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What is Saint Grottlesex?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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The term “Saint Grottlesex” is used to collectively refer to five famous and very prestigious boarding schools in New England. These schools graduate some of the nation's most wealthy and politically powerful individuals, with most students at the Saint Grottlesex schools going on to be educated at prestigious universities in the United States and abroad. As one might imagine, a Saint Grottlesex education comes with a hefty price tag.

St. Grottlesex is a portmanteau of the names of the five schools: Saint Paul's, Saint Mark's, Saint George's, Groton School, and Middlesex. Although the schools themselves rarely use this term self referentially, many of their students are familiar with the term, as are parents. In discussions about high-quality secondary education in the United States, the names of the Saint Grottlesex schools routinely come up.

With the exception of Middlesex, the Saint Grottlesex schools were all founded in the 19th century, and they had an Episcopalian bent at the time of founding, although many have a much reduced religious focus today. Middlesex was founded in 1901 as a non-denominational school, but the quality of education offered there led people to start classifying it with its religious counterparts. All of the schools are modeled on the English public school ideal, with a Saint Grottlesex education being compared to that available at institutions like Eton and Harrow.

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These boarding schools offer extremely diverse academics which are designed to prepare students for a life at university. Many of the schools also provide invaluable social education, and students often establish connections with each other which will be useful later in life. Because these schools have such an excellent reputation, universities tend to be pleased to accept Saint Grottlesex students, and people who have graduated from these boarding schools typically enjoy social and political advantages in the job market, as well.

Numerous prominent Americans are Saint Grottlesex graduates, ranging from accomplished doctors to noted politicians, and the schools have also appeared in many novels set in upper-class New England. Students come to the coeducational programs at the Saint Grottlesex schools from all over the world with the goal of getting a strong foundation in life, and many enjoy the traditional boarding school environment provided by these educational institutions.

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