Military schools are a cross between boot camps and boarding schools. The discipline is very strict and controlled, and a strong emphasis is placed on education. Students, also called cadets, are put through military exercises and rigorous military training.
Military Schools for Boys
These schools typically cater to boys who lack discipline or structure in their daily lives. Some of the benefits of attending a military school include the emphasis on physical fitness, strict and rigorous academic programs, a highly-structured environment and a positive peer atmosphere enforced through an honor code.
Army and Navy Academy
Army and Navy Academy, located in San Diego, CA, was founded in 1910 and has a rich history of providing a structured education for its students. Students face high expectations and follow a rigorous schedule that includes daily room inspections, athletics, rigorous coursework and dedicated study and counseling time. With a 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio, students receive personalized instruction in the classroom and have the opportunity to take multiple AP courses and creative courses in art and music. The Leadership Education Training (LET) program allows prepares cadets to develop leadership skills. The school is open to boys in seventh through 12th grade. Yearly tuition is approximately $34,000 with additional costs for books and uniforms.
Marine Military Academy
This Harlingen, TX military academy caters to boys in eighth through 12th grade. With nearly 50 years of experience, the school has a proven record of providing successful education for its students. In addition to taking classes with a 12 to 1 student-teacher ratio, students have the opportunity to participate in individual and team sports and receive training related to time management and critical thinking. Tuition for Marine Military Academy is around $35,000 a year, which includes tuition, room and board and uniforms.
Fork Union Military Academy
Located in Fork Union, VA, Fork Union Military Academy offers a military school focused on developing Christian values and leadership skills in boys from sixth through 12th grade. Along with a rigorous academic curriculum, cadets have the opportunity to participate in Bible study groups, intramural and team sports or participate in one of the school's many extracurricular activities, including the debate, chess, woodworking and film and video clubs. Tuition is approximately $31,000 a year, and multiple financial assistance options are available.
Missouri Military Academy
At Missouri Military Academy, located in Mexico, MO, 100 percent of graduates attend college. The school focuses on academics, self-discipline and character development while challenging cadets to reach their potential. Young men in sixth grade through 12th grade are eligible to enroll in the academy which has provided education to students from all 50 states and over 30 different countries. Tuition, room and board and other fees fall lower end of military schools at just under $30,000 a year.
Coed Military Schools
These schools cater their program to accommodate girls as well as boys. Some of these schools have a separate section for the girls where they take a more nurturing approach in education and activities.
Oak Ridge Military Academy
Oak Ridge Military Academy caters to girls and boys in grades seven through twelve. The school is located in Oak Ridge, NC and was founded in 1652, making it the second oldest military school in the United States. While the school is coed, boys and girls participate in separate programs. Academically, the school offers an 11 to 1 student-teacher ratio. Cadets may also participate in JROTC and a variety of athletic programs outside of the classroom. Tuition and fees cost approximately $27,000 a year.
Culver Academy, located in Culver, IN, is grouped into two different schools: Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy. Both academies focus on rigorous curriculum, discipline and leadership, but the girls academy takes a more nurturing approach than the style of the all male military academy. As cadets, students are given the opportunity to take on leadership positions and demonstrate skills to earn ranks and be promoted within the school's structure. Cadets also face daily room inspections and are required to participate in a daily athletic activity. Tuition and fees cost $38,000 a year along with an additional $2,000 for uniforms.
Wentworth Military Academy
Wentworth Military Academy offers a four-year military style high school for boys and girls. The school is located in Lexington, MO and is also connected with Wentworth College, a two-year military college. Students take seven classes a day which contain no more than 12 students each and participate in a two-hour daily study period. Along with the academic focus, students may choose to participate in JROTC or one of the school's many groups and clubs. Tuition to Wentworth Military Academy is approximately $30,000 a year.
Massanutten Military Academy
Located in Woodstock, VA, Massanutten Military Academy was established in 1899 and educates boys and girls in grades seven through twelve. Students have the opportunity to earn a standard high school diploma or a college preparatory diploma. They may also participate in the school's JROTC program to earn high school credit. Aside from the academic curriculum, students have multiple athletic and artistic opportunities available to them. Tuition costs approximately $29,000 a year, with an additional $3,000 required for books and uniforms. Returning students pay a discounted rate.
Military School Curriculum
In most cases, military schools are not linked to any of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are strictly pre-collegiate schools and serve only middle- and high-school students. An adolescent receives a challenging education -- similar to a gifted program at a public high school -- but in a very structured atmosphere. Many have strong athletic programs, while others are geared at preparing students to further their education at a military academy. Physical activities required include:
- Survival skills
- Obstacle courses
- Military-style parades
To learn more about military schools or discover more military school options, the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States offers advice on how to choose a military school and offers a comprehensive list of potential military schools for your child. Keep in mind that military school may not be the option for all children. Look at your child's individual needs before deciding whether the structure and rigor of a military school will provide the help and support your teen needs or if a treatment center or other type of boarding school will be a better option.