SHADY SIDE ACADEMY
For nearly 150 years, Shady Side Academy has provided one of the best private independent primary educational options not just in Pittsburgh, but in the country. These days, its reach is even broader, boasting a current enrollment that includes 1,035 students from nine states and nine countries.
And if those students are interested in science—they’ve come to the right place, because in May, the venerable institution opened its newest facility: the $11-million, state-of-the-art McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation.
As Communications Director Jen Roupe explained, when they say state-of-the-art, they are not exaggerating. This building houses equipment that some colleges don’t have. Mass spectrometer? Got it; Gas chromatograph? Not a problem. 3D printers? Got them, too.
“We also have a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance imaging machine, PCR genetic sequencing equipment, and a scanning electron microscope,” she said. “It’s been transformational. And the ‘old’ science space is being turned into a tech hub with robotics and computer labs. It’s all very exciting.”
Shady Side offers a holistically balanced educational experience designed to nurture academic, physical and emotional development. Athletically, the school fields 30 varsity teams in 17 sports. Its arts curriculum is intertwined through all levels of learning with 100 percent participation in the visual and performing arts.
MICHAEL “DINO” TOMLIN OF SHADY SIDE ACADEMY won the 300-meter hurdles.
With its first-class facilities and four campuses spread across 189 acres, Shady Side looks more like a small private college than a K-12. And because it is a boarding school, as well as daily-attendance academy, offering a traditional liberal-arts, college preparatory curriculum, it feels like a college—and it costs like one.
While tuition can reach more than $30,000 per year for senior school students, Shady Side offers an array of financial services including merit scholarships, alumni tuition grants and need-based financial aid. Overall, Roupe said, 30 percent of the school’s students receive some form of financial aid.
Shady Side is also one of the founding private school members of FAME, the Fund for the Advancement of Minorities through Education, which provides need-based scholarships to African American students who would like to attend one of its participating independent schools. During the 2017-2018 school year, 15 FAME scholars were enrolled at Shady Side.
“We are proud to be one of the founding members of FAME,” said Roupe. “Our FAME scholars add tremendously to our community.”
The school is also proud of its alumni, most of whom have contributed significantly to the current $31-million capital campaign. Among those in Shady Side’s 7,000-member strong alumni association are a Nobel Prize-winning doctor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a Tony Award-winning actor, a U.S. Cabinet secretary and a NASA astronaut. The school also boasts a 100-percent college matriculation rate.
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