Trying to find a military middle school near you? In this article, we will share specific information about military schools for middle schoolers and provide resources on how to find the best military school for your kids.
First, let’s begin with an overview of military schools in the U.S. and then turn our attention to some resources to find the best military school for your middle schooler. As a side note, military schools for middle schoolers may also fall under classifications for “junior boarding schools” or “private middle schools.”
- Benefits of military middle schools – Finding a military school can be ideal for your pre-teen or teen, if you want the following:
- Improve grades, study habits, and receive academic support
- Establish good character through a core value system
- Acquire leadership, teamwork and management skills
- Acquire good etiquette, manners, and respectfulness
- Learn time management, organization, and prioritization
- Become more independent, resilient, and self-disciplined
- Military schools vs. military academies – Many military schools use the “academy” as part of their brand. For example, the following schools use “academy” vs. “school” in their name (e.g.) Army and Navy Academy (CA), New York Military Academy (NY), and Marine Military Academy (TX). Over the years, some military schools have adjusted their brand and may not even include “military” (e.g. Culver Academies (IN), St. Catherine’s Academy (CA), and Riverside Preparatory Academy (GA).
- Denominational vs. non denominational – If a specific religious focus is important to you, then make sure you keep this in mind as you go through lists of military schools. You will find an emphasis on values at all military schools, but there are some secondary military schools with a religious focus (e.g. Catholic, Baptist, and Christian). A case in point is La Salle Institute (NY), an all-boys Catholic school.
- Boarding schools vs. day schools – Private military schools are predominantly boarding schools with dorms, but most offer a day (nonresidential ) option. A military boarding school with a day program may not be available in your local area, so consider all the benefits of dorm life before you choose a day vs. boarding school.
- Charter military schools vs. private schools – As you check out military schools, think about whether you are seeking a public (free military school)) or whether you are open to a private school experience. There are not many public / charter military schools in the U.S., so if possible be open to private military schools. Private military schools do charge tuition and most are nonprofits. Tuition covers their basic operating costs, but most offer financial aid, loans, scholarships or merit awards, and payment plans.
- JROTC vs. ROTC programs – To avoid confusion, ROTC is short for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. This is a military training program for students in college or university. In contrast, the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is a leadership program for secondary school students. JROTC does not promote enlistment in the military and there is no service requirement. Most military schools allow middle school cadets to participate in their leadership program and 8th graders may be eligible to participate in Leadership Education Training (LET 1).
Finding a Military Middle School Near Me
- Wikipedia List of Military Schools – For a complete list of military schools near you, we recommend viewing this overview list on Wikipedia. Not only do they list private college prep military schools in the U.S., they also list the federal service academies (West Point, Annapolis, et al.), senior military colleges, state-supported maritime colleges and universities, military junior colleges, and graduate schools.
- School Directories – Military schools are listed on specific educational websites. These private school websites provide key information on each school. You will find an overview of each private school, and on some sites, you can even compare up to three schools at a glance. These sites include: Boarding School Review, Private School Review, Niche, Great Schools, and Boardingschool.com.
- Military Association Website – If you think your teen is interested in attending a military school for middle school and high school and then to a military college or university, check out AMCSUS.org. As Wikipedia notes, “The Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States is a nonprofit service organization of schools with military programs approved by the Department of Defense and which maintain good standing in their regional accrediting organizations.”
- School Websites – Once you have narrowed down some military middle schools, you can then check out each school’s website. Before you do that, try to narrow your search based on preferences.
- Coed or Single Gender – For example: if you are seeking an all-boys school in California, check out Army and Navy Academy (grades 7-12) or for younger boys, St. Catherine’s Academy (grades K-8).
- Middle School and High School – Bear in mind that some military schools are only for high school (grades 9-12). However, many military schools do offer both a middle school and high school education for grades 7-12. The list includes, but is not limited to the following: Army and Navy Academy, Hargrave Military Academy, Fork Union Military Academy, New York Military Academy, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Culver Academies, and Missouri Military Academy.
- Elementary Military Schools – There are some K-12 military schools, but from our research, they fall under public charter schools and do not offer boarding. One of the only private military schools for younger grades is St. Catherine’s Academy, an all-boys school for grades Kindergarten–8th. Some students attend St. Catherine’s in Orange County and then have transitioned to Army and Navy Academy in San Diego County for high school (grades 9-12).
- Best Military Schools in the U.S. – If you want to view a short list of the best military schools, check out school profiles on boardingschool.com
As you do your research, follow a simple process by checking the private school resources we have provided. Once you have a few military schools in mind, reach out to the Admission Office at each school, ask questions, apply online and schedule a campus tour.
Prior to a campus visit, make sure you review the military school website, speak with an admission counselor, fill out request info and/or online application forms, and submit the required documentation. Finding the right military middle school can be a very wise decision and need not be overwhelming.