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Military Schools

Military Schools in Pennsylvania

Military schools in Pennsylvania are in short supply after the legendary Carson Long Military Academy closed its doors in 2018.

However, the state remains home to the highly reputable Valley Forge Military Academy and College.

Valley Forge Military Academy has replaced Carson Long Academy as the leading military school in Pennsylvania.

It has a difficult legacy to meet, as Carson Long was considered one of the finest boarding schools in the nation for decades.

There are many advantages to enrolling in a military prep school or college as the academics, leadership, and military training are generally unparalleled.

Learn more about the best military schools in Pennsylvania that remain in operation:

Related Article: Top 15 Military Schools in United States

#1. Valley Forge Military Academy and College

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Image: Valley Forge Military Academy
  • Location: 1001 Eagle Road, Wayne, PA 19087
  • Founded: 1928
  • Grades: 7-12 / Postgraduate
  • # of Students: 157
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Official Website:

Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) is a private school in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

The military school is divided into 3 campuses: middle school (grades 7-8), high school (9-12), and junior college (first 2 years of college).

Students have the option of living on campus at each school, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

The independent boarding school follows the traditional discipline structure of a military school that aligns with U.S. Army traditions.

While it’s a traditional military school in many regards, the high school portion primarily serves as a college preparatory institution.

Therefore, students at these grade levels are encouraged to focus on student leadership first and foremost.

The faculty at Valley Forge Military Academy and College is almost entirely current or retired military.

High school graduates have several alternatives, as they may enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces or progress to a 4-year university.

On the other hand, students have the ability to remain at VFMAC for the first 2 years of their undergraduate education.

It enables cadets to complete most of their core requirements in a familiar setting before applying for competitive schools like in the Ivy League.

Valley Forge Military Academy has graduated one Rhodes Scholar recipient and its college placement success within the state is outstanding.

VFMAC Corps of Cadets

Valley Forge Military Academy and College has an established tradition with the British Monarchy.

Consequently, the military institution observes traditions from both the U.S. Army and British Forces of the past.

The American military academy model has produced several notable military leaders including British Army Garrison Sergeant Major William ‘Billy” Mott.

The Valley Forge Corps of Cadets is entirely run by the student population.

Furthermore, it is the only military organization within the United States that observes British rank, drill, customs, and ceremonies.

For this reason, your experience at Valley Forge Military Academy is very unique given the British influence on the curriculum.

The military academy requires every cadet to pass a board to officially become a member of the Corps of Cadets.

The Corps of Cadets maintains the only traditional mounted battalion of a single cavalry troop and artillery battery.

Valley Forge uniforms also take on British influences including Cadet Senior NCOs which carry a military pace stick.

The junior college portion of the academy serves as the only private military junior college in the country.

It is mandatory that all cadets of the junior college become members and participate regularly in the Corps of Cadets.

Related Article: Military Bases in Pennsylvania


Valley Forge Military Academy has a long-running history as the school first opened its doors in 1928.

The institution expanded into a military junior college in the 1930s when the Corps of Cadets was developed to include British influence and traditions.

Valley Forge Military Academy and College was once all-male but has admitted female cadets to the junior college since 2005.

While cadets were once required to live on campus as part of their obligations, it is no longer mandatory and the day program can save you money in tuition (more information, below).

Valley Forge Military Academy maintains a relatively small enrollment with approximately 300 students.

The enrollment has varied substantially over the last decade ranging from nearly 500 students in 2011 to half that amount for the 2017-18 school year.

Valley Forge Military Academy began accepting cadets from nearby Carson Long Military Academy after it folded at the end of the 2018 school year.

The military academy was renowned and once represented the oldest operating private military and boarding school in the nation.

As a result, Valley Forge has embraced some of the practices from Carson Long Academy yet remains exclusive in many other regards.

The academics at Valley Forge Military Academy are extremely demanding and challenging.

Nonetheless, the rigorous curriculum equips you for the real world and also helps you get noticed by prized colleges like the ones available in the Ivy League.

Cadets have a full day’s worth of activities at Valley Forge Academy where the day begins with “First Call” and concludes with a 2-hour study hall.

Cadets with good grades and performance reviews are permitted to leave for home on select weekends if they are boarding students.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools for Girls

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Image: Flickr

Extracurricular Activities

There is never a down moment at Valley Forge Military Academy and College as a wide range of extracurricular activities are available to cadets.

The Character Education program is an important part of a cadet’s lifestyle with mandatory religious services each week at The Alumni Memorial Chapel of St. Cornelius the Centurion.

While portions of the service are fundamentally Christian, the majority of the service is non-sectarian in practice as the address usually revolves around building character and leadership.

The Valley Forge Military Academy Regimental Band is highly recognized and renowned.

The college band travels across the country and has also performed shows in Europe.

Moreover, Valley Forge Military Academy features a variety of athletics including unusual school sports like equestrian and rifle drill.

Traditional varsity sports like football, basketball, golf, and rugby are also offered at Valley Forge Academy.

Cadets are required to participate in an organized sport either at the intramural, club, or varsity level.

However, the military junior college portion of the academy recently discontinued all of its varsity sports in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The film “Taps” (which included a young Sean Penn and Tom Cruise) was largely filmed on the campus of Valley Forge Military Academy and presents a fictional account of attending military prep school.

Related Article: Top Military Schools in Maryland


Valley Forge Military Academy and College represents the only private military junior college in the nation.

Consequently, admission into the military prep academy or junior college is competitive.

VFMAC is the only junior military college that caters to every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, contributing to the high level of interest for the institution.

Additionally, the military school has been in operation for nearly a century which adds to its prestige.

Nonetheless, Valley Forge Military Academy seeks to keep the institution affordable for children of all ages who come from a variety of backgrounds.

In recent years, the military school changed its policy and now allows cadets to attend as “day students,” thus reducing the costs with no need for room and board.

Valley Forge Military Academy alumni include an impressive list of professional athletes, entertainers, businessmen, and distinguished military leaders.

J.D. Salinger, author of the famous book “Catcher in the Rye,” attended the military school.

Former U.S. Navy Commander Paul E. Galanti and Major General of the U.S. Army Walter T. Lord both attended Valley Forge as youngsters.


Tuition is not extremely affordable at Valley Forge Military Academy and College which places an emphasis on securing financial aid.

The middle and high school boarding rates stand at $39,304 for a full year of education (2023-24 school year).

Families have the option of sending their son to the school mid-year which reduces the price of admission to $24,814.

These tuition rates also include room, board, uniforms, laundry, and personal supplies.

Cadets are expected to budget extra for textbooks and personal allowance.

Valley Forge Military Academy offers a variety of payment plans with an Early Pay Discount that grants you $1,000 off the final bill.

Additionally, Valley Forge Military Academy’s financial aid department can help students locate grants and scholarships.

Lastly, Sallie Mae is a great starting point for seeking a private loan with reasonable interest rates.

The school does consider need-based tuition assistance after a personal review.

You should contact the military school in Pennsylvania for more information at (610) 989-1200.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in New Jersey

#2. Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson

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Image: Wikipedia
  • Location: 2118 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
  • Founded: 2005
  • Grades: 9-12
  • # of Students: 379
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 18:1
  • Official Website:

The Philadelphia Military Academy (PMA) exists in the northern portion of the metropolis.

It hasn’t been around all that long (founded in 2005) yet Philadelphia Military Academy is quickly establishing a tradition of being one of the premier military schools in Pennsylvania.

The military school currently resides at Elverson High School in the Templeton neighborhood of North Philadelphia.

The first class accepted 157 9th-grade cadets and remains relatively small with a student enrollment of approximately 379.

Classroom sizes are not as small as most military prep schools (18:1 student-to-faculty ratio) yet the curriculum is still very demanding.

Philadelphia Military Academy expects every student who attends the institution to participate in JROTC.

Consequently, cadets wear uniforms every day to class and are expected to observe military courtesy.

Cadets must address their instructors by “sir” or “ma’am” among other expectations.

However, there is no military service obligation required for cadets once they graduate from Philadelphia Military Academy.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in New York

Average Tuition / Boarding

Philadelphia Military Academy accepts high school students between grades 9-12.

The academic program is committed to transforming lives with the support and partnership of parents, educators, and the community.

The military-structured learning environment has proven very successful in disciplining and educating the brightest minds in the country.

Philadelphia Military Academy urges cadets to actively engage in community service programs where they develop an appreciation for civic duty.

Furthermore, these opportunities enable cadets to build leadership and management skills necessary for the real world.

The academics at Philadelphia Military Academy are rigorous and designed to prepare cadets for college or technical training that converts directly to the workforce.

Even better, Philadelphia Military Academy does not charge tuition like most military schools in Pennsylvania.

The military school is supported by the city public school system and admission is based on a student interview.

Students are encouraged to schedule an interview and begin preparing for the meeting as many applicants seek admission each year.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Virginia

#3. Carson Long Military Academy (1836-2018)

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Image: Flickr

Carson Long Military Academy shut its doors down in 2018.

It was a sad day for military schools in Pennsylvania as it was previously the oldest boarding school still in operation at the time.

Shippensburg University, Slippery Rock University, and University of Scranton are public universities in Pennsylvania yet support ROTC programs on campus.

Contact the university for more details about its military school/program.

NOTE: Check back with OMK in the future as we consistently update our articles to provide the latest information regarding military schools in Pennsylvania.

Related Article: 17 Scholarships For Military Children, Spouses, and Veterans

Rob V.
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Military Schools in Pennsylvania

Military Schools in Pennsylvania

4.9 out of 5 (92 Ratings)

Pennsylvania is home to 5 military schools for boys and girls. Learn more about each one here, including the acceptance rates, tuition, and more.

Originally posted on January 22, 2021 @ 7:19 pm

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