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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. This includes schools in Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, Burnaby, and Richmond. 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

Good students will feel comfortable here because it's quite alright to excel."

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

School NameTypePaceCost

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
$9,500 to $49,300
reviews (5)

• User reviews (5)

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
$18,500 to $66,100
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)

Brookes Shawnigan Lake (est. 2018)  

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Boarding school (110 students)
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB World 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
$5,544 to $47,500

UWC Canada (est. 1974)  

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • 12 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (200 students)
The UWC National Committee of Canada and Pearson College UWC represent the United World Colleges in Canada. We are seeking daring young Canadians who aspire to make the world a better place. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$1 to $58,000
reviews (5)

• User reviews (5)

Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)  

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (70 students)
  • Boarding school (430 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
$26,000 to $64,900

Brentwood College School (est. 1923)  

  • Mill Bay, British Columbia
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (108 students)
  • Boarding school (408 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 $25,700 to $66,000. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$25,700 to $66,000

Bodwell High School (est. 1991)  

  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Boarding school (510 students)
Bodwell High School in North Vancouver is a full boarding school that enrolls 600 students. Tuition starts at $15,500. We provide Education for a Changing World. The school motto is "Strength in Diversity." [View profile]
  • Traditional
$19,150 to $38,450

Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)  

  • Duncan, British Columbia
  • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (254 students)
  • Boarding school (94 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
$6,250 to $55,200
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)

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 SchoolApril 27, 2018 8:00 amWesterner Park
4847A-19th Street Red Deer Alberta T4R 2N7
Queen Margaret's SchoolApril 30, 2018 4:00 pmSheraton Cavalier Hotel
2620 32 Ave NE Calgary Alberta T1Y 6B8
Bodwell High SchoolSeptember 03, 2018 9:00 amBodwell High School
955 Harbourside Drive North Vancouver British Columbia V7P 3S4

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. Margaret's School$38,600 to $49,300
St. Michaels University School$50,520 to $66,10020%K - 12$11,685
Brookes Shawnigan Lake$38,900 to $47,50010%7 - 12$5,000
UWC Canada$1 to $58,00075%12$25,000
Brentwood College School$47,800 to $66,00027%9 - 12$19,417
Queen Margaret's School$42,100 to $55,20034%K - 12$3,000

 Founding dateEndowmentAdmissions rateEnrollmentEnrollment
per grade
St. Margaret's School190865%
St. Michaels University School1906$11,200,00096374
Brookes Shawnigan Lake201895%
UWC Canada1974$025%100100
Shawnigan Lake School1916$13,500,000
Brentwood College School1923$20,000,000510128
Bodwell High School1991$0100%513103
Queen Margaret's School192180%34922

Primary curriculum
Secondary curriculum
Curriculum pace
Academic culture
Average class size
Language immersion
Special needs support
Tech integration
St. Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous10 to 20No supportMedium integration
St. Michaels University SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorousNo supportMedium integration
Brookes Shawnigan LakeProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedRigorous12 to 15No supportLight integration
UWC CanadaProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedRigorous6 to 16Indirect Support
Shawnigan Lake SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous15Withdrawal AssistanceHeavy integration
Brentwood College SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorous16 to 20No supportHeavy integration
Bodwell High SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18No supportMedium integration
Queen Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18Withdrawal AssistanceMedium 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. Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 1265%
St. Michaels University SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
K - 12
Brookes Shawnigan LakeDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
7 - 1295%
UWC CanadaDay: Dec 31, 1969
Boarding: Nov 15, 2017
Homestay: Dec 31, 1969
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%Sep 3, 2018
Queen Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 1280%Apr 27, 2018



 MathScienceLiteratureHumanities Social SciencesForeign LanguagesFine Arts
St. Margaret's SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCreative
St. Michaels University SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Brookes Shawnigan LakeEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalancePerennialismCommunicativeCreative
UWC Canada
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. Margaret's School
St. Michaels University School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
UWC Canada
Shawnigan Lake School
Brentwood College School
Bodwell High School
Queen Margaret's School

Ice Hockey
Track and Field
St. Margaret's School
St. Michaels University School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
UWC Canada
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.