Cotter Schools provides a campus where boarding students in grades 9-12 spend the year living in Loretto Hall, with the comforts of a home away from home. The boarding environment provides a unique opportunity for young men and women to develop both independence and interpersonal skills in a healthy and caring living community. As students learn to balance school work with their personal lives, they have the opportunity to make friends from the U.S. and around the world.

Our boarding school program has grown to include more than 80 students each year from across the globe. Boarding life is enriched by the diversity and unique talents our students bring to our campus community.

Cotter Connect Academy

Orientation & English Program for New International Students

Cotter Connect Academy (CCA) is program for international students to help the transition into American high school life while building confidence in speaking English. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with American culture, Cotter Schools and the Winona area before the school year begins. The Academy is structured as classroom instruction in the mornings with planned activities in the afternoons. International students will work on their English language skills while establishing relationships with American Cotter students who will be serving as language partners. We ensure students feel comfortable in their new home through this program!

Wrap-up of our 2016 Cotter Connect Academy

Wrap-up of our 2015 Cotter Connect Academy

Information about Living on Campus can be found here for those who are boarding or considering boarding at Cotter Schools.

Airports & Travel Information

We provide free airport pick-up services from the LSE (Lacrosse) and RST (Rodchester) airports. Most students will travel through ORD (Chicago), DTW (Detroit) or MSP (Minneapolis) airports on connecting flights.

Students who will be traveling will be required to complete this travel form. Please include Name, Airport, Flight Number, and Flight Time, along with any additional information.


Winona is a small, safe, and naturally beautiful city with 30,000 people, the Mississippi River and two universities. It is the perfect place to study! We have four distinct seasons allowing for crisp Autumn days, skiing and snowboarding in the Winter, active exploration in Spring, and warm Summer days to relax.


Students live in a SAFE modern dormitory, with a caring staff to keep students safe and healthy. Older students in grade 12 and 11 have a single room, with younger students having a maximum of two students per room.

Click here to learn more about our dormitory

loretto hall boarding residence center at cotter schools

English as a Second Language

We offer a complete ESL program at no additional charge to students. Please see our English test admission requirements here.


Students receive the F1 student visa. A $3000 deposit is required and is 100% refundable if the visa interview fails. Find out more information about the visa application process here.

University Placement

Top placements include:

  • Boston University
  • California Berkeley
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell
  • Emory
  • Georgetown
  • Georgia Tech
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Northwestern
  • Notre Dame
  • NYU
  • Penn State
  • Pepperdine
  • Purdue
  • Saint John's
  • UCLA
  • University of Chicago
  • USC
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin (Madison)
  • And moreā€¦

Activities & Social Events

Boardings students participate in all co-curricular activities and are free to invite friends to their home in the dorm. In return, many boarding students are frequently invited to be guests in the homes of their day student friends. The small community setting also provides boarding students with opportunities to interact with local families who welcome the students into their homes for visits, holidays, and special events throughout the school year.

Weekends are filled with activities and special events. Students with permission to leave campus have access to a dorm driver so they can go to a movie, go shopping or explore the area. From activities, sports and school work to free time and fun in the dorm, discover learning and living at Cotter Schools.

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