military schools in virginia
Military Schools

Military Schools in Virginia

The State of Virginia is one of the finest in the country for prestigious military prep and boarding schools.

It is home to some of the most historic (Fishburne Military School and Fork Union Military Academy), along with highly reputable institutions like the one at Massanutten Military Academy.

Moreover, the state is home to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), which accepts over 1,500 students for undergraduate admissions.

The close proximity of Virginia to historic landmarks and Washington, D.C., makes it a highly desirable place to attend prep school.

Learn more about the top military schools in Virginia based on reputation, academics, and extracurricular activities.

Related ArticleTop 15 Military Colleges in the United States

#1 – Fishburne Military School

military high schools in virginia
Image: Wikipedia Commons
  • Location: 225 South Wayne Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980
  • Founded: 1879
  • Grades: 7-12
  • # of Students: 107
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Official Website:

Fishburne Military School is one of the oldest private military schools in the nation.

The military prep school was founded in 1879 and remains at the historic campus in Waynesboro, Virginia.

Fishburne Military School is one of the best military schools in Virginia due to its unparalleled reputation and high-quality academics.

It is a boarding school that is currently only open to a select number of male students each year (current total student enrollment is only 107).

The curriculum is structured around a military environment that also prepares cadets for post-secondary education.

Fishburne Military School focuses its curriculum on a STEM education that introduces students to the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Furthermore, Fishburne Military School is one of the few institutions in the state to compete in STEM academics against international competition.

Student Life

The military school in Virginia emphasizes honor, integrity, personal responsibility, and respect for everyone among its founding principles.

The college preparatory school prepares cadets for rare opportunities to get noticed by the Ivy League as well as other prestigious universities.

Fishburne Military School is located less than 3 hours from Washington, D.C., and just outside Charlottesville.

The close proximity to important landmarks and government operations presents cadets at Fishburne Military School with a distinct advantage over other boys in the grade levels 7-12.

Cadets experience a full day of studies, including participation in school athletics or the JROTC program.

Every year, Fishburne Military School awards the Leadership for Life scholarship to one hard-working student.

The Leadership for Life scholarship is highly sought after as it covers all costs for admission during your time at Fishburne Military School.

The JROTC program provides military structure and organization to the lives of young cadets as they prepare for the real world.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Fishburne Military School supports a prep education that strongly emphasizes honor and integrity.

The military-structured learning environment has nearly a century and a half of experience, which is unrivaled.

The robust academic curriculum specializes in STEM-based learning activities as well as college preparation.

Small class sizes and diverse student enrollment are among the noteworthy features of the military school in Virginia.

The Corps of Cadets at Fishburne Military School is recognized by the U.S. Army JROTC Cadet Command as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

Furthermore, everyone participates in the award-winning athletic programs at Fishburne.

It is not cheap to attend Fishburne Military School as boarding students spend approximately $38,400 per year.

Meanwhile, cadets do have the option of attending Fishburne Military School as a day student for $18,900 a year, which saves thousands in room and meals.

Fishburne Military School provides tuition assistance for families that would like to send their son to the institution yet lack the available funds.

As a result, the military school offers need-based financial aid along with tuition reductions and scholarships.

Fishburne Military School may forgive between $1,000 – $5,000 in tuition based on eligibility criteria.

Moreover, families should consider applying for a K-12 student loan, which allows them to pay the cost of education in monthly installments.

Interested parties should request more information, schedule a campus visit, and contact Fishburne Military School for more details.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in Georgia

#2 – Fork Union Military Academy

military colleges in virginia
Image: Wikiwand
  • Location: 4744 James Madison Hwy, Fork Union, VA 23055
  • Founded: 1898
  • Grades: 7-12 + Post Graduate
  • # of Students: 312
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 7:1
  • Official Website:

Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) is another iconic military school of the Old Dominion.

It clearly ranks as one of the best military schools in Virginia for a variety of reasons.

For starters, Fork Union Military Academy has a terrific legacy, as the institution was founded in the late 19th century and remains on the original campus.

The campus is part of the Fork Union village, which exists outside the hustle and bustle of the cities and represents an oasis for aspiring students.

The private military school in Virginia is comparable to Fishburne Military School in that it’s only open to male students between the grade levels 7-12.

Fork Union also offers a post-graduate program where young men who have already graduated from high school can work to better prepare for university.

Fork Union Military Academy offers full-time boarding for cadets as well as the option to save money and commute.

The private college preparatory school is renowned for its curriculum, which challenges and prepares cadets for rare opportunities like getting noticed by Ivy League schools as well as federal service academies.

Fork Union Military Academy stresses the importance of positivity, which peers are encouraged to express daily.

“One Subject Plan” Academics

The first class at Fork Union graduated 19 cadets, and classroom sizes remain small with an average student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1.

The military structure at Fork Union Military Academy requires daily participation in drills and other exercises.

Additionally, the military school offers a plethora of varsity sports, clubs, and student organizations.

Fork Union Military Academy features both standard and advanced high school learning plans.

The “One Subject Plan” for high school students (grades 9-12) allows cadets to focus on one subject at a time as opposed to a conventional schedule with multiple classes and subjects.

Graduates at Fork Union Academy have been extremely successful at landing spots at prestigious universities as well as receiving millions in scholarship funds.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Fork Union Academy is easily one of the top military schools in Virginia.

The school consistently ranks among the best military boarding academies thanks to its “One Subject Plan” curriculum and long-running JROTC program.

Fork Union exists on a 1,000-acre campus along rolling hills that includes a dining hall, dormitories, library, gym, chapel, and other features typical of an advanced boarding school.

Fittingly, the cost of admission is not cheap, as the average boarding student (domestic) needs approximately $46,000 per year to cover tuition, room and board, and uniform costs.

On the other hand, some students elect to save money by commuting to Fork Union Academy, where the price for a day student is much more reasonable at $26,350 per year.

Fork Union Military Academy offers tuition assistance for families that demonstrate financial need.

Consequently, the military academy works directly with families on an individual basis to establish a financial plan that is practical and reasonable.

In fact, more than half of the cadets that attend Fork Union Military Academy receive some type of need-based financial aid each year.

For this reason, there are scholarships and payment plans available for families that need assistance with financing.

Additional Information

Fork Union Military Academy is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States as well as the National Association of Independent Schools.

Furthermore, one year of postgraduate studies is available to students who are interested in pursuing that avenue.

Fork Union Military Academy has had tremendous success in athletics, including one of the most dominant football and track and field programs in the state.

FUMA has sent over 100 graduates to the NFL and has many other famous alumni.

Related ArticleMilitary Bases in Virginia

#3 – Massanutten Military Academy

military boarding schools virginia
Image: Flickr
  • Location: 614 S. Main Street, Woodstock, VA 22664
  • Founded: 1899
  • Grades: 5-12
  • # of Students: 140
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Official Website:

Massanutten Military Academy (MMA) may have a funny name but it’s one of the most legitimate and highly rated military schools in Virginia.

The military school has a long tradition, as it was founded just before the turn of the 20th century.

Massanutten Military Academy maintains its stellar reputation by offering advanced studies for grade levels 5-12. It has both a middle school and high school program.

Also, unlike Fork Union and Fishburne Military School, it’s open to male and female students.

The military academy presents cadets with the opportunity to attend boarding school or commute as a “day student.”

The campus takes its name after Massanutten Mountain, which stands nearby.

Female Cadet Admissions

Massanutten Military Academy is rare in that it has admitted female cadets since its inception.

Therefore, many girls desire to attend Massanutten Military Academy due to its history of training and educating female cadets.

The military training program is consistently ranked among the finest in the country for JROTC.

The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps is recognized as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

Members are encouraged to compete in the JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) where previous participants have placed at the national level.

It is not unusual for graduating classes to earn millions in scholarships thanks to a world-class STEM-based curriculum.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Massanutten Military Academy prepares students for success by providing a superior educational experience in a highly structured learning environment.

The school emphasizes its acclaimed STEM program, which relies on a lot of hands-on and experimental learning.

As a result, the military school in Virginia specializes in collaboration, innovation, and critical thinking to complete assignments.

Massanutten Military Academy also offers AP and Honors courses, along with Dual Enrollment programs for earning college credit while in high school.

The military school may be expensive to attend, boarding students pay from $32,700 to $37,200 per year on tuition, while day students pay $23,750.

Tuition assistance is available to students who qualify for admission to the prestigious military boarding school.

The Steve and Kim Rehman Scholarship is a popular way to receive financial aid along with the military service/first-responder discount.

Lastly, it is possible to receive a tuition reduction or borrow financial aid from a third-party lender.

The MMA payment plan enables families to pay off the tuition in monthly installments, similar to a credit card.

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#4 – Hargrave Military Academy

military schools in va
  • Location: 200 Military Dr, Chatham, VA 24531
  • Founded: 1909
  • Grades: 7-12 + Post Graduate
  • # of Students: 171
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Official Website:

Hargrave Military Academy (HMA) is a private military school in Chatham, Virginia.

The military school is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which also supports Massanutten Military Academy.

There are some similarities between the two military schools in Virginia.

Hargrave Military Academy has origins that date to the early 20th century.

It currently accepts male students between grades 7-12.

Hargrave Military Academy maintains small classroom sizes with an average student-to-faculty ratio of only 6:1.

The institution was named a National School of Character in 2016 with a campus that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hargrave Military Academy follows a military structure, however, participation in JROTC is not mandatory like some military schools in Virginia.

Nonetheless, every cadet at Hargrave Military Academy is expected to wear a student uniform as well as adhere to a chain of command.

Hargrave Military Academy offers standard and advanced high school diplomas, along with a dual-enrollment program that is connected to nearby Danville Community College and Liberty University.

Cadets also have the option of spending one postgraduate year on campus before departing for college.

Academic Structure

The academics at Hargrave Military Academy are largely self-paced, as students become educated through the “Enhanced Learning Through Technology” program.

It is possible to work through study materials and complete requirements at your own pace, from any place on campus.

In the last 20 years, Hargrave Military Academy has substantially upgraded its infrastructure including 4 new laboratory areas.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Hargrave Military Academy is founded on the four principles of character, faith, academics, and athletics.

For this reason, cadets are expected to participate and perform well in all aspects of the prestigious military school.

Hargrave Military Academy offers fair and honest tuition rates.

The “Tuition for Life” guarantee secures the same tuition rate regardless of how long a child remains at Hargrave Academy.

The tuition rate does include room and board along with a variety of other functions.

It costs just over $16,000 per year to attend Hargrave Military Academy as a day/commuter student.

Meanwhile, boarding students pay $42,000 per year for tuition and room and board.

However, there is financial aid available for qualifying families that need assistance.

It is not uncommon as more than half of the cadets that attend Hargrave Military Academy receive some type of tuition assistance.

Furthermore, families have the option of considering a payment plan (several different options available).

Honor Code

Hargrave Military Academy strives to foster a learning environment where cadets learn about leadership and commitment while also gaining a sense of humor.

Cadets develop self-discipline, character, leadership, and ethics through a variety of school organizations and programs.

Along with the Corps of Cadets, students also participate in drill team, speech and debate, robotics, drama, choir, and band.

Hargrave Military Academy fields several varsity sports.

The post-graduate boys basketball team has won 3 National Prep Championships, including the most recent in 2016.

Related ArticleTop Military Schools for Boys & Girls

#5 – Franklin Military Academy

franklin military academy
Image: Richmond School District

Franklin Military Academy has an impressive reputation for being the first public military school in the United States.

Fittingly, it clearly ranks among the best military schools in Virginia, even if Franklin Academy often gets overlooked by all the other options in the state.

Franklin Military Academy was established in 1980 by the Richmond City Public School District.

While the campus has changed locations since its inception, many of the founding principles of the public institution remain unchanged.

In fact, Franklin Military Academy has served as a blueprint for countless other public military schools scattered across the United States.

The public school offers an alternative to a standard high school diploma, where cadets learn in the traditional structure of a military environment.

Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC)

For this reason, students are expected to participate in Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC) in addition to handling a demanding course load.

The military school is open for admission to male and female cadets.

In 2012, Franklin Military Academy received the prestigious bronze ranking in the U.S. News and World Report listing of the top high schools in the country.

In addition to academics, cadets are encouraged to participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible.

Franklin Military Academy offers varsity sports in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

Students continuously study Military Science while the rest of the class schedule revolves around core or AP classes.

Additionally, students may consider electives in Spanish, business, art, band, and chorus.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Franklin Military Academy is a coed public military school in Richmond, Virginia.

It is the oldest public military school in the United States with more than 4 decades of success.

Franklin Military Academy utilizes a military model that prepares students to not only excel academically but also develop professional skills.

The public school accepts students for both the middle school and high school programs.

Class sizes are maintained at a relatively small ratio of 11:1 while the total enrollment at the school is less than 400 students.

As a result, admission to Franklin Military Academy is selective and students must meet eligibility criteria.

Nonetheless, the school honors open admissions for area residents, including boys and girls.

Furthermore, since Franklin Military Academy is a public school, there is no cost for tuition.

Additionally, Franklin Military Academy is not a boarding school, therefore cadets do not need to pay for housing or dining.


Those who are interested in attending Franklin Military Academy are encouraged to apply the year prior to the semester year they wish to attend.

It is the norm with most military schools, especially the finest institutions in the state.

You may contact the school directly at (804) 780-8526 or the guidance counselor at your current school.

The acceptance decision is based on multiple factors, so getting teacher recommendations and earning good grades go a long way.

Graduates of Franklin Military Academy have progressed to attend prestigious 4-year institutions as well as received thousands in scholarship money.

Related ArticleMilitary Schools in New York

#6 – Randolph-Macon Academy

military school in virginia
Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: 200 Academy Road Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Founded: 1892
  • Grades: 6-12 
  • # of Students: 323
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 7:1
  • Official Website:

Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) is impossible to miss despite getting lumped into a crowded list of the best military schools in Virginia.

The private college preparatory military school has been in continuous operation since 1892.

For this reason, it ranks among the oldest military institutions in the state along with the rest of the country.

Randolph-Macon Academy is conveniently situated less than 70 miles from Washington, D.C. in Front Royal, Virginia.

The school has multiple affiliations, including a prized agreement with the United States Air Force as well as the United Methodist Church.

The coed military prep school accepts students for the grade levels 6-12.

Randolph-Macon Academy is open to day students as well as those who wish to live on campus full-time.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each opportunity.

Regardless, you get to spend time on the gorgeous 135-acre campus which overlooks Front Royal.

The campus provides separate dormitories and classrooms for younger students between the grade levels 6-8.

However, cadets do have the ability to progress to the upper school in order to begin taking accelerated high school courses.

Extracurricular Activities

Randolph-Macon Academy features a plethora of extracurricular activities just like most military schools in Virginia.

Cadets may select from band, drama, chorus, speech and debate, color guard, or drill teams.

Furthermore, Randolph-Macon Academy supports 16 coed varsity sports.

The Air Force JROTC program is one of the major highlights at Randolph-Macon Academy.

Cadets in the upper school (grades 9-12) are required to participate in the Air Force JROTC program which introduces young people to leadership skills and citizenship responsibilities.

Students also learn the importance of community service and get the rare opportunity to work directly with Air Force flight instructors and aviation programs.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Randolph-Macon Academy is 1 of 6 private military schools in Virginia.

It consistently ranks among the best for the stellar Air Force JROTC program as well as its academic track record.

Randolph-Macon Academy is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The cost of the Randolph-Macon Academy program breaks down as follows (per year): 

  • Upper School Boarding: $43,873
  • Upper School Day: $22,572
  • Middle 7-Day School Boarding: $40,917
  • Middle 5-Day School Boarding: $33,278
  • Middle School Day: $19,380

Tuition Assistance

While tuition is not cheap to attend Randolph-Macon Academy, there is financial relief available.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was passed in 2018 allows families to request up to $10,000 per year for tuition and books related to a public, private, or religious elementary and high school in the United States.

Furthermore, there are other types of tuition assistance available to families that would like to send their son or daughter to Randolph-Macon.

You can learn more about the admissions process along with available financial aid by visiting this webpage.

Randolph-Macon Academy accepts students from all over the country as well as the world.

In 2012, Randolph-Macon Academy became 1 of only 8 schools in the nation to be named a Falcon Foundation School.

As a result, the military academy houses its own fleet of aircraft along with flight instructors and other aviation programs.

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

#7 – Virginia Military Institute

virginia military schools
Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: 319 Letcher Avenue, Lexington, VA 24450
  • Founded: 1839
  • Grades: Undergraduate
  • # of Students: 1,512
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 9:1
  • Official Website:

Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is a noteworthy addition to the top military schools in Virginia even if it’s technically not a prep school.

VMI is the first state-supported military college in the United States with an incredible history that dates back to the 1840s.

Virginia Military Institute continues to produce cadets who demonstrate an excellent academic background along with 4 years of military training through the ROTC program.

While cadets are required to participate in ROTC for all 4 years, they are not required to accept a commission in the Armed Forces, unlike the federal service academies.

Nonetheless, approximately half of VMI graduates decide to pursue a military commission.

Virginia Military Institute has maintained many of its founding principles including making ROTC participation mandatory as well as only awarding undergraduate degrees.

Every student on campus is a cadet and therefore strict military discipline is anticipated when attending VMI.

The military school combines demanding physical exercise with academic and leadership development.

Virginia Military Institute has a total enrollment of around 1,500 students who live under similar arrangements and conditions compared to the initial setup in the 19th century.

Several of the campus features are designated National Historic Landmarks, as the 134 acres are affectionately known as the “Post.”


VMI is currently invested in its future with a pledged $275 million raised to go toward expanding and renovating the living barracks along with other campus infrastructure.

Virginia Military Institute offers several different majors, with most cadets specializing in engineering, liberal arts, humanities, or the sciences.

The engineering department has 3 different concentration areas with an incredibly high college or job placement.

Virginia Military Institute has graduated more Rhodes Scholars per capita than any other state-supported college or university, as well as more than all the other senior military colleges combined.

The military institution consistently ranks behind the 3 federal academies (West Point, Annapolis, and Air Force Academy) in the “Top Public Schools, National Liberal Arts Colleges” rankings.

VMI also regularly receives Top 25 rankings from Forbes and other publications for being one of the best public colleges in America.

Average Tuition / Boarding

Students who are interested in attending the public military college are encouraged to follow a series of steps.

It is recommended that you schedule a visit to VMI, like any other post-secondary institution you may attend.

Additionally, the Virginia Military Institute suggests that high school students contact the admissions department to gather more details as well as ask questions.

Virginia Military Institute has varying tuition rates depending on your residency status (in-state, out-of-state, international, etc.) and other factors.

Of course, if you decide to live and eat on campus, you’ll spend much more on room and board.

The typical student at VMI who lives in Virginia can expect to pay approximately $10,560 in tuition alone per year.

The rate is more than 3x higher for out-of-state and international students ($40,778 per year).

Moreover, room and board factors in to cost an additional $11,000 per school year.

These costs are before fees, uniforms, mandatory sports equipment, and other expenses. 

Financial Assistance

Fortunately, cadets may consult a variety of resources for financial aid and tuition assistance.

Since Virginia Military Institute is a senior college, students can and should apply for the FAFSA each year they plan on attending.

The good news is that Virginia Military Institute frequently ranks among the most affordable public liberal arts colleges in America.

Those that receive admission and are able to afford tuition receive a world-class education.

Virginia Military Institute is extremely proud of its alumni, who include a Nobel Prize winner and 7 Medal of Honor recipients.

The alumni also includes a Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, as well as numerous military generals and flag officers.

George Marshall, the first 5-star General of the U.S. Army, is among the distinguished alumni at VMI.

All in all, VMI has graduated more Army generals than any other ROTC program in the country.

Rob V.
Military Schools in VA

Military Schools in VA

4.9 out of 5 (29 Ratings)

Virginia is home to 7 military schools for boys and girls. They include high schools, boarding schools, and military academies, learn more about each one here.
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