Admission FAQs

STUDENT BODY

How many students of color attend NMH?

Of all of the school's United States citizens (including those with dual citizenships), 19% are students of color. These students of color represent 20% of the total population of the school when including the international students.

Where do students come from? How many students are from other countries?

NMH students come from 34 states and U.S. territories and 53 countries. Many of our students hold dual citizenships.

How many students will be in each grade next year?

Each year, students enter the school at various grade levels. The ninth grade class typically numbers 100 students. Additional students join each year, bringing the senior class size to about 220 students, including approximately 40 postgraduates who have graduated from high schools elsewhere.

How many students are at NMH?

We have 650 students (81% of those live on campus).

Location

What is the nearest airport?

The nearest international airport is Bradley International Airport, which serves the Hartford, Connecticut/Springfield, Massachusetts area and is 70 miles south of the school. Students also fly into and out of Logan Airport in Boston (a two-hour drive from campus) and JFK Airport in New York (a four-hour drive from campus

How far are you from major cities?

The school is about two hours west of Boston and three hours north of New York City.

Finances

Do you have scholarships (academic, athletic, arts)?

We offer financial aid based on a family's demonstrated financial need, not on merit alone. However, because the number of applicants typically exceeds the number of awards we can offer, a student's talents or achievements may play a role in our determination of which applicants will receive an offer of financial aid.

What is the tuition cost?

What is NMH's endowment?

Our total endowment is $131 million.

Campus Visits

Can my child spend the night in a dorm?

On-campus overnights for prospective students are not a regular occurrence and are not arranged through the admission office. Traditionally, prospective students who spend a night on campus have made arrangements with a friend or family member who is a current NMH student and has received the necessary permission. On rare occasions, under special circumstances, teachers, coaches, and house directors may make arrangements or allow a prospective student to spend the night on campus.

Can we sit in on a class?

Prospective students are invited to Class Visit Days, giving them a chance to attend classes and other activities. In order to preserve the normal flow of classroom work, the NMH Admission Office does not offer visits to classes at other times. Independent of the admission visit, visitors are welcomed as guests of NMH students with whom they are acquainted and who would make arrangements directly with their own teachers.

What will we do during a visit to campus?

The visit consists of a 50-minute tour with a current student followed by a meeting with an admission counselor. We will be happy to try to connect visitors with faculty from a program of particular interest, upon request and availability. Overall, the regular visit will last approximately two hours.

Academics and Support Programs

Is there academic support for students with learning differences or special needs?

The NMH Center for Academic Strategies and Achievement (CASA) offers both individual support and minor courses to help students achieve academic success. All students are eligible to participate, but the program is geared to helping students with documented learning issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or specific learning disabilities. In order to provide the best support for a student with learning differences, it is extremely beneficial that parents provide as much information as possible during the admission process.

To encourage optimal communication, an accommodation form (which includes strengths, challenges, and recommendations) will be written based on the testing and sent to teachers each term. Accommodations such as extended time can only be provided if such a recommendation is made within current documentation. Through the program, students may receive support for time management, organization, reading, writing, test preparation, and general study skills. Generally, students meet with a learning specialist once a week, free of charge. For students who need help in specific courses, the director coordinates a tutoring network, and tutoring fees are charged to the student's tuition account.

Do I need to take physical education or participate on an athletic team?

The school requires that each student participate in a physical education class or an interscholastic sport each term. There is a requirement each year for students to participate in at least one team sport a year (which includes dance and outdoor education).

How much homework will I have each night?

The faculty adhere to strict guidelines regarding the amount of homework that can be assigned daily. Based on these guidelines, ninth grade students should expect to spend at least 2.5 hours on homework per night; those taking honors classes typically find that more time is required. Upperclass students spend, on average, four hours doing homework on a given school night; the load is greater if a student is enrolled in all upper-level and honors classes.

What is it like for students to have classes in a semester schedule?

Being able to focus on three subjects at a time allows students to fully invest in their learning in those particular subjects. In addition, they are becoming well prepared for college academics, as many colleges and universities operate on semester schedules. Especially important to note is the student-to-teacher ratio. As most teachers work with only 30 students in the academic setting (average of 13 students per class), they are able to give each student one-on-one attention in and out of the classroom.

What is a block schedule and why do we believe it prepares our students for the college classroom?

Students find the longer classes more interesting because they incorporate discussion, in-class projects, simulations, oral presentations, lab sessions, and a myriad of other activities. Our block schedule allows students to be focused on their academic endeavors. NMH students take three major courses for an hour and thirty minutes each day for a semester, along with electives. In an NMH classroom, where the average class size is 12, students are unable to passively sit by for a whole class period. Everyone must be engaged and prepared for class each day. Furthermore, the relationships that students have with their peers and teachers are far more dynamic due to their time together compared with schools where kids take five or six forty-five minute classes each day.

Today's college classroom is not a series of forty-five minute classes. Students are taking hour-and-a-half to three-hour-long courses two and three times a week. The NMH block schedule prepares students for these college academic blocks.

What classes am I required to take?

See the curriculum guide for specific graduation requirements.

Student Life

Can students have cars?

Boarding students may not have access to a car or drive a car unless they are signed out for the weekend and off campus, except when accompanied by parents. Only day students are permitted to use cars while school is in session, and once on campus, cars must be parked in designated areas and remain there until the student leaves campus. Only with special parental permission may boarding students ride with anyone who is not a family member or a member of the NMH faculty.

How does the dining program work? Is there food available at night?

Alumni Hall, our dining hall, is located centrally on campus and meals are available throughout the day, allowing students to dine at times that suit their schedules. Students like small meals throughout the day, so "grazing" allows students to come and go whenever they feel hungry or like to meet up with their friends. A snack bar in Blake Student Center is also open during the day. Food is also available at night in dorm common rooms.

Alumni Hall offers a five-week repeating cycle menu with our students' favorite offerings. We include a deli bar, salad bar and cereal offering at every lunch and dinner. Students enjoy "make-your-own" waffles, eggs and omelets to order, the taco and noodle bars, and the stir fry and pizza stations. Nutritional information is always available in the dining hall and online.

Can students go into a student house (dorm) of the opposite sex?

In houses, students can visit with guests of the other gender in public lounges, according to posted hours. Students in good standing in grades 10-12/PG can visit in rooms during visiting hours, after checking in with the on-duty faculty member.

What are house closing and lights-out policies?

Houses close at 10 pm Monday through Thursday, at 10:30 pm on Fridays, at 11:30 pm (except ninth graders) on Saturdays, and at 9:30 pm on Sundays.

Students are also required to be signed into their houses or checked into an appropriate study location during Study Hall, which lasts from 7:30–9:30pm on Sunday and 8 to 10 pm, Monday through Thursday. At closing time, faculty check to see that students are present in the house or to verify that they are absent with permission. Students may not leave the house between closing and 6 am the next day.

After house closing on Sunday through Thursday evenings, students other than ninth graders may study or socialize quietly in public areas of their houses until 10:30 pm, at which time all students must be in their own rooms. Ninth grade students must be in bed with their lights out by 10:30 pm. All other students must be in their own rooms by 10:30 pm and in bed with lights out by midnight.

Lights must be out by midnight on Friday nights and by 12:30 am on Saturday nights (ninth graders must have lights out at 11:30 pm).

The computer network and phones are shut down at midnight Sunday through Thursday, and at 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Email messages sent to student accounts outside of these hours are accepted by the system and can be viewed once access is provided starting again at 6 am the next day.

Are there required religious services?

There are no required religious services. At NMH, all cultures and religions are respected, and students are encouraged to pursue their own spiritual beliefs and practices. Regular worship services are offered in a number of faith traditions. Read more about spiritual life.

What is a "workjob"?

Every student participates in the daily work of the school for four and a half hours per week. Jobs are assigned each term to fit with a student's schedule and some require an application. The jobs tend to be in dining or custodial services, administrative offices, the library, on the school farm, or providing peer support in education, mediation, technology, and residential leadership.

Is there a dress code?

Our dress code allows for individual choice in clothing, following guidelines which prohibit frayed, torn, or tattered clothing and any item which displays offensive or inappropriate language. We believe that this allows students to express their individuality while maintaining respect for their community.

Weekends

What is a closed weekend? Can I go home?

Closed weekends provide students with opportunity for quiet study and/or required attendance at all-school events. During a closed weekend, students are expected to remain on campus and may not have overnight guests. Other weekends, students may go to their own home or that of another student if parents give permission.

What is there to do on weekends?

Because NMH is primarily a boarding school, the majority of students are on campus during most weekends. Multiple activities are planned to appeal to a variety of interests, including dances, current movies, special performances, and fairs.

Student houses or school organizations also host themed events such as International Carnival and other special dances, performances, or activities.

Most Friday nights at NMH, you will find the entire school gathered and cheering on their housemates during intramurals. Intramurals start at 10:30 pm. and events include dodge ball, basketball, broom hockey, indoor soccer, and swimming. At the end of each year, there is a girls' and boys' champion crowned. Intramurals are a fun and competitive way for NMH students to start off their weekends.

On Saturdays, there are usually sporting events. A regional shuttle bus also goes to Greenfield, a nearby town, every Saturday afternoon, returning in the evening. Additionally, the school provides access to shopping, museums, or musical performances in Boston, Northampton, and other destinations.

For those seeking religious services, Shabbat services are held on Friday nights, church services are held Sunday mornings, and transportation is available to other religious services as well.

Vacations and Breaks

Do all students go home during breaks and vacations?

During the vacations that happen between semesters and at Thanksgiving break, students must make arrangements either to go home or to stay off campus. During the fall and spring semester long weekends, students may remain on campus.

What is a typical calendar like in terms of breaks and vacations?

The school year is broken into two semesters, with long weekends in October and April for family days, Thanksgiving (when all students leave campus), and two-and-a-half week-long breaks in December and March. The NMH calendar can help you plan.

Admission Requirements

Is there a standard score that you need to have on SSATs and/or other standardized tests to be considered for admission?

There is not a standard test score that a student must attain in order to be considered for admission to NMH.

How does NMH select the students it admits?

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic abilities, their character, and the contributions they have made to their previous schools, their communities, and their homes. The admission committee also seeks evidence of independence, resiliency, involvement, maturity, and concern for others.

Does NMH accept the common applications?

We are happy to accept common applications, including Gateway to Prep Schools and Standard Application Online. Please know that we may request additional materials upon review of an application if the committee feels we are missing pertinent information.

Is an interview required?

Applicants living within a 200 mile radius of the school are required to have an on-campus interview and tour. All students outside of this area are welcome to visit campus. For those applicants unable to visit us in person, we offer alternative ways to get to know us better. If you would like to speak with an alumnus/alumna in your area or schedule phone interview, please contact your admission counselor.

Technology

Are all buildings equipped for Internet access?

Yes, with network ports for each student in rooms, and ports in every classroom and in most public work spaces.

When will I use my computer?

Computers are used for many courses both in class and for homework.

What is the computer program?

All students at NMH are required to have a computer that can be used on the school network.

Other Questions

A bird's eye view

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Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

Faculty Profiles
Mitike

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.

Ryan

“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”

Josh

In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.

David

"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 

Lila

"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."

Ismini

"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."

Noah

"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."

Isaac

"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."

Yvonne

 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."

David

“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”

Maggie

Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”

Abby

"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."

Ngone

“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”

Eli
Eli

“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 

Kevin

“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”

Isabella

“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”

Melvin

“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles
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