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Thank you for your interest in Girard College. At Girard, we offer a supportive atmosphere of encouragement paired with high expectations. Girard College has the distinction of being the only full scholarship, private 5-day boarding school in the city of Philadelphia.
Selecting the right learning environment for your child's school is one of the most important decisions you will face and you will want to consider all of your options. With this in mind, we hope you will consider Girard College. Our challenging academic curriculum and character-building environment helps to develop well-informed, well-prepared and thoughtful students. Our 100% college acceptance rate is a testament to achievement of our students and faculty.
In this section of our website, you will find our Inquiry Form, Online Application for Admission, and instructions to guide you through the admission process. Our website offers an introduction to the many aspects of our distinctive program. However, we encourage you to visit Girard College in session. Experience our 43-acre urban oasis, the sound of students laughing in the hallways, the hustle of teammates on our athletic fields, the harmony in our music classrooms…the family that is Girard College.
Our team looks forward to meeting you!
Director of Admissions & Cultural Competencies
Meet students just like you!
Class of: 2019
Hometown/Neighborhood: West Philly
Favorite subject: History
Favorite extra-curricular activity/sport: Boy Scouts
I chose Girard because: It felt like home. I entered Girard in 3rd grade. I wanted to be at Girard because I had a family here.
The best part of living in a dorm is: Being able to be with people I will be able to call my brothers for life.
My favorite lesson last school year was: You have to put in hard work. Nothing less!
My favorite spot on campus is: My dorm. We play music, video games, and chill and relax. It’s the one place I truly get to unwind.
One thing I wish people knew about Girard is: Girard is a caring and safe place. You are free to be yourself. Everyone is kind and will accept you no matter how different we may be from each other.
Girard first felt like home when: My old counselor, Mrs. Rita, stayed well after she was supposed to go home to stay with me and help me get to sleep at night. I then knew people at Girard were willing to sacrifice things for our benefit.
My favorite Girard tradition is: Cavalier Day, because students from the Upper and Lower Schools get to interact and enjoy a fun day full of competition together.
If I didn't go to Girard, I might have never: Learned many of the skills that I have today. Girard has help be become a better man throughout the years. I’m forever grateful I had the opportunity to be here.
On the weekends, I miss: Having fun and laughing to tears with my friends.
I'd recommend Girard to anyone who: Is ready to challenge themselves. Girard is a great place to get an education. It’s even better when you are surrounded by many people how want to see you succeed.
Name: Anjalee Pai
Class of: 2019
Hometown/Neighborhood: Olney, North Philadelphia
Favorite Subject: History
Favorite extra-curricular activity/sport: Soccer
I chose Girard because: of the friends I made. Everyone was kind to me, I felt at home, and I just knew I was going to enjoy it here.
The best part of living in a dorm is: that you live with your friends, all day every day for free. You get to have fun and work hard on your studies together!
My favorite lesson last school year was:
How to work with people. It is a life skill I feel like I am nearly close to perfecting because I live so closely to the same people for 6 years, I was able to adjust to their personalities, without affecting my own of course. I learned to cooperate with others and always knew that my mission at the end of my day was to graduate.
My favorite spot on campus is: the courtyard. I like seeing the entire high school come together as a whole to have fun.
One thing I wish people knew about Girard is: It’s meant to help, guide, and protect you to have a safe, guaranteed successful future.
Girard first felt like home when: I came to visit in the fourth grade. I was able to joke and laugh with everyone and I got comfortable easily. I knew I was going to fit in.
My favorite Girard tradition is: Cavalier Day. To see how much the high school students care about and engage with the lower school students is truly a warming and touching experience. You know it means the world to the little ones when the big kids hang out with them.
If I didn’t go to Girard, I might have never: become the woman that I am today. I learned a lot about myself because of the friends, RAs, and teachers who are always here for me as a third eye.
On the weekends, I miss: my friends. You get so used to living with them for nine months you don’t get how you’re gonna live without them for two days.
I’d recommend Girard to anyone who: is open minded. Boarding school life teaches you to overcome any obstacle coming your way, and that's the true Girard experience.
Name: Kimhai Eng
Class of: 2019
Hometown/Neighborhood: I grew up in the Cheltenham and Olney neighborhood in the Northeast region.
Favorite subject: Biology and French
Favorite extra-curricular activity/sport:
I have participated in a variety of extra-curricular activities, but my favorite is soccer.
I chose Girard because:
People are friendly, and teachers are always willing to listen to any problems and offer assistance.
The best part of living in a dorm is:
Getting to be independent from my parents and getting an early college experience. Very few people get a chance to experience Girard’s life-changing lessons and learn on such a beautiful campus.
My favorite lesson last school year was:
Last year, I got my first job, and instead of taking a simple job, I tried to get one that put me out of my comfort zone. The job was nerve-wracking, but it was also very enjoyable. I learned to become more fluent with interacting with others, and thanks to my job, I have been able to meet amazing people who have significantly impacted my life.
My favorite spot on campus is: The pavilion. All year round, it has the best scenery, but I only visit it during warmer seasons. It has the best views of the trees and is the best place to go during your free time.
One thing I wish people knew about Girard is:
Girard’s mission is to help under-privileged students to excel and have a chance to succeed. Girard is filled with resources to help students grow and thrive as an individual to become a successful adult in life. I have been able to participate in many activities that I otherwise would not have had a chance to experience anywhere else. I am grateful to my school, even when I don't show it.
Girard first felt like home when:
I thought I might have to leave. At one point, I thought I might attend a different school. At first, I was excited for the change of scenery, going to a new school, and seeing new faces, but as the school year came to an end, I realized how I’ve taken many things for granted, such as my friends, my teachers who I grew so close to and of course the crazy people who makes Girard such an amazing place. Before the summer ended, I decided not to change schools, and I have not regretted this decision. Girard is continues to grow its diversity and programs.
My favorite Girard tradition is:
Founder's Day. Though when I was younger I used to hate being at school on a Saturday, I’ve learned to admire it. Generations of Girardians from all over come to see old classmates, friends and new students. Our history spans for over a hundred years, and there are many interesting people in the alumni community. All are always willing to contribute somehow to helping Stephen Girard’s goal to helping the under privileged.
Name: Victoria Kolawole
Class of: 2019
Hometown/Neighborhood: Far Rockaway, NY
Favorite subject: English
Favorite extra-curricular activity/sport: Softball and Newspaper
I chose Girard because: I’ve had family that have graduated from here and lead pretty successful lives, so I figured it was worth a shot. It isn't easy, but it is worthwhile.
The best part of living in a dorm is: The bonds you form with your classmates are unlike any other. All of my classmates aren’t necessarily best friends, but there is just an unexplainable connection there and that’s a beautiful thing.
My favorite lesson last school year was: When I was reading Ender’s Game in my 10th grade ELA (Thank you, Ms. Richman!), because that taught me a lot about myself. I was in process of getting to know who I was and I, being the third-born or the “Third” in my family, I identified with a lot of the emotions Ender described, one of which is not knowing where you fit in. To use Walt Whitman’s words, "I contain multitudes," I can’t just be defined as one thing and I thinks that’s pretty cool.
My favorite spot on campus is: That’s a hard one, between the high school library and the steps of Founder’s Hall, I’d have to go with the library. Its large windows display an amazing view of Founder’s Hall and have prompted a lot of impromptu photoshoots during later hours when I’ve finished one of my longer study sessions.
One thing I wish people knew about Girard is: Don't let the walls fool you, Girard isn't a school for bad kids. It’s also not for people who can’t handle it.
Girard first felt like home when: My first Cavalier Day, which now feels like forever ago, was amazing. We had events like Crazy Hat Race and Water Balloon Toss, and although I ended up semi-soaked because of my good-for-nothing hand-eye coordination, my seniors at the time (Kyle Hanna and my cousin, Ola Idowu) made lil’ol first-grade me feel like I had just won a marathon! I don’t remember if I was on Garnet or Steel, but I do remember enjoying my ice cream and not wanting be anywhere else but right there in that moment.
My favorite Girard tradition is: our spring and winter concerts. A lot of people don't understand how much work goes into them, but they are some kind of magical to me. The most recent spring concert we had was one of the best we’ve had so far, in my opinion. The Upper School Choir performed Beyoncé’s Pray You Catch Me and Boyz II Men’s End of the Road and the seniors did a little bit at the end where Rashae Benbow and Siddiq Rivera-Sabir did these heartfelt spoken parts. The set list, the mood, the message... everything was just there.
If I didn't go to Girard I might have never: Discovered how much I love softball. An RA suggested it and I just went along with it. It was really tough at first, given that I wasn’t as physically coordinated back then, but I kept working at it. Now, I’m hooked.
On the weekends, I miss: Walking back from dinner and seeing the sunset on the track. There is something calming about the way the sky manages to incorporate all of these differing hues and just fits them just right in with the landscape.I'd recommend Girard to anyone who: Is looking for a gateway to something better. If there’s one thing Girard is known for, it’s its many success stories. From Brandon Dixon and Abu Fofanah to G’mrice Davis and Ola Idowu, the success stories that began in the Girard community come in many shapes and sizes! I pray I’ll make it there, as well. Hail Girard!