You may have heard about Girard College or known someone who has attended, but what kind of school are we, really? Please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions!

What is Girard College?

Girard College is a private, coeducational boarding school for academically capable students in grades 1 through 12 who come from families headed by a single parent or guardian with limited financial resources.

Where is Girard College located?

Occupying 43 acres in the heart of historic Philadelphia, Girard College is in close proximity to the Art Museum, Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Free Library, and other cultural treasures. Our distinguished, beautifully landscaped campus features classic Greek Revival architecture. The original classroom building, Founder’s Hall, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses a museum dedicated to the legacy of Stephen Girard and the school he founded.

How many students does Girard serve?

Student enrollment is approximately 320-340 students total.

What is the average class size at Girard?

Girard College maintains a faculty-to-student ratio of approximately 12:1.

What is the college placement of Girard graduates?

Virtually 100% of Girard’s graduating seniors are accepted into colleges and universities. Approximately 96% of graduates continue on to some form of higher education.

A representative sample of postsecondary destinations, 2017-22, listed alphabetically:
Albright College, Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware State University, Harvard University, Howard University, Lycoming College, Montclair State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Temple University, Trinity College, West Chester University, YearUp

How are scholarships awarded?

Girard College awards a full scholarship with a yearly value of approximately $75,000 to every child admitted to the school. This scholarship covers most of the costs of attending Girard, including tuition, room and board, all meals and snacks, books and supplies, and school uniforms. The scholarship is renewable annually until high school graduation as long as students continue to meet academic and behavioral standards.

Who can apply for a scholarship?

Applicants must be at least five years old, demonstrate exceptional character, and come from a single-parent, lower-income family. Students living with a custodial caretaker such as a grandparent, other relative, or foster family may also apply. Girard enrolls students on the basis of school records, admissions testing, a visit and interviews, without preference for race, gender, religion, or national origin. Our main entry points are 1st, 5th and 9th grade. All other availability is based upon attrition. A full list of our eligibility criteria is listed on our Eligibility Page.

Where do students live?

Students live in single-sex dormitories arranged by grade level. Residential advisors occupy apartments in the dorm buildings, creating a caring, familial atmosphere for students. Girard offers a five-day boarding program. Children return home on the weekend. Most weeks, students leave Friday afternoon and return Sunday evening.

What steps are taken to ensure students’ safety?

Because Girard is in an urban environment, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our students. The fact that our campus is enclosed enables us to maintain strict security controls and know who is on campus at all times. Security officers are present 24/7 for the benefit of our entire community. Parents routinely tell us that they feel their children are truly safe at Girard.

Is Girard affiliated with any church or religion?

No, Girard is an independent school that is open to students of all religious backgrounds. Once a month, all students attend community assemblies in our Chapel, which are rooted in our core values of respect, responsibility, courage, compassion and integrity.

When can a child apply to Girard?

Girard’s application portal opens each September for the following year. Acceptance to Girard is a competitive process and available seats are limited. Parents and guardians are expected to be active participants in the admissions process.

The school strongly recommends that prospective students begin the application process one year prior to the school year for which they wish to enroll. Tours, testing sessions, and interviews are scheduled throughout the year.

You may submit an application through our Application Process Page. You may also call us at 215-787-2621 or email us at

May I call and visit my child at school?

As parents and guardians, entrusting others to protect and care for your child can be difficult. We encourage families to stay in touch with their children through scheduled phone calls, email, and letters. In addition, parents may visit the campus for scheduled events such as concerts, assemblies and sporting events, for conferences with faculty and residential advisors, and to participate in parent committees and other groups.

Does Girard provide transportation?

No, weekly drop-offs and pick-ups are the responsibility of the families. Provided our urban campus, public transportation is plentiful and convenient. Several city bus lines stop at Girard’s front entrance, and the 30th Street Station is just a short distance away.