Military school is an outstanding alternative for students for a variety of reasons.
These types of institutions can help correct troubled youth, and push students academically so they’ll get noticed by prestigious colleges.
Unfortunately, military prep school is traditionally very expensive, which makes finding an affordable option all the more important.
Regardless of your intention, finding a free military school is possible.
Continue reading to learn more about public military prep schools for boys and girls, available grants and scholarships, as well as other ways to save through tuition assistance.
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Option #1 – Search for a Free Military School Near You
Military prep schools can serve many different functions.
The most prestigious institutions specialize in offering students an advanced education while introducing cadets to military training.
Meanwhile, other institutions represent more alternatives to harsher juvenile corrective programs.
Consequently, finding a free military school near you may be urgent in order to avoid official sentencing for teenagers headed down the wrong path.
When parents begin searching for a free military school for a son or daughter, affordability is one of the most important factors.
It may seem that there is no such thing as a free military school. However, there are several alternatives that can provide your child with a nearly free education.
Therefore, you’ll want to look into grants and scholarships as well as other types of tuition assistance.
However, before you get that deep into the financial aid process, we recommend that you begin with a search of public charter schools near you.
Many charter schools or magnet schools in local school districts offer a military prep program that may offer what you’re looking for.
Public Magnet Schools
Public magnet schools or charter schools offer the same benefits as other public schools yet generally have more advanced options for learning like dual enrollment and AP courses.
Additionally, many charter schools and public magnet schools in the nation also have a military-structured environment.
For this reason, they resemble a military school in many forms yet are substantially cheaper than private military schools like the highly esteemed New York Military Academy.
Magnet schools and charter schools do a terrific job of providing more discipline and accountability compared to standard public education through a military structure.
Best of all, these types of schools are generally free (or nearly free to attend) so long as you live in or near the school district.
Search Free Military Schools Near Me
The first step in finding a free military school is to find out what exists locally.
There is a good chance that you will find at least one applicable option given the rise of charter and magnet schools over the last couple of decades.
Public military schools are generally free as long as you reside in the county or school district and meet other eligibility criteria.
Thus, performing a quick search for “free military schools near me” should bring up local results.
If that is not the case, try searching for the following key phrases:
- Free military school near me
- Low cost military school in [town / city]
- Free boarding schools in [town / city]
- Affordable military schools by [town / city]
- Cheap public military schools in [state]
- Military charter schools free in [state]
Did you have any success finding local free military schools?
If so, contact the military school directly to learn more about the application process and tuition costs (if applicable).
Meanwhile, those that are unable to find any local public offerings that are free and they qualify for should not give up.
There are other ways to save substantially on military school even if you or a child attends one with tuition.
Furthermore, you could also consider relocating to a county or school district with a local free public military school.
Related Article – Joining The Military After College: How To Do It The “Right” Way
Option #2 – Search for Grants / Scholarships
There is an emerging trend within the United States of more children deciding to pursue homeschooling or another form of alternative education.
Military schools are among one the most popular types of alternative schooling based on their reputation and history of success.
Military prep schools do an outstanding job of teaching challenging academics while also building personal character, discipline, and integrity.
Furthermore, most students that attend military school transform into phenomenal young leaders and have an extremely bright future.
There are many advantages to sending a child to a military school, however, the cost of education is not one of them.
Most military schools (especially the most prestigious institutions) are expensive to attend.
The cost of attendance is even higher for boarding schools where cadets usually have the choice between living and eating on campus 5 or 7 days a week.
Tuition, room, board, uniforms, and books add up quickly, which is why most families need tuition assistance.
Thankfully, military schools do a great job of connecting parents to financial aid resources.
Begin Preparing Early
For starters, the military institution may offer specific grants or scholarships that are exclusive to cadets that attend the school.
Therefore, you should not skip out on any opportunity to qualify for financial aid directly from the school.
Additionally, you can perform a broad search for national grants and educational scholarships.
The earlier you begin applying for grants and scholarships, the better opportunity to receive financial aid to cover tuition, room, and board.
For this reason, most parents begin planning and preparing financing for military school at least a year before admission.
You should pursue grants and scholarships first, as these funds are free with zero obligation to pay them back, unlike student loans.
Military School Grants & Scholarships
Most military prep schools fall under the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
The NAIS is an important organization to follow as it often provides information about grants for teachers and students.
Often, financial aid is awarded first to those that demonstrate the strongest financial need.
In general, most scholarships reward students that perform well in school (grades are very important) and also participate in community service and/or extracurricular activities.
Moreover, you may want to consider rounding up recommendations from teachers, coaches, or counselors that are willing to contribute.
Any recommendations you can receive from military personnel such as a training officer also help greatly.
Personal recommendations from professionals like teachers and counselors go a long way in earning scholarship funds.
Scholarships differ dramatically in terms of merit and the reward amount.
For example, cadets may earn scholarships based on athletic performance.
Related Article – American Military University (AMU) Reputation: Worth It?
Option #3 – Military Schools with Tuition Assistance
There are fewer than 100 military schools in the United States with most of these institutions only serving grades 9-12.
As a result, admissions for military schools are traditionally very selective.
Then, even if you get into the school, finding a method for affording the education can represent a whole other problem.
Fortunately, there are many types of tuition assistance available to families that worry about affording the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Most military schools are also boarding schools, which means that students reside on campus.
Consequently, attending a boarding school is more expensive compared to a school that only accepts day students.
Moreover, some students decide to save money at a boarding school by electing to commute daily to campus as opposed to covering high costs for room and board.
Regardless of your motives, securing tuition assistance is necessary to fund the education.
After you exercise all resources discovering and applying for grants and scholarships, we recommend considering student loans or school financing.
Related Article – 17 Scholarships for Military Children, Spouses, and Veterans
Student Loans & Military School Financing
You can apply for a student loan from several sources including a private bank or finance company.
It is important to contact your personal banking officer, as not every lender will recognize military schools as an applicable reason for needing a student loan.
Nonetheless, you should shop around and try to find a student loan with the best interest rate.
National companies like Sallie Mae are known for specializing in educational loans with reasonable interest rates.
Secondly, many military prep schools offer their own financing program.
School financing is a smart choice if you can cover the tuition but would like to do so in monthly installments.
The payment plan allows parents to pay off the tuition over the course of the year, which is much more reasonable for a lot of families.
Please keep in mind that even with a payment plan, most institutions will require a down payment of some type before the cadet can be enrolled.
The down payment secures your child’s spot among the student body and is the first step toward admitting a son or daughter to a military school.
Military Schools with Financial Aid
Military prep schools understand that many parents would like to send their child to the institution, yet lack the necessary funds.
As a result, there are many different ways to afford military school.
In general, most students and families combine several forms of financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) to cover tuition.
Military schools usually prefer awarding financial aid based on need, grades, and merit.
Students that excel in academics, as well as extracurricular activities like sports and arts, have the greatest likelihood of receiving financial aid.
These military schools (and many more) offer their own tuition assistance and finance programs:
- Camden Military Academy
- Francis Marion Military Institute
- New Mexico Military Institute
- Vessey Leadership Academy
Once you find a military school that provides financial aid, check to find out about unique scholarships and benefactors specific to the institution.
Lastly, you may also find scholarships and grants available through military units and banks.
Religious institutions and employers have also been known to contribute privately to a cadet’s education.
Related Article – Top 15 Military Schools For Boys And Girls
How to find a free military school is easier than you might think.
First, there are many free public magnet schools and charter schools with a military-structured curriculum found throughout the country.
Most of these public offerings are free to attend as long as you reside in the school district or county and meet other qualifications.
Second, families that are looking to send a son or daughter to a boot camp style military school should begin pursuing scholarships and grants at least a year prior to admission.
These types of financial aid are the best to pursue because it’s free money that you do not have to pay back.
Lastly, those that have exercised other options can get tuition assistance by applying for a private student loan.
Furthermore, many military prep schools have their own financing programs where families pay off the tuition in monthly installments.
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