Portsmouth Abbey School

Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA view map
Co-Ed, Roman Catholic

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Portsmouth Abbey School is the nation's leading Catholic Benedictine coeducational boarding school. The School was founded in 1926 by Father Hugh Diman, a Benedictine monk and our first Headmaster. As part of the Benedictine tradition, we approach education, spirituality, athletics, and the arts in a balanced fashion, and that balance is at the heart of the way we live and learn. Portsmouth Abbey School is intellectually challenging and a friendly, safe, and nurturing place to go to school. Located near Newport, Rhode Island, the campus sits on 500 acres bordered by Narragansett Bay and the Carnegie Abbey Club. This location provides a safe environment for 350 students in grades 9-12. It has 36 athletic teams, diverse community service programs, and extraordinary golf, sailing, squash, equestrian, and fitness facilities.

285 Cory's Lane, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA 02871

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Director of Admission: Meghan Fonts
Admissions Phone:401-643-1248Fax:401-643-1355
Email: admissions@portsmouthabbey.org Website: www.portsmouthabbey.org

  • Application Deadline: January 31
  • Application Fee: $60
  • International Application Fee: $100
  • Accept TABS Admission Application: No
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  • Founded: 1926
  • Campus Size: 525 acres
  • Grades Offered: 9th-12th
  • Accredited by: NEASC
Student Body
Grades 9th-12th
Grades 9th-12th
Girls     105 55 160
Boys     145 64 209
Total     250 119 369

Tuition and Financial Aid
  • 7-Day Boarding: $50,800
  • 5-Day Boarding: N/A
  • Day Tuition Fee: $34,000
  • Payment Plans: Offered
  • Need-Based Aid: Offered
  • Students Receiving Aid: 36.00%
  • Average Awarded: $29,350
School Finances
  • Merit Scholarships: Offered
  • Students Receiving Merit Scholarships: 6.00%
  • Average Merit Scholarship: $19,500
  • Current Endowment: $41,000,000
  • Per Student Endowment: $0

Department Director: Kale Zelden

Average Class Size: 12

Full Time Teachers: 50

Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 46.00%

Student/Teacher Ratio: 7/1

Saturday Classes: Yes

Summer Programs Offered: Offered

Number of AP Courses Offered: 17

Advanced/Enrichment Programs
  • AP Courses
Support Programs
  • College Counseling
  • Evening Study Assistance
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Study Skills Assistance
  • Technology Center
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • European History
  • Medieval History
  • United States History
  • World History; Irish History Seminar; Political Sc
Foreign Languages:
  • Chinese-Mandarin
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Greek
  • Latin
  • Theology
  • Faith and Church; Faith and Life
Humanities/Social Sciences:
  • Economics
  • Humanities
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Physics
  • Green Chemistry
  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Honors Math
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
Computer Studies:
  • Computer Science
  • Music Theory
  • Orchestra
Performing/Visual Arts:
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Ceramics
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Photography
  • Public Speaking
  • Drama Workshop
Special Programs:
  • Community Service
  • Independent Study
Distinctive or New Programs:

AP Courses Available:
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science AB
  • English Literature
  • European History
  • French Language
  • Latin Literature
  • Latin: Vergil
  • Physics B
  • Physics C
  • Spanish Language
  • Statistics
  • US History

Department Director: Aileen Baker

Dorm Life

Number of Dorms: 8

Average Students Per Dorm: 30

No. of Girls Dorms: 4

No. of Boys Dorms: 4

Dorm Amenities:
Laundry Facilities 
Wireless Internet 
Vending Machines 
Television in each Common Room 

Dress Code: Formal

Student Life


  • Baseball field(s)
  • Basketball court(s)
  • Fitness Center
  • Technology Center
  • Football field
  • Indoor basketball court(s)
  • Squash Center

Clubs and Organizations

  • Amnesty International
  • Asian Club
  • Community Service
  • Debate Club
  • Diversity Club
  • Dorm Proctors
  • Drama Club
  • Environmental Club
  • Foreign Language Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Honor Council
  • Horseback Riding
  • International Clubs
  • Literary Magazine
  • Math Club
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • National Honor Society
  • Newspaper
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Photography
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Sailing Club
  • Student Activities
  • Student Government
  • Student Publications
  • Student Radio Station
  • SADD
  • Theater
  • Yearbook
  • Young Democrats
  • Young Republicans
  • Radio Station

Arts Department Director: Jay Bragan

Athletics Department Director: Al Brown

  • A Cappella Group
  • Art Club
  • Chamber Choir
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Choral Music
  • Dance
  • Drama Club
  • Rock Band
  • String Ensemble
  • Tech Crew
  • Theater
Interscholastic Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Wrestling
Recreational Sports
  • Dance
  • Equestrian
  • Weight Lifting

Department Director: Mary McDonald

College Information

Percentage of Graduates Who Attend College: 100.00%

Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:

Amherst College
Boston College
Brown University
Colby College
College of the Holy Cross
Columbia University
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Duke University
Georgetown University
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Princeton University
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
University of Notre Dame
Wesleyan University
Williams College
Yale University

Middle Percentile of SAT Scores

25th percentile 75th percentile
Critical Reading 540 660
Mathematics 540 680
Writing 540 670

Notable Alumni

Christopher Buckley (Class of 1970) American political satirist, son of William F. Buckley Jr.. Graduated Yale, Skull and Bones member. Once managing editor of Esquire magazine, later chief speechwriter to Vice President George H. W. Bush. Author of Thank You for Smoking (Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2006), The White House Mess, and Florence of Arabia.

Terrence F. McGuirk (Class of 1969) Former Vice Chairman of Turner Broadcasting; longtime right hand man of Ted Turner; Currently managing remaining sports teams owned by Time Warner – including Atlanta Braves.

John Pepper (Class of 1956) Former Chairman, CEO and President Proctor & Gamble Corp.; Currently Vice president for Administration & Finance at Yale University

John Gregory Dunne (Class of ) Novelist, screenwriter, and literary critic. Husband of Joan Didion, younger brother of Dominick Dunne

Peter M. Flanigan (Class of 1941) former Chief Domestics Policy advisor to President Nixon

Benedict Fitzgerald (Class of 1967) American screenwriter. Son of Latin and Greek translator Robert Fitzgerald. Co-wrote the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin screenplay for The Passion of the Christ (2004) with Mel Gibson. Also Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1996) and Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood (1979).

E. J. Dionne (Class of 1969) author, political commentator, Washington Post columnist, Fellow at the Brookings Institute

Hugh Tovar (Class of 1941) Director of Special Ops for the CIA during the Vietnam War

Charlie Day (Class of 1994) Actor, known for the role of Charlie Kelly on FX's network It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, for which he is also a writer and executive producer.

Robert Merrick (Class of 1989) Silver medalist in sailing at the 2000 Olympics

Quotes from Alumni

Summary: The Portsmouth Abbey Summer Program will provide your child with a month full of fun experiences, new friends, and academic skills, all while living on our beautiful campus on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. Beyond traditional courses that emphasize reading, writing and public speaking, students may participate in hands-on enrichment activities including Environmental and Marine Sciences and Landscape Painting. Whether in seminars, exploring marine environments, or trying new painting techniques, students will explore subjects with instructors who are passionate about what they do and who will share that enthusiasm with your child. Sail a boat in Newport...visit Rhode Island's world-class beaches...walk the historic Freedom Trail in Boston...meet students from around the world...feast on a real New England clambake in Martha's Vineyard...and ride the roller coaster at Six Flags...all while discovering the joy of learning in the classroom and through enrichment activities. At the Abbey's Summer Program, learning has never been so much fun!

Department Director: Tim Seeley

Summer Program

July 01, 2012 to July 28, 2012

Whether in seminars, exploring marine environments, sailing a boat in Newport, walking the historic Freedom Trail in Boston, or feasting on a real New England clam bake in Martha's Vineyard, participants will delve into subjects and activities with instructors who are passionate about what they do.

Registration Deadline: June 01, 2012
Tuition: $6,100
Financial Aid Available:  Yes
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