military schools for boys and girls
General Military Questions

Top 15 Military Schools for Boys and Girls for 2023

A military school or academy is a specialized institution that teaches academics while also preparing candidates for service in the officer corps.

Admittance to military schools is highly sought after due to their prestige. Students receive a top-notch education while also being immersed in military culture.

There are three types of military schools for boys and girls that exist:

1. Prep School Level Military Institutions

2. University Level Institutions

3. Military Academy Institutions

In this article, we will examine the Top 15 Military Prep Schools for Boys and Girls in 2023 based on exclusivity, affordability, and the highest SAT scores.

Prep school level is the equivalent to a middle school or high school where students are preparing for college or a life in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Related ArticleHow to find a (nearly) Free military school for troubled youth 

Jump To A Military School Type

Top 5 Military Schools For Boys and Girls – Most Exclusive

Military prep schools can lead to a career in the U.S. Armed Forces. Image:

What makes a military school “exclusive”? It depends on how selective the military academy is regarding admittance. Schools with notoriously low acceptance rates (a little over half or higher) are considered exclusive because they are very hard to get into.

#1 – New York Military Academy

Founded: 1889

Location: Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY

Acceptance Rate: 50% – 55%

New York military academy for boys. Image:

New York Military Academy is one of the most prestigious military preparatory schools in the United States. Located directly on the Hudson River in Cornwall-on-Hudson, notable alumni include current president Donald J. Trump, Francis Ford Coppola, and Judge Albert Tate.

The college prep school is a boarding school that accepts boys and girls. It is one of the oldest military schools in the United States that previously only admitted male students. It was founded in 1889.

Grades 8-12 attend the institution. Only 100 students attend the school which not only makes it incredibly exclusive. Classrooms are tiny with an average 1:8 teacher-to-student ratio.

The selective school boasts an average SAT score of 1180 and an average ACT of 23. Students may pay over $46,250 per year for tuition and boarding, and about $4,000 for uniforms for the first year. 

Furthermore, many students in attendance receive some form of financial aid.

The college preparatory school has a 94 percent college placement record. It is also host to the NYMA Summer Leadership Program.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in New York

#2 – Fork Union Military Academy

Founded: 1898

Location: Fork Union, VA

Acceptance Rate: 55%

fork union military academy

Fork Union Military Academy is located in a small village in central Virginia. The massive campus spans over 1,000 acres. The serenity of the remote campus has led to its popularity and therefore, made it one of the most exclusive in the country.

Famous alumni of the Christian college prep school include Sonny Randle, Plaxico Burress, General John T. Chain Jr., and General George D. Miller.

Fork Union Military Academy is only open to enrollment for male students. It endows a number of scholarships each year to cadets based on various qualifications with an emphasis on leadership, character, and academic performance.

Grades 7 through 12 are currently admitted, as well recent high school graduates looking for a one-year college prepartory program.

The enrollment is only 312 students. Attendees receive a unique “One-Subject Plan” curriculum in which a single subject is only studied over the duration of seven weeks.

Students at Fork Union have an average SAT score of 1150 and an average ACT  score of 26. Classroom sizes are small due to the exclusiveness. The teacher-to-student ratio is only 1:7.

The yearly average tuition is about $39,000, with approximately $2,250 in fees and $3,500 for uniforms for new students. Students may also receive grants and scholarships to attend.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Virginia

#3 – Missouri Military Academy

Founded: 1889

Location: Mexico, MO

Acceptance Rate: 65%

The Missouri Military Academy is located in the town of Mexico, Missouri, about 40 miles outside of the city of Columbia, home of the University of Missouri. The prep school boards all its students and relies on a heavy military tradition as well as a focus on academic excellence. The notable alumni from the boarding school include Mr. Dale Dye, Judge William Berry, and Lt. General Jack Fuson.

The Missouri Military Academy is currently exclusive to just boys. It preps students in grades 7 through 12. Its 360-Degree Education promotes academic excellence, physical development, strong character, personal motivation, and leadership skills.

Graduates have received acceptance to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including U.S. service academies. Its JROTC program is nationally recognized and honored more than 30 times with the U.S. Army’s highest distinction.

Only 207 students are currently enrolled at the Missouri Military Academy. The average SAT score at the boarding school is 1100. The average ACT score is 24.

Classroom sizes are small with a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:8. Yearly tuition averages $39,500, including boarding, and approximately $3,000 for new student uniforms. The school offers several scholarships and grants, including one for Boy Scout Leadership and for children of fallen, disabled, or deployed service members. 

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Illinois

#4 – Admiral Farragut Academy

Founded: 1933

Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Acceptance Rate: 90%

Admiral Farragut Academy

Admiral Farragut Academy is a private military prep school for boys and girls. It provides classroom instruction for grades kindergarten through 12. The lower school serves as a private elementary school up to grade 7. The upper school prepares kids in grades 8 through 12 for college.

The small campus is located in Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The notable alumni of Admiral Farragut Academy include astronauts Alan Shephard and Charles Duke. Actor Lorenzo Lamas and musician Stephen Stills also attended the school.

The academy offers signature programs including Naval Science (Military), Aviation, Engineering, Marine Science, Scuba, and AP Capstone. The academy also accredits FCIS, SACS, TABS, SAIS, and NAIS.

While admittance is selective, the student body is remarkably diverse. Admiral Farragut Academy reports current attendees comprise more than 27 different countries throughout the world. ESOL classes are also provided for non-English speaking students.

The military prep school has a little over 300 students. The average classroom size is 17, with a teacher to student ratio of 1:15.

The yearly tuition for upper school day students is $26,100. For upper school boarding students, the tuition is $54,800. The Academy offers a number of scholarships based on need, merit, or for children of deceased or disabled veterans.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Florida

#5 – Camden Military Academy

Founded: 1892

Location: Camden, SC

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Camden Military Academy

The Camden Military Academy is located in Camden, South Carolina. The institution endorses a motto of “whole man” in terms of its approach to academia. In addition to academics, students are also challenged to grow physically, emotionally, and morally.

The academy is currently only open to male students in grades 7 through 12. The Camden Military Academy is currently composed of 300 students, making it one of the more exclusive military boarding schools in the nation.

The teacher-to-student ratio is 1:8 providing a ton of face-to-face interaction. Students average a score of 1130 on the SAT and 25 on the ACT. Camden Military Academy’s curriculum is accredited by Cognia.

Tuition is much lower than the national average for boarding schools. The average domestic student at Camden Military Academy only pays about $30,590 per year, including tuition, boarding, and uniforms.

Some students may receive financial aid and there are grants available for South Carolina resident students. 

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in South Carolina

Top 5 Military Schools For Boys and Girls – Highest SAT Scores

military schools for boys and girls
Military prep schools send graduates to service academies. Image:

Military prep schools report their average SAT scores each year just like a public high school. While the sample size of military schools is small (usually less than 100 students), it serves as a reflection of what students typically earn on the SAT college prep test.

It should in no way reflect what you can guarantee a child may receive for a test score if he or she gains admittance. However, it is a decent benchmark for average academic performance regarding the 2023 school year.

#1 – Riverside Military Academy

Founded: 1907

Location: Gainesville, GA

Average SAT Score: 1323

Riverside Military Academy is located about an hour north of Atlanta on a beautiful, 200+ acre campus. The college prep school offers boarding for students in grades 7 through 12.

The academy was founded in 1907 and features some notable alumni including John Bassett, Judge E.J. Salcines, Ira Middleberg, and Jeffrey Weiner. The alumni are particularly decorated in the field of law.

Riverside Military Academy has some of the highest reported median SAT scores in the country. Last year, the average SAT score for students at the military academy was 1323. However, the ACT median was much more average at only 20.

The JROTC program at the academy is one of the most decorated in the nation. It has been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction for over 80 years. It allows up to five cadets to get recommended each year to federal service academies.

Classroom sizes are small at Riverside Military Academy. The teacher-to-student ratio is 1:12. However, the academy is larger than most in terms of total students.

Tuition and boarding at Riverside Military Academy is approximately $53,300 for boarding students and $17,950 for day students. International students spend somewhat more at $61,650 per year. Riverside does offer need-based financial assistance

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Wisconsin

#2 – New York Military Academy

Founded: 1889

Location: Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY

Average SAT Score: 1180

New York Military Academy not only makes our list as one of the most exclusive military schools in the United States for 2023 but also one of the highest-achieving schools.

The academy has some of the most famous alumni of any boarding school in the country with former President Donald Trump and Francis Ford Coppola. Its previous students have performed historically well on SAT and ACT tests.

The average SAT score for New York Military Academy students this past year was 1180. The co-ed school witnessed high performance for both boys and girls and offered advanced placement into some of the top universities in the nation.

High academic performance is partly attributed to extremely small class sizes. The average class only has 10 students, providing a massive amount of personal interaction and instruction.

The average tuition for New York Military Academy is $46,250 for  2023.

#3 – Massanutten Military Academy

Founded: 1899

Location: Woodstock, VA

Average SAT Score: 1160

Massanutten Military Academy

The Massanutten Military Academy is located in Woodstock, Virginia. The premier boarding school is open to boys and girls. It prepares students for secondary education in a private setting.

The challenging curriculum provides cadet development with strong academics. Its achievement in high SAT scores has allowed Massanutten Military Academy to be acknowledged as one of the top military schools in the country for decades now.

Massanutten Military Academy is open to grades 5 through 12. The campus is relatively small and only has about 130 students in attendance. Therefore, classrooms are tiny with a teacher-to-student ratio of only 1:10.

The average SAT test score performance in 2022 was 1160. The average ACT score was 25.

Tuition is reasonable for a boarding school. Students from the United States average paying $37,200 per year for boarding and tuition. International students average paying $50,550 per year.

Financial assistance is exceptional. The academy reports that 95 percent of students earn some type of financial aid, though the average grant is relatively low at $5,000.

Its reported acceptance rate is 75 percent.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Georgia

#4 – St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy

Founded: 1884

Location: Delafield, WI

Average SAT Score: 1130

St. John's Northwestern Military Academy

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy is a private, Christian military prep school. The co-ed institution is renowned for its high performance on college prep tests like the SAT and ACT.

Famous alumni of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy include Daniel Gerber and Spencer Tracy.

The military prep school has been in existence since 1884 in rural Wisconsin. Given the high performance on the SAT, students frequently gain admittance to highly prestigious universities and service academies.

Students in attendance are in grades 6 through 12. The gorgeous 110-acre campus promotes academic focus along with building self-esteem and discipline. It has the motto “work hard, play hard, pray hard”.

The average classroom size is only 10 students. Plenty of one-on-one interaction is provided for both boys and girls. There are currently about 165 students enrolled at the boarding school.

The average SAT score is 1130 based on the year 2022. The median for ACT test performance was 23.

Week-long students average paying $46,800 per year on tuition, while 5-day boarding is $38,000 and day students only $21,000.

Financial aid is available, and merit scholarships are available. The acceptance rate is 84 percent.

Related Article How To Get Accepted Into U.S. Air Force Academy

#5 – Fork Union Military Academy

Founded: 1898

Location: Fork Union, VA

Average SAT Score: 1110

Fork Union Military Academy is another extremely exclusive military school that also performs exceptionally well on the SAT. Last year the average score was 1110.

The male-only military academy has a longstanding tradition of performing very well on college entrance exams, and thus placement into very prestigious universities is common.

Students are well rounded as Fork Union not only focuses on academics but also leadership and character. Its “One-Subject Plan” curriculum has been notoriously successful in helping mold young minds.

Like New York Military Academy, Fork Union also boasts one of the smallest teacher-to-student ratios in the country (1:8).

Related ArticleMilitary Schools for Girls: 15 Best Academies in the US

Top 5 Military Schools For Boys and Girls – Least Expensive

military schools for girls
Military prep schools feature gorgeous campuses with a number of extracurricular activities. Image: Pixabay

Military schools are notoriously expensive in terms of tuition and boarding costs. However, these five military academies defy tradition by offering relatively affordable costs.

#1 – New Mexico Military Institute

Founded: 1891

Location: Roswell, NM

Tuition: $16,400 – $23,500

New Mexico Military Institute

The New Mexico Military Institute was established in 1891 and is the only state-supported co-ed military college prep boarding school in the United States.

It supports high school grades 9 through 12 and junior college for freshman and sophomore years. The New Mexico Military Institute is designed to provide military education and training to the youth at affordable prices.

The academy is nationally recognized for its outstanding academic performance, leadership and character development, as well as physical fitness programs.

It awards over $2 million each year in scholarships. The student body is diverse as members are from over 40 states as well as 33 foreign countries as of 2021. A large percentage of students are of color.

College placement is extremely high (98 percent). The small classroom sizes (10:1) help with personal instruction and performance.

Famous alumni include Conrad Hilton, Sam Donaldson, Chuck Roberts, and Owen Wilson. Students have advanced to receive the Medal of Honor in the U.S. Military.

The massive campus spans 300 acres and has a student body of about 500 students, making it one of the larger military boarding schools in the country.

Students pay an average of $19,950 for tuition and boarding, depending on whether they’re a resident of New Mexico. International students paid slightly higher. Ninety-five percent of students receive some type of financial aid, totaling close to $1.2 million. 

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in New Mexico

#2 – Camden Military Academy

Founded: 1892

Location: Camden, SC

Tuition: $30,590

In addition to being considered one of the Top 5 Most Exclusive Military Schools in America – Camden Military Academy is also inexpensive compared to other boarding schools.

The military academy has a median average of $30,590 per year for domestic students. It is the second lowest of any military prep school in the country, though its financial aid could see some improvement.

Last academic year it was reported only 20 percent of students received some type of financial assistance at the highly selective boarding school. And the average financial aid grant for that 30 percent was only $2,400.

However, despite a few flaws Camden Military Academy is still very affordable. It services students in grades 7 through 12 and remains selective. Only 300 students attend the prestigious academy.

#3 – Massanutten Military Academy

Founded: 1899

Location: Woodstock, VA

Tuition: $37,200

Massanutten Military Academy is not only one of the highest-performing military schools in the United States but also among the most affordable.

Tuitions for Massanutten Military Academy for 2023 is $37,200 for boarding students. While it may seem expensive that figure is actually nearly half of the average cost to attend a boarding school in the United States.

The co-ed school is open to boys and girls in grades 5 through 12. Only 140 students attend Massanutten Military Academy.

The reported tuition and boarding rate for this year was $37,200 and $23,750 for day students. As is the norm, international students spent more at approximately $50,550 for this year. Financial assistance is readily available. Almost all students received some type of financial aid this past year with an average grant of  $5,000.

Related Article How To Get Into U.S. Naval Academy

#4 – Fork Union Military Academy

Founded: 1898

Location: Fork Union, VA

Tuition: $39,000

Fork Union Military Academy is the only military school to make the cut for the top five in hard-to-get accepted into, high performing in terms of SAT scores, and also affordability. It arguably makes it the finest military prep school in the country as a result.

Fork Union Military Academy performs remarkably well in all key areas of criteria. The male-only academy costs quite a bit more than the first three institutions on this list yet at $39,000 is still relatively affordable.

It is far below the national median for boarding schools for both domestic and international students.

About 72 percent of students receive financial aid. Those that are selected for financial aid receive generous scholarships. The average grant amount for 2022 was $9,489.

#5 – Marine Military Academy

Founded: 1965

Location: Harlingen, TX

Tuition: $49,150

The relatively new institution was founded in the mid-1960s yet has developed a strong reputation for affordability since it opened its doors. Marine Military Academy is located in Harlingen, Texas.

The academy provides more than 50 course offerings at reasonable prices. The cost for tuition and boarding  for Fall 2023 is $49,150 per year, including uniforms. About 210 male students attend the academy for ages 7 through 12. The classroom size is relatively small with a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:8.

The academy is primarily designed to provide opportunities for those interested in joining the U.S. Marine Corps. Along with honor courses, students may also enroll in Aerospace and Marine Science.

Additionally, 40 acres on campus are dedicated to Marine Corps physical training. JROTC and organized sports are also offered through the institution.

The Marine Military Academy has an incredibly high acceptance rate of 98 percent.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Texas

Frequently Asked Questions

military schools for boys
Graduating from a military prep school is an extremely rewarding experience. Image: Wikimedia

What is military school?

Military schools, often referred to as boarding schools, are military-style schools whose primary purpose is to instill discipline and hard work in an academic setting.

How much does military school cost?

Military school tuition rates are based on the reputation of the school and its location. The average cost of military boarding school is $53,000 to $66,500 per year.

Are there any free military schools I can send my kid to?

When we originally wrote this article, we couldn’t find any free military schools for troubled youth.

After doing a bit more research, there actually are a few options.  Click Here to read more about free military schools and how to find them.

What’s the minimum age to attend military school?

Every military school in the United States has its own acceptance requirements. The norm is between the grades of 6 to 8. So that would place students between the ages of 12 and 15. It does depend on the academy.

Is there any way I can get financial aid?

Yes, absolutely. All military schools in the United States offer some type of financial assistance. The number of recipients and amount of grant money varies widely based on its endowment, among other factors.

Please consult our Top 5 Most Affordable Military Academies in the U.S. You can also get more information by contacting the institution directly.

Is it a good idea to send troubled youth to a military school?

It depends on personal circumstances. Along with a heightened focus on academics, military schools also develop character and leadership skills.

The academies provide more discipline than your typical public school, which is why some parents decide to send a troubled youth to a military school. Staying in a boarding school can also help with outside distractions or bad influences.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in California


Military prep schools in the United States are ranked on a number of different criteria including the cost to attend, types of financial assistance, acceptance rates, college placement rates, and average SAT or ACT scores achieved.

See Also:

Military Schools for Boys

Military Schools in Maryland

Military Schools in Colorado

Military Schools in Pennsylvania

Military Schools in Michigan

Military Schools in North Carolina

Military Schools in New Jersey

Military Schools in Massachusetts

Rob V.
Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)
Military Schools for Boys and Girls

Military Schools for Boys and Girls

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See OMK's list of the top military schools for both boys and girls in the US for 2021. These military academies are designed to instill discipline and leadership in otherwise troubled youth.

Originally posted on 03/20/22

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