret's School
660 Brownsey Avenue Duncan British Columbia V9L 1C2
Queen Margaret's SchoolApril 21, 2017 8:00 amWesterner Park
4847A-19th Street Red Deer Alberta T4R 2N7
Queen Margaret's SchoolMay 12, 2017 8:00 amMetroland Media Agriplex
845 Florence Street London Ontario N5W 6G6

Broadly speaking, the cost of boarding reflects the cost private school tuition in general, though with premiums added to cover housing and meals.

Many schools offer financial aid, including scholarships and bursaries. Financial aid is needs-based, and financial aid programs are created as a means of broadening the student base and attracting students, independent of means, who will contribute most to the culture of the school. Generally speaking, the larger and more expensive schools provide the most aid.

You can read more about financial aid and scholarships in our dedicated guide.

Below you'll find the range of costs at British Columbia boarding schools:

Tuition (baording school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
St. Michaels University School$47,075 to $61,59020%K - 12$11,685
St. Margaret's School$38,600 to $49,300
Brookes Shawnigan Lake$35,900 to $44,50010%7 - 12$5,000
Brentwood College School$45,500 to $60,50027%9 - 12$19,417
Queen Margaret's School$38,200 to $52,40032%K - 12$3,000

 Founding dateEndowmnentAdmissions rateEnrollmentEnrollment
per grade
St. Michaels University School1906$11,200,00096374
St. Margaret's School190865%
Brookes Shawnigan Lake95%
Shawnigan Lake School1916$13,500,000
Brentwood College School1923$20,000,000
Bodwell High School1991$0100%513103
Queen Margaret's School192180%34021

Primary curriculum
Secondary curriculum
Curriculum pace
Academic culture
Average class size
Language immersion
Special needs support
Tech integration
St. Michaels University SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorousLimitedMedium integration
St. Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous10 to 20HighMedium integration
Brookes Shawnigan LakeProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedRigorous12 to 15Mild difficultiesLight integration
Shawnigan Lake SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous15ModerateHeavy integration
Brentwood College SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorous16 to 20LimitedHeavy integration
Bodwell High SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18LimitedMedium integration
Queen Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18Mild difficultiesMedium integration



Learning disorders:
 Auditory processing disorder
 Language processing disorder
 Non-verbal learning disorders
 Visual motor deficit
Development disorders:

Behavioural and emotional:
 Troubled teens
 Substance abuse
 Oppositional defiant disorder
 Cystic fibrosis
 Multiple physical

 Admission deadlineSSAT requiredInterview requiredAcceptance rateNext open house
St. Michaels University SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
8 - 12K - 12
St. Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 1265%
Brookes Shawnigan LakeDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
7 - 1295%
Shawnigan Lake SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
8 - 12
Brentwood College SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
9 - 12
Bodwell High SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
8 - 12100%
Queen Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 1280%Mar 31, 2017



 MathScienceLiteratureHumanities Social SciencesForeign LanguagesFine Arts
St. Michaels University SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
St. Margaret's SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCreative
Brookes Shawnigan LakeEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalancePerennialismCommunicativeCreative
Shawnigan Lake SchoolTraditional MathEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicative
Brentwood College SchoolTraditional MathExpositoryTraditionalPerennialismCommunicativeCreative
Bodwell High SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Queen Margaret's SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicativeEqual Balance

Student council
School newspaper
Radio club
Photograph club
Art club
Dance club
Yoga club
Drama club
Debate club
Chess club
Math club
Science club
Robotics club
Computer club
Environmental club
Outdoor club
Community service
St. Michaels University School
St. Margaret's School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake School
Brentwood College School
Bodwell High School
Queen Margaret's School

Ice Hockey
Track and Field
St. Michaels University School
St. Margaret's School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake School
Brentwood College School
Bodwell High School
Queen Margaret's School

Private schools are a well-established and highly supported aspect of British Columbia's education system. More than 85 percent of B.C.'s private schools receive some provincial funding, totaling in excess of $150 million in provincial funding support each year. The BC ministry of education inspects and regulates private schools, and all schools are accountable to the School Act which identifies their core responsibilities and requirements.

British Columbia supports private schooling through tax incentives. Additionally, a portion of tuition paid to faith-based institutions may be accounted as a charitable donation and eligible for a tax credit.

Graduation Requirements

High school graduation requirements are set by British Columbia's Ministry of Education, not the federal government. In order to earn a high school diploma—named the Dogwood Diploma—students are required to complete 80 credits, where each credit represents 30 hours of in-class instruction. To graduate, a student must ear 48 credits for required courses, a minimum of 28 elective credits. Students are also required to earn 4 credits for Graduation Transitions, a requirement intended to prepare students to make a successful transition to life after graduation.

These are:

Regardless of when students begin their programs, all must fulfill all graduation requirements and demonstrate competence in one of Canada's two official languages in order to earn a graduation diploma. A high school completion certificate, known as the Evergreen Certificate, is granted in some cases, and is not equivalent to the Dogwood Diploma.