Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked NH School
  • Grades: 6-9
  • Students: 228 students
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Cardigan Mountain School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in New Hampshire for:

Sports offered
School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 6-9
ADD/ADHD Support
Learning Difference Programs
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
228 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 20%
Students by Grade
Cardigan Mountain School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
48 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
12 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Chip Audett
Admissions Associate
John Bayreuther



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
10 extracurriculars
Badminton, Chess, Community Service, Cooking, Drama, Gardening, Jiu Jitsu, Music Ensemble, Painting, Rugby

School Notes

  • Student Body: Students represent 23 states and 16 countries. In 2017-2018 we will have approximately 25 day students and 200 boarding students.
  • Boarding Facilities: Eleven dormitories house from 8 to 16 students each. Each dormitory houses faculty members and their families. Students reside in double rooms, with some singles provided. Two dormitories, referred to as "houses," were completed in fall 2000 and house three faculty members and their families and 12 students.   All dormitory rooms and classrooms are wired for access to the Internet.
  • Class Size: The average class size ranges from 4 to 15 students, and within each grade there is ability tracking. There are normally three levels in each subject in grades 7, 8, and 9. The extra help and conference period gives students yet another opportunity to work with faculty members on an individual basis. In addition, a reading and study skills course is required of all students.
  • Faculty and Advisers: Cardigan has a 4:1 student-faculty ratio.  The faculty consists of 62 full-time faculty and 9 part-time faculty, the majority of whom reside on campus. Nearly half of the faculty members have earned advanced academic degrees. All faculty members teach, coach, supervise dormitories, and serve as advisers for the students. Each student works with their adviser to discuss academics, discuss problems, and to communicate with parents.  Additionally, each student is able to select their adviser.
  • Academics:  Cardigan requires all students to take yearlong courses in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, studying a foreign language (Latin, French, or Spanish) is strongly advised.  Beyond these courses, Cardigan also requires each boy to strengthen his program of study through additional course work in reading and study skills, studio art, woodworking/sculpture and design, music history and appreciation, religion, life skills, and keyboarding.
  • Grading: Cardigan uses a trimester system, and grades and teacher comments are sent home at the middle and end of each of the three terms. Grading includes both achievement marks and an effort rating.
  • Student Conduct: Cardigan has a two-tiered disciplinary status system in order to inform students, their advisers, and parents when School expectations are not being met. This disciplinary system is used to correct patterns of misbehavior and to discipline those students who commit serious offenses. The Discipline Committee meets to hear cases deemed appropriate by the Headmaster and the Assistant Headmaster. Two student leaders and three faculty members are selected by the Assistant Headmaster to join him on the committee.
  • Daily Life: The typical academic day begins six days per week with a required family-style breakfast. After room inspection in the dormitories, classes begin at 7:45 a.m. six class periods precede a family-style lunch. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, lunch is followed by an advisory/conference period. On Wednesday and Saturday, the academic day ends with lunch and is followed by a full slate of athletics and recreational activities. Dinner is a family-style meal every evening except Wednesday and Saturday, when a buffet is scheduled. A study period occurs each school night. Lights-out ranges from 9:30 to 10:15 p.m., depending on the evening and the age of the student.
  • Weekend Life: The majority of Cardigan students are on campus on weekends, and the School provides an exciting array of options for them. A typical Saturday night`s schedule might include a movie, a trip off campus, various other on-campus activities and programs, or an excursion to Dartmouth College to watch a hockey game.  In addition to the regularly scheduled vacations, all boys may take weekends away from the campus and parents are invited to the campus to share in their son`s experience at any time.  
  • Educational Programming: Since 2008, Cardigan's curriculum has included the PEAKS (Personalized Education for the Acquisition of Knowledge and Skills) program, which was developed to increase a student's self-awareness regarding his personal development. The PEAKS program of study revolves around study skills, technology education, and health topics. Similarly, Math Lab is an optional tutorial that provides individualized enrichment or remediation in mathematics.  For students for whom English is not a primary language, Building Confidence in English provides instruction in basic English skills.
  • History: Cardigan Mountain School was founded in 1945 by Harold P. Hinman, a Dartmouth College graduate, and William R. Brewster, then Headmaster of Kimball Union Academy, joined forces with legendary Dartmouth President Ernest M. Hopkins to obtain the land that is now the site of Cardigan Mountain`s campus. Cardigan Mountain School opened with 24 boys, and, in 1954, upon merging with the Clark School of Hanover, New Hampshire, the School as it is known today began to emerge. Since that time, the School has grown to its current enrollment of nearly 225 boys.
  • Location: The 525-acre campus, located on Canaan Street Lake, is 18 miles from Dartmouth College. Driving time from Boston is approximately 2.5 hours. Some of the finest skiing in New England is only 1 hour away.
  • Endowment: The self-perpetuating Board of Trustees and Incorporators is instrumental in guiding the School. The School`s endowment is valued at more than $13 million. In 2009-10, Annual Giving totaled nearly $1 million. Accreditation: Cardigan Mountain is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Its memberships include the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Junior Boarding Schools Association, the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England (ISANNE), the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE), the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB), Boys` Schools, A Better Chance (ABC), the Federation of American Independent Schools, and the Educational Records Bureau (ERB).
  • Secondary School Placement: Cardigan offers extensive assistance to the students and their parents in selecting and then applying to independent secondary schools. The Secondary School Placement Office begins the counseling process in the spring of the eighth grade and continues to guide the student and his family throughout the application experience. The Placement Office offers workshops on interviewing techniques, SSAT preparation, and essay writing. 
  • Matriculation: Over the past few years, a number of Cardigan graduates have matriculated to schools such as Avon Old Farms, Brooks, Deerfield, Holderness, Hotchkiss, Lawrence, Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, Pomfret, Salisbury, St. Mark`s, St. Paul`s, Tabor, Taft, and Westminster.
  • Academic Facilities: The numerous buildings that house academic facilities are highlighted by the Bronfman Center.  The Bronfman Center features, among other things, the three Freda R. Caspersen state-of-the-art science laboratories, an art studio, and classrooms for sixth graders. Stoddard Center is the home of the Kirk Library and the Humann Theatre.  The Kirk Library is a three-tiered, well-equipped multimedia resource center that offers students and faculty computer software, audiotapes, and videocassettes in addition to more than 10,000 volumes and numerous journals and periodicals. Humann, the 250-seat theater, is the site of school meetings, lectures, films, concerts, and drama performances. 
  • Visual Arts:  The Williams Woodshop and the new Art Center are focal points for this important aspect of a boy's education. The Hinman Auditorium houses the School`s music facilities, where opportunities for vocal and instrumental instruction are available.   A boy may participate in the optional drama program in each of the three seasons. Each year, the drama department presents three major productions. There are extensive stage lighting and sound features, and students interested in the technical aspects of theater enjoy working in this facility. 
  • Health: The School operates an on-campus health center, where most student medical needs can be met. For extended services, Cardigan students benefit from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. The Hamilton Health Center on the Cardigan campus has a resident nurse and a visiting physician. 
  • Athletics: Over the years, Cardigan has been fortunate enough to acquire extensive athletics facilities, fields, and equipment. These include five fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse; ten outdoor tennis courts; two baseball diamonds; a state-of-the-art hockey rink that can be converted to a multipurpose arena in the fall and spring; an on-campus, lighted ski slope; cross-country ski trails; ski team rooms; a wrestling room; an outing club room; a fully equipped weight-training room; an in-line hockey rink; and indoor and outdoor basketball courts. Lake Front Access: As the School is situated on the shores of Canaan Street Lake, students and faculty members take full advantage of water-related activities. Sailing is pursued in the School`s fleet of Flying Juniors, sailboards, ice boats, and the Hobie catamaran. Motorboats, rowboats, and canoes provide additional opportunities for students to enjoy the water. The waterfront area is well supervised, and instruction is available in all activities.  Outdoor Exploration:  In addition to fall and spring rock climbing CORE serves to use the natural world as a classroom.  Occurring during the summer months CORE seeks to challenge boys to discover who they are and how they relate to the natural world.  Skiing: The Ragged Mountain Ski Area is close to the School and is used on weekdays by the Alpine ski team, recreational skiers, and snowboarders. On Sundays, there are daylong ski trips to major ski areas in New Hampshire and Vermont.  As in the classroom, the focus of interscholastic sports and individual activities is on learning the fundamentals. Teams are fielded on several levels in most sports, and they compete against local independent and public schools. Recreational sports are offered for the student who does not wish to compete interscholastically.
  • Extracurricular Opportunities: Many students and faculty members bring to Cardigan skills and interests that, though not included in the usual program of studies, may be pursued and developed in the informal setting of the Club Program. Clubs meet every Thursday afternoon in lieu of athletics, with the opportunity for additional meetings if the members and adviser so desire. Community Service: Students also participate in clubs.  Students in clubs have participated in community service, including visits to a local nursing home, hospital volunteer work, recycling, the Big Brother Program, and Red Cross lifeguard training; blues, jazz, and rock bands; a cappella singing groups; technical rock-climbing; horseback riding; mountain-biking; debating; painting; chess; photography; windsurfing; and conversational Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, and Japanese.
  • Spiritual Development: Cardigan is nondenominational, yet the School seeks to strengthen each boy`s spiritual development within his own religious heritage. All boys are required to attend the weekly Thursday afternoon chapel service. Arrangements are made for students of all faiths to attend appropriate weekly services in the immediate area.
  • Summer Programs: Cardigan Mountain School Summer Session combines academic review and enrichment with all of the recreation and fun of a traditional summer camp for boys and girls in grades 3-9. Cardigan`s outstanding range of sports and activities, along with its academic offerings, makes the Summer Session a special blend of camp and school.  The program is known for its individualized instruction, and general emphasis on improving study skills. In 2017, the tuition for a student boarding for six weeks was $8,865 ($4,300 for day students) and for students participating in the three week program, the tuition was $5,380 ($2,625 for day students). Need-based aid is available.
  • Financial Aid - Financial aid is available to families of qualified students who complete the School and Student Service for Financial Aid forms and demonstrate need. Information about loans and payment plans is available from the Cardigan Admissions Office.
  • Admissions Information: Interested candidates should fill out an online inquiry form, located on our admissions homepage, to receive beneficial admissions information.  Cardigan seeks to enroll students of good character and academic promise who will contribute to and benefit from the broad range of academic and extracurricular opportunities available. The Admissions Committee reviews applications on a rolling admissions basis for students wishing to enter the sixth through the ninth grades. Decisions are based upon previous school records, teacher recommendations, aptitude testing, and a campus interview. Cardigan admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School.
  • Application Timetable: Initial inquiries are welcome at any time. Office hours are 8 to 4, Monday through Friday, and 8 to noon on Saturday.  Interested applicants and families should consider scheduling an interview and tour when the school is most active, between 8AM and 12 PM in order to fully experience the Cardigan Mountain School day.   School catalogs and applications can be obtained through the Admissions Office website here:http://www.cardigan.org/admissions/welcome. The application fee is $50 for domestic applicants and $125 for international applicants.Admissions Correspondence - Chip Audett, Director of Admissions, Cardigan Mountain School, 62 Alumni Drive Canaan, New Hampshire 03741, United States. Phone: 603.523.3510; fax: 603.523.3565; email: caudett@cardigan.org. Website: http://www.cardigan.org.
Source: Verified school update

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Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked NH School
  • Grades: 6-9
  • Students: 228 students
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average acceptance rate in Grafton County, NH is 78% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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