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The Athletic Post-Graduate (PG) Year

A friend of ours recently sent us an article by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News. Gosselin’s piece, “Hargrave Military Academy has prepped plenty for NFL” (published April 10, 2008) focuses on the success, meaning, and importance of Hargrave Military Academy‘s post-graduate program to high caliber athletes- many of whom have gone on to professional athletic careers.

Like many PG programs, Hargrave works to instill structure into its students’ routines, improve grades and test scores and provide an extra year of athletic maturation.

As Dallas Maverick’s forward Josh Howard told Gosselin,

“You had to have your priorities straight,” said Howard of his experience at Hargrave. “It was the only way they’d take you. It taught you discipline — taking care of what you need to take care of to get to the next level. You learn how to do everything in a timely fashion.”

The Hargrave PG year- like most PG programs- is a concentrated year of maturation in all facets of the student’s life.

We’ve written extensively about the post graduate year; our work goes beyond the athletic prost graduate. To learn more about a PG Year– what and why, read our article “A Post Graduate Year; what’s that?

  • tony kyles

    please send me information about pg schools that offer football.

  • Peter Baron

    Tony, thanks for stopping by. I recommend looking at this list of boarding schools that offer a pg year. You’ll be able to see which of them offer football programs and from there contact them directly for more info. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Brenda

    please send me info about post graduate schools that offer basketball.

  • Brenda,
    You’ll find a list of Class A boys basketball programs at the NEPSAC web site. I’m assuming your asking about boys basketball. You start with the NEPSAC site no matter your student’s gender.
    Class A programs are the play the most competitive game. Class A and B schools play with the largest number of PG students.
    For information on admission, the basketball program, and financial aid, visit each schools’ web site and go from there.
    Go to the NEPSAC web site;
    Choose boys basketball from the winter sports menu; then, choose Class A. The same process works for other classes.

  • Tomasen Brady

    could you please respond with post graduate schools that offer strong cross country/track programs

  • Hi Tomasen,

    Feel free to search our database for schools that offer a pg program along with Xcountry/track. Here’s where you can set it up:

    I went ahead and searched on cross county and came up with this list. It should give you nice start:

    Avon Old Farms School (Avon, CT) Boys 9-12, PG

    Canterbury School (New Milford, CT) Coed 9-12, PG

    Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, CT) Coed 6-PG

    Cushing Academy (Ashburnham, MA) Coed 9-PG

    Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, VA) Boys 6-12, PG

    Fryeburg Academy (Fryeburg, ME) Coed 9-12, PG

    Gould Academy (Bethel, ME) Coed 9-12, PG

    Hawaii Preparatory Academy (Kamuela, HI) Coed K-PG

    Hebron Academy (Hebron, ME) Coed 6-PG

    Mercersburg Academy (Mercersburg, PA) Coed 9-12, PG

    Miller School (Charlottesville, VA) Coed 8-12, PG

    Miss Hall’s School (Pittsfield, MA) Girls 9-12

    New Hampton School (New Hampton, NH) Coed 9 – PG

    Southwestern Academy (San Marino, CA) Coed 6 – 12 PG

    St. Thomas More School (Oakdale, CT) Boys 8-PG

    The Webb School (Bell Buckle, TN) Coed 6-12, PG

    The Winchendon School (Winchendon, MA) Coed 8-PG

    Tilton School (Tilton, NH) Coed 9-PG

    Trinity-Pawling School (Pawling, NY) Boys 7-PG

    West Nottingham Academy (Colora, MD) Coed 9-12, PG

    Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Wilbraham, MA) Coed 6-PG

    Worcester Academy (Worcester, MA) Coed 6-12, PG

    Kimball Union Academy (Meriden, NH) Coed 9-12, PG

    Pickering College (Newmarket, ON) Coed JK-12

    Ridley College (St. Catharines, ON) Coed 1-12, PG

    Rosseau Lake College (Rosseau, ON) Coed 7-12, PG

    St Johnsbury Academy (St Johnsbury, VT) Coed 9-PG

    St. John’s Preparatory School (Collegeville, MN) Coed 7-12, PG

    The Hun School of Princeton (Princeton, NJ) Coed 6-PG

    The Phelps School (Malvern, PA) Boys 7-12, PG

    Trafalgar Castle School (Whitby, ON) Girls 6-12, PG

    Trinity College School (Port Hope, ON) Coed 5-12, PG

    Good luck!

  • mike

    I was wondering if you knew about if you did a Post Graduate year if your freshmen year grades are dropped. Also, when is the application time period?

  • Brian Fisher


    Thanks for reading. If the drop in grades is small and can reasonably be explained by an increase in course difficulty, then you've no problems. Colleges want to you see you take the most difficult courses that you can handle. So long as the faculty writing your recommendations can speak of increased challenges and your work in meeting them, you benefit.

    Problems would arise however, if your grades dropped as result of decreased effort or issue that's within your ability to control.

    In terms of application time table, the time is now. More competitive schools have january application deadlines. Some schools practice rolling admission until they're full.

    The best course of action is to identify the schools that have academic and/or athletic programs that fit with you and your goals; then, pick-up the phone; call them; let them know about your situation and open a dialog with the admission office.


    • mike

      Thanks for the advice. Also, since I have already taken the ACT, do I need to take the SSAT?

      • More than likely not. But this could vary depending on what a particular school wants. Check with each school to make sure.

  • wayne

    does blair academy offer PG Boys Basketball…and what program would you recommend for PG Boys Basketball

    • bfisher


      I read your comment below our athletic PG article. Blair tells me that they do indeed have PG basketball players; they typically take 2 per year. I can't give you a clear answer on the recommendation question because it involves so many variables- your grades, your test scores, your course work, college aspirations, and, bluntly, what caliber of basketball you play. You're looking to strike a balance between academic challenge and caliber of basketball.

      Thanks for reading.

  • wayne

    i have a 20 act score and my gpa is my grades inst the problem…i currently have offers from southland and sunbelt school to play basketball but that is only thru high school basketball with little i was wondering if a big time prep school is the way to go even with my good grades..i want to play higher caliber basketball in college

  • Tony Caffrey

    I enjoyed reading your commentary on the PG year. My son was out of high school two years doing absolutely nothing. He was seen playing indoor flag football and had his name passed on to t ehead football coach at St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Ct. He did one year there and it was like the twilight zone. He was recruited heavily, raised his SAT scores 250 points and had the most memorable year of his life. STM better known for basketball actually had 7 players sign with division 1 football schools that year including Notre ame and Louisville. My son got a Lehigh University education and football experience that was second to none as a result of teh year at STM. I would recommend to any high quality football player that needs a chance and an extra year to contact STM directly. The new coach there was an all American at Penn State. His name is Steven Davis. I will leave my email if anyone chooses to get in touch and I can certainly help with the process. Its a no brainer, as colleges love the more mature player and St. Thomas More does amazing things for young men. For one year of your life, it is so worth it!

    Contact the Coach at 919-519-2654

  • colleen

    can you suggest a good pg program for boys ice hockey?

    • bfisher


      Here's a like to our list of schools with ice hockey,

      Beyond this, if haven't already seen it, I recommend reading our PG article, "A Post Graduate Year: what's that?" The trick is balancing athletics and academics. There are some great hockey schools and there are some great PG academic programs. Where your son fits in the continuum is the trick.

      Thanks for reading,

  • Nick

    Could you please send me a list of schools with a good PG program for football? Thank you.

  • kristen

    Looking for east coast PG school with softball program. any suggestions?

  • Kathy Lewis

    Looking for NewEngland PG school with men's diving program that has focus on developing fundamental study skills

  • jack ferguson

    can u please send me some pg schools with a good basketball program

  • bfisher


    I'd start with this post. This article contains a link to the newly defined New England prep school basketball divisions. It's an entry in how prep school basketball is classified; "Big Changes in New England Prep School Basketball: Realignment Announced,"

    This article contains a link to the newly defined New England prep school basketball divisions.

    Lots of schools have strong basketball programs. In the end it's all about fit- basketball and academic. Where does your student fit on the athletic-academic continuum? Division I prospect-Division III? Ivy league-Large public university.

    There's a prep school program for every student in this academic-athletic spectrum. The work lies in matching student and program.

  • Iaabo30

    when should i start looking for a PG school?

  • Bfisher


    If your looking to enter a school as PG in the fall of 2012, you should anticipate following a traditional application timeline.  Roughly speaking, research and narrow it down to the the schools to which you will apply during the fall.  December and January, complete and submit admission and financial aid applications.  March and April, make your final school choice.

    I recommend downloading our ebook, “Mastering the Private School Admission Process:”

    It can help you map and plan your school search.

    Thanks for reading,

  • Jenniferpatria32

    do you still have this info available i would really apprecaite it alot thank you [email protected]

  • obporch

    Looking for a PG opening for Fall 2013 for a baseball player (RHP).

  • jay

    Looking for prep school that offers football and basketball for my son. Was starting QB and BB player that is a very good athelete that needs another year of preparing for school.His H.S football coach’s believe he is a division 1 talent .

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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