Category Archives: PG Year Programs

Is a PG year right for you?

Cheshire Academy's PG students recently visited Metlife Stadium. The postgraduate program at Cheshire Academy, one of the best boarding schools in the world, is now accepting applications. Is the PG year right for you?
Cheshire Academy’s PG students recently visited Metlife Stadium.

It’s your senior year, and you’re thinking about college. Are you ready? Not all high school seniors are, and there’s a program that’s perfect for those students who need another year of high school. It’s called the PG year, or postgraduate year, and it’s offered at many of the best boarding schools in the world. Is it right for you? Continue reading Is a PG year right for you?

Make the Most of a PG Year

It’s fairly common for students to sign up for an extra year of high school at a private school that offers a post graduate (PG) year. Almost all boarding schools in New England offer some form of a PG year. Sometimes a post graduate program may have its own courses and tracks, like at Cheshire Academy, while other PG programs have no separate courses or activities.

Regardless of how your boarding school sets up the PG year program, it’s important to go in with a plan to get the most out of your extra year. Here are some simple tips to get the most out of your PG year: Continue reading Make the Most of a PG Year

The PG Year: It’s Not Just For Boys

Did you think a PG year was just for boys? Think again!

Did you think a PG year was just for boys? Think again! More girls are taking advantage of the postgraduate opportunity offered by private schools than ever before. The postgraduate year, also known as a PG year, has only been an option for students for about 50 years, and was originally established for boys who were in the military. Today, this once male-dominated program, is becoming a popular option for girls needing that extra something to help them better succeed in college, and set their sights a little higher.

Here are 10 reasons to consider a PG year:

1. Personal Growth

For students who need another year to mature, gain more confidence, improve study skills and time management, or simply just adjust to life away from home, a postgraduate program can be the perfect stepping stone to college. Private schools, particularly boarding schools, offer PG programs similar to a college experience, but still provide structure to aid in the transition; structured independence, if you will.

Boarding schools provide rich cultural experiences for students, and can be an excellent alternative to a gap year between high school and college.

2. Cultural Experiences

Some students opt for a postgraduate year over a gap year between high school and college. A PG program offers students a chance to attend school in a new state, a new country, maybe even a new continent. One postgraduate attending Cheshire Academy starting in fall 2014 said she wanted to have a chance to explore a new culture, learn about America and perfect her English speaking skills. She studied in her home-country of Germany for high school and plans to return home for college, but wanted to experience something different for a year. The PG program at Cheshire Academy was the perfect way to enhance her educational experience.

3. Improve your English Speaking Skills (or another language)

Want to improve your English? or Italian, French, Spanish, German … you name it. The immersion experience of attending school in another country is an ideal way for you to improve your mastery of the language in a safe and supportive environment. Many schools in the USA even offer TOEFL prep to help you get ready for college applications.

4. Academic Growth

Is your GPA is too low to make it into your dream college? Maybe you have a strong 3.5 but really want to be more competitive amongst your peers and are shooting for a 3.9 or 4.0. Maybe you have a strong academic record, but never got a chance to take those arts courses and electives that you just couldn’t fit into your busy schedule. Whatever your goals are, participating in a postgraduate program can be the perfect way to diversify your transcript, increase your GPA and make your college applications even stronger.

5. Improve your SAT scores

Private schools like Cheshire Academy offer SAT prep courses to help students better understand the SAT and learn test-taking strategies that could help them improve their scores. Not to mention rigorous academics that will definitely help prepare students for the SAT.

6. Competitive athletics

Be a part of competitive athletics during a PG year at a private school. Cheshire Academy’s softball team has won the WNEPSGSA Class C Championship two years in a row!

Another year on a competitive high school athletic team, in the right high school, can help you improve your game, gain more experience on the field (or in the pool, on the track, or wherever your sport is played). Plus, it can help you get noticed by college coaches, increasing your chances of being recruited to a top college athletics program.

7. Perfect your art portfolio

Enrich your art portfolio for college by taking additional art classes during a PG year. Photo by Miura Wiley ’18, Digital Photography Class at Cheshire Academy

 Maybe you’re an accomplished pianist, an aspiring illustrator, the Ansel Adams of digital photography, or maybe you’re just curious about ceramics. Private schools offer myriad arts electives to help you improve your skills, stretch your creative muscles and build your art portfolio for college. At Cheshire Academy, PG students have the option to participate in the Arts Major program, which helps a student focus on their artistic strengths and prepare a competitive portfolio for college.

8. Gain Leadership Experience

How involved were you in high school? Were you a class officer, club president, sports team captain? No? Well, a postgraduate year can give you a second chance at taking on a leadership role in school and gives you a valuable opportunity to get involved in activities you may have missed out on during your typical four years of high school. Pick the right private school, and you just might find yourself ready to take the lead on the student newspaper, literary magazine, winter sports club or the varsity soccer team!

9. Get into a better college

Did you know that colleges like to see a postgraduate year? It shows initiative and a desire to improve and prepare for college. Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Cheshire Academy Kristen Mariotti, who used to work in college admission, said she always looked at a postgraduate year as a positive. “Often students who have completed a PG year are more prepared for college life, both academically and socially. They are ready for the level of independence that comes with attending college.”

10. Get HELP getting into a better college

One thing that private schools offer that is a huge help for high school students is a college counseling office. These dedicated professionals are here to guide students through the college admission process. Schools like Cheshire Academy boast professionals with more than 30 years experience in college counseling and college athletics recruiting, so you know you’re getting the best help possible, and it’s just part of the package!

A PG Year at Private School may be right for you
Want to learn more about the postgraduate program at 
Cheshire Academy? Visit us online for details, 
or apply online today!

Should You Do A PG Year After High School?

Increasingly, students are considering delaying college by one year in order to attend a PG (post-graduate) year at a boarding school after completing High School. For many students, a PG year is a chance to improve their academic record, attract the attention of college athletic recruiters for a potential scholarship, seek entry into more competitive colleges, and gain greater independence and organizational skills prior to the four-year investment that college entails.

Should you do a PG year after High School? Consider the reasons below:

-You want to boost your GPA and bulk up on extracurricular activities.

-You didn’t get into your #1 college choice and want to apply again, strengthening your resume in the meanwhile.

-You’d like additional preparation—perhaps academic support to improve your math or writing skills, or even to challenge yourself further through AP or IB Program classes— prior to taking on college level courses.

-You aren’t exactly sure where you want to attend college or what you want to major in yet, and an extra year of study will help to sharpen your plans.

-You’d like to improve your study and organizational skills.

-You’d like more support researching and applying to colleges.

-You hope to be recruited and earn an athletic scholarship for college.

Do any of these statements apply to you? Adding one more year of high school to your transcript at a competitive boarding school may give you the edge you are looking for prior to attending college. College admission officers will undoubtedly note your willingness to pace yourself, to challenge yourself, and to improve and grow prior to making that next big four-year commitment.

At Cheshire Academy, we offer a comprehensive PG year where you will participate in athletics, have access to a wide range of classes, receive extensive college counseling and meet with college admission counselors on-campus throughout the fall. Our program offers a supportive academic environment with small class sizes and opportunities to challenge yourself in every subject. For more information, contact admissions or apply here.

6 Tips to Decide if a Postgraduate Year is Right for You


Are you a senior in high school considering the next step in your academic career? Choosing a postgraduate year after high school is becoming an increasingly popular option as students wish to take an additional year for growth (athletic and academic), figure out what they want to do with their lives, and perhaps submit a stronger college application before they make the big four-year leap.

Here are a few tips to decide if taking a “PG” year is right for you:

1. You want to add that extra “sparkle” to your high school transcript. College Admission Officers love to see a PG year on your transcript—it shows that you recognize your strengths and areas in need of improvement, and you take the time to go after what you want. Maybe that means taking on more extracurricular activities or adding a few IB Program courses to your resume. Many students rush off to college because that is what is expected of them immediately after 12th grade—but sometimes, taking one more year to develop the skills necessary for success at the next level can be a life-changing decision. After all—‘prep’ school is short for college preparatory

2. You want to chase your dreams—starting with your dream college. Really hoping to get noticed by a certain athletic recruiter, but your team didn’t draw the attention you were looking for last fall? Perhaps you didn’t get into that ‘reach’ school you’ve had your heart set on since freshman year? Do you need time to develop your voice and get into a top-notch school of music? That extra year—and attention—as a PG student can really come in handy.

3. You’d like a year of additional support to bolster your academic record. Maybe high school was a little bit of a blur at times, and you wish you had focused on your studies a little more during the spring of 10th grade (or 11th…or 12th.) A PG year can boost your GPA and (importantly) give you the strong foundational knowledge and academic support you need to jump right into freshman year of college.

4. You’d just like a little extra time to figure out your next (life-changing) move. College is 4 years—quite a long time (and a lot of money) to spend in one place. A PG year can act as the perfect gap-year to slow down, develop your interests and talents, and think about what you might want to major in and the potential career field it could lead you to. Considering most college students change majors at least a dozen times, wouldn’t it be great to go into college knowing what you want to get out of it?

5. You’d honestly like to mature a little more and bolster organization and study skills. No shame in admitting what is probably true for most high school seniors! A PG year will focus on preparing you for college life—time management, independence, note taking, independent research, study skills, and crafting the perfect essay.

6. You’d like more college counseling and application preparation. You kind of threw together your college application in the fall (hey, you were busy!) and now you realize that the process probably should have taken more research, writing, and school visits. Our college counseling office exists solely to help you figure out what the best match would be for your education, and then provide you will the resources and tools necessary to apply!

At Cheshire Academy, we offer a comprehensive postgraduate year where you will participate in athletics, have access to a wide range of classes, receive extensive college counseling and meet with college admission counselors on-campus throughout the fall. Our program offers a supportive academic environment with small class sizes and opportunities to challenge yourself in every subject. For more information, contact our admission office at 203-439-7250  or apply here.