Military School FAQs

Many people have misconceptions about military schools. This article will help address some of the basics facts about military schools through military school FAQs that will help set the record straight.

What is a military school?

The term military school usually refers to a college preparatory boarding school that includes some aspects of military culture in its environment and expectations, including, for example, the wearing of uniforms, a high level of self-discipline, loyalty to the group, and opportunity for assuming positions of leadership. Many of them have a Christian affiliation, although it may be non-denominational, and while attendance at chapel may be required, students’ individual faiths are respected and supported.

Are students who go to military school required to join the Armed Forces when they graduate?

Most military schools have a JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program, and participation may be required while students are enrolled, but there is no obligation for military service incurred by attendance at a K–12 military school. They are separate from the US Armed Forces Service Academies.

Should I send my troubled/defiant child to military school to set him/her straight? It seems like the strict atmosphere might be helpful.

No. Military schools are college preparatory schools that admit promising students who are functioning well academically or downright gifted and who they identify as having leadership potential. Most of these schools are explicitly unwilling to and/or do not have the resources to deal with students with learning differences or ADD/ADHD, let alone students who are having larger difficulties.

To find a good match for troubled youth or  a child defying authority, ask a healthcare professional or guidance counselor for assistance in finding an appropriate setting for your child, or visit the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) website at and use their program search to begin a search for programs that might be a good match for your child.

Will attendance at military school help my child get into a good college?

A very high percentage of military school graduates are admitted to prestigious colleges or enter the United States Armed Forces.

How can I ensure that we choose a school that is a good fit for my child?

There are three really helpful things you can do.

• Take advantage of every resource offered on the school website or through published documents, DVDs, or other sources of information, like alumni to find out everything you can about the school. Seek out people who had a less than perfect experience, as well as those who have nothing but good to say.

• Visit the school when it is in session and spend a good amount of time experiencing the atmosphere of the campus. An in-person interview provides information to the student as well as the school.

• Arrange for your student to participate in any summer school program that the school might offer. This is the best chance for your student to really understand how he or she can fit into the school paradigm.