Free Military Schools

Before deciding that military school is not financially feasible, it’s a good idea to find out what the cost would actually be. It might not occur to people to consider the terms military school and free in the same sentence when thinking about K through 12 schools, but there are two ways to make free military school a possibility for your child. The first comes with the opening of a number of public military schools: this has made “free military schools” a real possibility for those who live in the areas served by these schools. But it is also the case that a private military school education may—in certain cases—be free or nearly free. Here are the details.

Free Public Military Schools

Like all other public schools, public military schools—whether they are “regular” public schools, charter schools, or magnet schools—are not paid for directly by those who attend them. In public military schools, unlike private military schools, the students’ uniforms are also supplied free of charge.

If you are looking for free military schools, there are more options (though they are still only available in limited areas) for students in grades 9 through 12. Free military schools are almost all high schools, although there is one military school for grades 6 through 8 in Charleston Heights, South Carolina. The places where there are currently accredited public military schools include the following cities, besides the one just named:

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Forestville, Maryland
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Wilmington, Delaware

Free Private Military Schools

Like other private schools, private military schools are not known for being cheap. There are tuition expenses, room and board expenses for boarding students (though not for day students), and the expense of uniforms and other incidentals of school attendance. But, as with other schools that charge tuition, including colleges and universities, where there are charges, there is also financial aid.

Loans have to be paid back, so while they may make military school attendance affordable, they do not make it free. What may possibly make it free or approach being free is need-based grants and scholarships and merit scholarships and schemes that reduce tuition. The scholarship and grant types of financial assistance may come from a number of places, and may be secured from within the school, from the student’s home community, or elsewhere. Schools often have donations from alumni to build a scholarship and/or grant fund. Community organizations such as Rotary and Lion’s Clubs, businesses where students work, and parents’ employers are typical sources of funding for students. When there is financial need, at least some schools indicate that their financial aid awards may be substantial. Students who have a parent or relative working at the school and who are the son or daughter of a school alum (sometimes called a legacy admission) sometimes receive a tuition break right from the start, before any awards are applied. Scholarships may have specific criteria that students need to fulfill in order to qualify, and they may have to compete with others for a limited number of scholarships.