Ten completely free boarding schools for kids from low-income families are discussed here. Your research on the Internet, phone calls to boarding schools, and conversations with their admissions officers may have led you to the conclusion that sending your child to one is in his or her best educational and developmental interests.
Unfortunately, most of the boarding schools you’ve looked into are too expensive for your family right now. Don’t stress; we’ve already completed the task.
The boarding schools in this article do not charge students’ families any money to attend.
Let’s quickly go over some essential information you won’t want to overlook, beginning with the steps necessary to enroll your child in a prestigious, tuition-free boarding school.
Top free boarding schools for low income families
Milton Hershey School
To provide orphaned and disadvantaged children with a better education and a fair shot at a successful future, Milton and Catherine Hershey opened the free boarding school Milton Hershey School in 1909. If you come from a low-income family, this is one of the best free boarding schools in the country. The school’s age range for students is four to sixteen. Anyone who meets the requirements receives free housing, food, education, medical, dental, and clothing. They have a very modern campus. Ten to twelve families house students under the watchful eye of a houseparent pair. Milton Hershey School is a coed high school located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Preference is given to students living in the state of Pennsylvania.
Scotland School for Veterans Children
Scotland School for Veterans Children is a free private boarding school located in the Pennsylvania town of Scotland. The program accepts children of active duty and veteran U.S. military personnel. Scotland is a coed high school that accepts students in grades 3 through 12. In order to enter Scotland, a child must be of sufficient mental maturity to attend school and eager to do so. Scotland’s school for children of veterans is one of the best free boarding schools in the country, ranking among the top 15.
Their legal guardian needed to be a permanent resident of the United States for at least three years before they could be admitted. One of Scotland’s goals is to ensure that all of the country’s children have the opportunity to realize their full potential and become productive, responsible adults.
Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
Eagle Rock School is an alternative boarding school for students ages 15–17 who do not intend to continue their formal education. The Eagle Rock in Estes Park, Colorado, is sponsored by a branch of the American Honda Motor Company. The school attracts young people who have made poor choices but are committed to making amends and improving their lives.
Eagle Rock is open all year and encourages young people to see their worth and contribute to the community. To achieve this, it makes use of service, standards, experiential learning, and a natural setting. Another one of the best free boarding schools in America, this one caters to students from low-income families.
Burr and Burton Academy
Burr and Burton Academy accepts international students as well as native students from the United States. Those from outside the United States are welcome to apply to Burr and Burton Academy through the international program; however, they will be expected to cover the cost of attendance. The academy is regarded as one of the best free boarding schools for students from low-income families.
In addition, students from certain geographic areas (called “Sending areas”) are prioritized for admission to the university. Cities that serve as “sending sites” approve and pay for the school’s tuition with public school funds on an annual basis.
North Carolina School Of The Arts
North Carolina School of the Arts comes in at number three on our list of free boarding schools for families with limited financial means.
The high school was founded in 1963 and was the first public arts conservatory in the United States. There are a total of eight dorm rooms, two of which are designated for high school students and six for college students. A university department offers post-secondary education to both undergraduates and graduates.
SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities
There are many free boarding schools for families in need, and this one is the fourth on our list. To be accepted into this high school program, you must first go through the school’s audition and application process for your chosen discipline in the school year prior to your enrollment.
Graduates who meet the academic and training requirements for the pre-professional arts receive a scholars diploma in addition to their regular high school diploma. SCGSAH does not charge tuition for the excellent arts education it provides its students.
Mississippi School of the Arts
The Mississippi School of the Arts is ranked #7 among all the free boarding schools available to students from low-income families.
This is a secondary school for students in grades 11 and 12, and it provides students with specialized education in the arts (such as theater, visual art, literature, music, etc.). At Mississippi School of the Arts, the arts and humanities take center stage in the classroom. However, students also learn important scientific concepts in courses like mathematics and introductory science.
The SEED School Of Maryland
Those from low-income families as well as those from more affluent backgrounds are not excluded from attending this boarding school because of the lack of tuition. The Baltimore school’s mission is to provide an exceptional education and residential environment that will help students succeed in high school and go on to college.
Oakdale Christian Academy
Situated on a 132-acre campus in Jackson, Kentucky, Oakdale Christian Academy is a Christ-centered, coed boarding school for students in grades 7 through 12. It’s a cheap option for most families, with an annual enrollment of about 60 students, and it’s completely free for those coming from low-income backgrounds. Students represent 20 different states and 8 different countries, creating a culturally rich and globally aware learning community.
Oakdale Christian Academy is distinguished as a high school with a 100% acceptance rate to college thanks to its rigorous academic program based on a traditional college preparatory curriculum. Low-income families looking to enroll their children in a Christian boarding school should prioritize this institution.
Alabama School of Fine Arts
And finally, the Alabama School of Fine Arts rounds out our list of free boarding schools for families with limited financial resources. The middle and high school can be found in Birmingham, Alabama, and they welcome students in grades 7 through 12. Students at this school are not only exposed to a curriculum designed to help them reach their full artistic potential, but also one that will set them up for success at any four-year institution and grant them access to a more prestigious diploma.
The Groton School can be found in the small Massachusetts town of the same name. Endicott Peabody, who was also the school’s first headmaster, established the institution in 1884. It’s still one of the country’s oldest boarding schools.
The goal of the school is to encourage students to be humble about their achievements and to always be looking for ways to improve academically. Groton School strives to welcome students from a variety of economic and social backgrounds.
It is necessary for families to submit tax returns and other financial information in addition to the Groton School’s financial aid application in order to be considered for financial aid.
We suggest getting in touch with the Groton School’s financial aid office if you have any specific questions about financial aid. You can get more information and help applying for financial aid from them.
Deerfield Academy is an independent, nondenominational secondary school that accepts both boarders and day students in grades 9 through 12. It can be found in the Massachusetts town of Deerfield. It was founded in 1797, making it one of the United States’ oldest secondary schools.
Deerfield, like Choate Rosemary Hall, requires families applying for financial aid to submit the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) along with other financial documentation like tax returns. The financial aid committee at the school will then evaluate the application and award the student with the appropriate amount of financial aid. In any case, the school’s website features a helpful estimator tool that can tell you roughly how much financial aid you can expect to receive based on your family’s annual income if you decide to apply for such aid.
The Webb Schools
The Webb Schools were established by Thompson Webb and are located in Claremont, California, serving students in grades 9 through 12. California’s Webb School for boys first opened in 1922, while the Vivian Webb School for girls did not debut until 1981.
The Webb Schools are a group of independent, nonsectarian, coeducational boarding and day schools in the Boston area. Its stated mission is to provide a rigorous Christian-based education to prepare students for lives of integrity and service in the world.
A student’s financial need, as determined by an application for financial aid, determines the amount of aid they receive. In 2022-23, Webb provided need-based aid totaling $6 million to 33% of families. Awards ranged from a few thousand dollars to 100% of tuition.
If a family can show financial need, they will be eligible for financial aid from Webb Schools. When applying for financial aid at the Webb Schools, your information will be safely stored with the third-party service Clarity. Assets, income, expenses, and debts are all areas where information is needed.
To get rolling, make an account at the Financial Aid Application. Applying usually takes less than 30 minutes. The Clarity app can be completed on the go with any modern mobile device. You can stop and resume where you left off at any time. For any questions you may have while filling out the application, you can email [email protected] in either English or Spanish.
Chinquapin Preparatory School
The sixth through twelfth grade students at Chinquapin Preparatory School are all low-income. This institution is well-known in the Greater Houston area as a private college preparatory school serving students from low-income families.
All students at this institution are required to complete two annual community service projects and two half-credit courses in the fine arts. Scholarships covering 97% of students’ tuition costs greatly ease the financial burden of higher education.
Is it good to send your child to a boarding school?
Your child’s unique personality and developmental needs will determine the best educational path forward. Some children may do well at boarding schools, but others may struggle.
Are there free boarding schools in the US?
Yes. The schools we’ve mentioned above include some free American boarding schools. Free boarding schools exist, but some may have strict requirements for admission, and others may only accept students of a certain ethnic background.
What are the disadvantages of sending my kid to a boarding school?
Although there are numerous benefits to attending a boarding school rather than staying in the regular school setting, parents and students should also weigh the disadvantages. To begin, there is the issue of student safety, about which many parents have doubts.
In addition, being away from home for an extended period of time can cause children to experience homesickness, which may alter their relationships with their families upon their return.
How do I apply to a boarding school for low-income families?
To apply to a boarding school that accepts students from low-income families, you will likely need to fill out an application and provide supporting documentation. Because enrollment at these institutions may be competitive, prospective students should begin the application process as soon as possible.
If you come from a low-income family, the boarding school is a great option. The school provides a safe environment where students can learn and grow as well as socialize with others. Instead of paying for public or private school tuition for your child, you could enroll them in a boarding school and save both time and money.