About New England Prep School Hockey
New England Prep School Hockey is one of the best school sponsored hockey leagues in North America. It has a long and rich history of producing student athletes who have gone on to play at the NCAA and Olympic levels
On the US Gold Medal Olympic team, 5 players had prep hockey roots. Kendall Coyne (Loomis/Berkshire), Cayla Barnes (New Hampton), Meghan Duggan (Cushing), Kacey Bellamy (Berkshire) and Hillary Knight (Choate). Duggan was the captain of the team and Bellamy the alternate captain.
The first 2 Patty Kazmaier award winners for the top female college hockey player in the country went to former prep players in 1998 and 1999 and a total of 7 have won it.
- Brandy Fischer (Governors) – 1998
- Alison Mleczko (Taft) – 1999
- Angela Ruggiero (Choate) – 2004
- Julie Chu (Choate/Northwood) – 2007
- Sarah Vaillancourt (Pomfret) – 2008
- Alex Carpenter (Governors) – 2015
- Kendall Coyne (Loomis / Berkshire) – 2017
The league leverages top quality academics with one of the most competitive hockey environments in the US/CAN. Teams play between 25-30 games per season and benefit by a 2:1 practice to game ratio. Most teams practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with games on Wednesday and Saturday.
Boarding vs. Day School
The main difference here is where the student sleeps. Boarding schools typically have a high percentage of their student body living on campus housing, typically dorms. Day Schools have most of their students living from home and going to the school during the day.
Every School has its own fees whether its tuition or room and board, but the schools vary in what they offer for scholarship. Parents applying for financial aid will fill out the SSS form and that will be standard from school to school. However, every school prioritizes different values and has scholarship money available for both financial aid and non-financial aid candidates. Do NOT pass on the Prep School application process over the price before speaking with a school’s admissions office.
NEPSHIA Schools are located throughout New England and Eastern New York. Some of these schools are located in small rural towns while other are in larger cities.
Size of School
Prep School hockey are separated into 2 divisions and they are loosely based on the size of the female student body in the school.
Co-Ed vs. Single Gender
Most boarding schools are co-ed but there are some for only girls and some for only boys.
Like the college application process, each school has its own unique criteria for accepting students. Some schools place a higher importance on GPA or SAT scores or extracurricular activities. Some schools are more selective than others and therefore the student athletes should check with the schools admissions office to obtain their acceptance rates and requirements.
Myths About Prep School Hockey
Prep School Hockey is Too Expensive
Explanation: Prep Schools spend millions upon millions of dollars every year on scholarships for their students to be able to attract a diverse group of players from different socio-economic backgrounds and from all over the world. Many of these boarding schools will reward families with their full financial need according to FASFA and even help supplement that with scholarships. There are countless examples where players at prep school are paying less to attend that school and play hockey than the Midget AAA player despite there being a big difference in the sticker price of prep school versus Midget AAA.
Prep School hockey doesn’t play enough games
Prep Hockey Players are playing the same number of games as NCAA players. They are in a development focused model where there are no trades and the student athlete is practicing 2x as much as they are playing in games. This is what USA Hockey deems as the correct balance of practice to games ratio. Prep School teams typically practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with games on Wednesday and Saturday.
How do I apply to boarding schools?
Every boarding school is different but similar to the college process students will have to take standardized tests (SSAT) and fill out an application. There are several resources to help parents and students navigate through the prep application process from the scheduling of the SSAT to Common Applications to Individual School Applications to timelines to give current teachers recommendation forms to deadlines for applications.
The process should typically start in September and October. The application process from filling out the applications to essays to getting teacher recommendations goes through November and December. Each school will have its own due date for applications but most fall sometime in mid-January and some as late as February.
Students will receive acceptance letters in early March. They should also receive their financial aid and scholarship rewards as well for those who qualify.
These are the typical time-tables but for some schools these are not in concrete. There are times where schools offer excellent packages to students they want and for whatever reason that student athlete does not come. In that scenario the prep coach may have room for another player and may have some scholarship funds available later in the process. Those situations can get resolved in the spring and some even go into the summer.