21 Best Free Boarding Schools You Must Not Miss

The idea of free boarding schools was initially a result of the idea to help low-income families and individuals under the poverty percentage of society and students with exceptional academic performance.

This has thus made it a welcome idea all around the world and thereby resulted in the establishment of more free boarding schools than there initially were.

While some schools have financial aid programs for special students, some have scholarships and many other programs just to aid financially unstable students.

 Searching for a free boarding school will require you to conduct countless kinds of research about tuition, admission processes, scholarships, student aids, and practically all the requirements there are, while also checking how compatible such school requirements are with you, not minding that it is free.

Families consider sending their wards to free boarding schools because of the cost and are left with little to no option if there aren’t available tuition-free schools.

The fact that most free boarding schools are funded and set up by philanthropists, businesses, parents, charities, universities, and companies does not guarantee easy access and admission to them. 

In fact, because of the mode of funding, the admission processes in most free boarding schools are proven to be highly selective to students with a serious need for academic financing and also students who display exceptional academic proficiency.

In this article, we’ll be listing out 21 free boarding schools, and their basic requirements as needed during the admission process.

But before we dive right in, let’s have a quick look at the admission processes and steps to take before enrolling your child in one of the top-rated tuition-free boarding schools.

Steps To Take Before Enrolling In A Free Boarding School

Step 1-Research:

You should research if you want to get admitted into any school and find out their requirements, important dates and deadlines, scholarships, and financial aid. 

You can browse through school websites and contact a front desk representative, see their special conditions if any, and check academic requirements, health and physical requirements, and specific benefits.

Step 2-Fill out your applications:

Before admission into any school, you should have turned in your application for review. Your application comprises your essay, academic transcripts, evidence of taxes, and many fields to fill.

All of the required documents should be submitted alongside, follow all instructions carefully, provide relevant and true information, and contact the school’s office to know exactly how to submit the admission documents which most times, are readily provided during your research phase.

While writing an application, get the help of your parents and family members, rehearse interview scenarios constantly, contact teachers you’ve had good experiences with for recommendations, and most importantly, submit your application to as many free boarding schools as you wish.

Step 3-Have A Tour 

Upon acceptance, each applicant is expected to have attended a virtual or physical tour of the school before resumption.

This will help to get familiar with the environment before orientation, see, sense, and understand the school culture. understand the hierarchy and structure, and form friendships with local guardians and faculty members.

The List of Free Boarding Schools 

Here is a list of 21 tuition-free boarding schools in no particular order:

1. Milton Hershey School

The Milton Hershey School is a private, tuition-free coeducational school in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 It was initially a school for orphaned kids that was founded by chocolate magnates Milton and Catherine Hershey with the money they both earned from their chocolate company. 

And since then, they have made it their duty to transform lives and have been helping over 10,000 children from financially unstable families that have passed the qualifying stage.

Type: Private 

Grade: PK to 12

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Population: 2,181

Minority enrollment: 61.2%

Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

Address:1201 Homestead Ln, Hershey, PA 17033, United States

Founded: 1910

Website: www.nhskids.org

2.North Carolina School of Arts

Founded in 1963, the North Carolina school of Arts (highschool) is a public school for arts in the United States of America. The campus consists of two hostels divided between high school and college students in a ratio of 2:6 hostels respectively.

Also, the North Carolina School of arts offers different undergraduate degree and graduate programs, and some specialized courses.

Type: Public

Grade: 10-12

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:1533 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27127, United States

Founded: 1963

Website: www.uncsa.edu 

Highschool program 

3. South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities

At the SCGSAH, students of high artistic talent have been nurtured and recognized nationally by top organizations.

Upon graduation, there are scholarships for study at top universities and colleges ranging up to millions of dollars.

They are trained to be leading personnel in arts, technology, health, business education, and all relevant fields in society.

These young artists are given a platform to refine themselves in the arts-centered community of Greenville.

Type: Public

Grade: 10-12

Minority enrollment: 34%

Student-teacher ratio: Not applicable

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address: 15 University St, Greenville, SC 29601, United States

Founded: 1999

Website: www.scgsah.org

4. Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering New Jersey

At the academy of mathematics, science, and engineering, students are prepared in a four-year program for a career in engineering.

The school has a rigorous curriculum, engages its students in resourceful camps, and positions them for internships with businesses and companies of different industries.

The academy is an affiliate effort of the Morris county board of chosen freeholders, Morris hills regional district, and the Morris county vocational school district.

Type: Public

Grade: 9-12

Minority enrollment: 84%

Student-teacher ratio: Not applicable

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:520 W Main St, Rockaway, NJ 07866, United States

Founded: proposed- November 1997, Opened- 11th October 2000

Website: www.mcvts.org

5. Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center

Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is located in Estes Park, has a total enrollment of 72, and is a school that aims at implementing teaching practices that help develop each student’s potential.

They help students who naturally don’t stand out in their environment to become the best version of themselves and become resourceful members of society.

The school also provides professional and Developmental platforms for its students and maintains a strictly preserved organizing framework for all educational programs.

Type: Public

Grade: 7-12

Minority enrollment: 78.6%

Student-teacher ratio: 4:1

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:2750 Notaiah Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517, United States

Founded: 1927

Website: eaglerockschool.org

6. Wartburg Kirchdorf SchoolSouth Africa


Grade: 8-12

Student enrollment: 422

Accepted Gender: coeducational

Address: 9 Fountain Hill Rd, Wartburg, 3233, South Africa

Founded: 1881

Website: www.wartburg.co.za 

7. Carver Military Academy

At Carver Military Academy, their military model is the essence of how their teaching and learning processes are observed while building a healthy student competition.

The school structure encourages self-respect, leadership, discipline, partnership, etc 

The school is especially for Army JROTC cadets and students must be enrolled in a complete JROTC leadership education and training.

Type: public military boarding school

Grade: 9-12

Minority enrollment: 99%

Student-teacher ratio: Not applicable

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:13100 S. Doty Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60827

Founded: 1947

Website: carvermilitary.org

8. Mississippi School of Arts 

At the Mississippi School of Arts, most faculties cooperate with the visual, literary, and performing arts, alongside academic teachers too. 

There are also off-campus courses provided for students.

Also, at the school of arts, some very important science lessons are taken in math and other core subjects.

The focus of the Mississippi school of arts:

Theater Arts, Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Dance Arts, and Media Arts.

Type: Residential Public High School

Grade: 11-12

Minority enrollment: 45%

Student-teacher ratio: 11:1

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:308 W Cherokee St, Brookhaven, MS 39601, United States

Founded: 2003

Website: www.msabrookhaven.org

9. Burr and Burton Academy 

At the Burr and Burton Academy, there are available facilities for indigenous and foreign students though fees apply for foreign students.

The academy has a limited budget for financial aid and is awarded to only students who are evaluated and finally qualified in different sets of criteria.

Their selection process is aimed at admitting students of the best character, and potential. And students who have sound disciplinary and academic character.

Type: Private, Non-profit day and boarding school

Grade: 9-12

Minority enrollment: 

Student-teacher ratio:

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:57 Seminary Ave, Manchester, VT 05254, United States

Founded: 1829

Website: burburton.org

10. Texas Academy of Arts and Science

The academy was first founded by professors in 1880 and later added new founding members in 1929.

The academy has published journals (since 1949), conducted annual meetings on research highlights conducted across 17 science sections, and also provided annual funding of over $25,000.

Type: profit

Grade: k-12

Minority enrollment: 49%

Student-teacher ratio: 31:1

Accepted Gender:

Address: Online/10550 Richmond Ave. #140, Houston, TX 77042, United States

Founded: 2001

Website: www.connectionsacademy.com 

11. Chinquapin Preparatory School 

This prep school is designed to motivate 6th-12th graders in Houston’s deprived communities and schools for college.

They have a budget of over $12,000,000 through years of donations from generous supporters worldwide.

Over 90% of its facilities, general expenses, transportation, and programs are being funded by individuals, foundations, companies, private donations, and corporations.

At Chinquapin Prep School, they run a seven-year program of intense preparation through small class sizes for less distraction.

Type: Nonprofit private college-prep school

Grade: 6-12

Minority enrollment: 98.7

Student-teacher ratio: 8:1

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:2615 E Wallisville Rd, Highlands, TX 77562, United States


Website: www.chinquapin.org

12. The Seed School of Maryland

The Seed school which was founded in 2008 is a college prep boarding school with over 80 sixth graders, offers a 7-year program, and will currently be serving over 400 students in the 2022-2023 academic session.

This tuition-free college prep school has nice student dormitories for both genders and helps transport students who live far during their weekend leave and vacation periods.

Type: Public

Grade: 9-12

Minority enrollment: 100%

Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:200 Font Hill Ave, Baltimore, MD 21223, United States

Founded: 2008

Website: www.seedschoolmd.org

13. Minnesota State Academies

The Minnesota state academies are two public schools that are respectively for the blind and the deaf in Minnesota.

The academies have student bodies of 

74.3% whites

25.3% Asians

15.3% Latinos

9% blacks

0.7% of Indian Americans

0.7% Asians

0% Pacific Islanders

0% of double races

0% unspecified ethnicity

The academy also has a gender percentage of 53% females and 47% males. Also, there are tuition waivers and meal reductions.

Type: Public

Grade: pk-12

Minority enrollment: 

Student-teacher ratio:

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:615 Olof Hanson Drive, Faribault, MN 55021

Founded: 1863

Website: www.msa.state.mn.us

14. Maine School of Science And Math

The Maine School of Science And Math is a public school with rigid and specialized courses for 9th -12th graders and summer programs for 5th-9th graders.

The academy has two dorms, a student enrollment of 150, and specializes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The school has students from different parts of Maine and the United States of America who come to experience intelligence, positive energy, and a unique school experience.

Type: magnet 

Grade: 7-12

Minority enrollment: 76.0%

Student-teacher ratio: 11:1

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:95 High St, Limestone, ME 04750, United States

Founded: 1995

Website: www.mssm.org

15. Alabama School of Fine Arts

This school of fine arts is a tuition-free public school in Birmingham that focuses on public science and arts.

This is a prep school for 7th to 12th graders who would be chasing a degree after obtaining their diploma.

There are also specialized courses for students to explore varieties and access boundless heights of learning.

There are also finely crafted courses used to develop student creativity in arts and innovation, especially in the cultural aspects and model building. 

Type: Public

Grade: 7-12

Minority enrollment: 

Student-teacher ratio:

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203, United States

Founded: 1971

Website: http://www.asfa.k12.al.us/ 

16. Illinois Math And Science Academy

The Illinois Math And Science Academy is a 3-year coeducational school that fosters creative thinking and the development of problem-solving individuals.

The academy has a very competitive admission process that requires the submission of grades for assessments, essays, and teachers’ evaluations.

The school is for 10th to 12th graders and has a student enrollment of 650 in courses like technology, engineering, math, and sciences

Type: public residential magnet

Grade: 10-12

Minority enrollment: 69%

Student-teacher ratio: Not applicable

Accepted Gender: co-educational

Address:1500 Sullivan Rd, Aurora, IL 60506, United States

Founded: 1985

Website: www.imsa.org

Boarding School in Other Countries

Lundsbergs boarding schoolSweden

Type: independent boarding School

Age grade: 14-19

Student enrollment: 220

Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

Accepted Gender: coeducational

Address: 688 91 Storfors, Sweden

Founded: 1896

Website: www.lundsbergsskola.se

Sigtuna Boarding SchoolSweden

Type: private day and boarding School

Age grade: 12-19

Student enrollment: 700

Accepted Gender: coeducational

Address: Manfred Björkquists allé 8, 193 31 Sigtuna, Sweden

Founded: 1890

Website: sshl.s

Northwood SchoolSouth Africa

Type: Government

Age grade: 8-12

Student enrollment: 1350

Accepted Gender: all boys

Address: 140 Adelaide Tambo Drive, Durban North, 4051, South Africa

Founded: 1990

Website: northwoodschool.co.za 

Parktown Boys High SchoolSouth Africa

Type: public school


grade: 8-12

Student enrollment: 800Accepted Gender: all boys

Address: 20 Wellington Rd, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa

Founded: 1923

Website: www.parktownboys.com 

Reducing The Cost of Boarding Schools

  • Aids
  • Track Academic Performance
  • Reduced Tuition


There are financial aid offers in different boarding schools for low-resourced families.

There are different assessment options like a parent’s financial statement which will eventually determine which child will qualify and how many parts of the tuition a legal guardian should pay.

While researching, you’ll come across financial aid opportunities so make sure to be prepared and meet all required deadlines and additional requirements.

Track Academic Performance

There are a lot of scholarships for students with exceptional academic talents.

These are merit-based and depend on how academically gifted the student is for them to qualify for a scholarship. Also, look out for partner scholarships like alumni and industry scholarships available to students who meet certain requirements.

Reduced Tuition

There are reduced tuition programs funded by the government( tax) for families of low income. Although this program is most beneficial to students with disabilities who are under special care.

Are There Free Government Boarding Schools in the UK?

There is usually no boarding school in the UK that is free but there are about 40 state boarding schools where you pay your only boarding dues under a state-funded education program.

These are the 40 schools:

  • Adams’ Grammar School: Shropshire 

  • Ashby School: Leicestershire

  • Beechen Cliff School: Bath and North East Somerset

  • Brymore Academy: Somerset

  • Burford School: Oxfordshire

  • Burleigh Community College: Leicestershire

  • Colchester Royal Grammar School: Essex

  • Cranbrook School: Kent

  • Dallam School: Cumbria

  • De Aston School: Lincolnshire

  • Duke of York’s Royal Military School: Kent

  • Gordon’s School: Surrey

  • Harefield Academy: Hillingdon

  • Haydon Bridge High School: Northumberland

  • Hockerill Anglo-European College: Hertfordshire

  • Holyport College: Windsor and Maidenhead

  • Keswick School: Cumbria Mixed

  • Kings’ School: Hampshire

  • Lancaster Royal Grammar School: Lancashire

  • Liverpool College: Liverpool

  • Old Swinford Hospital: Dudley

  • Peter Symonds College: Hampshire

  • The Priory Academy LSST:Lincolnshire

  • Queen Elizabeth’s Community College:Devon

  • Reading School: Reading

  • Ripon Grammar School: North Yorkshire

  • Royal Alexandra and Albert School: Surrey

  • The Royal Grammar School: Buckinghamshire

  • The Royal School, Wolverhampton: West Midlands

  • Sexey’s School: Somerset

  • Shaftesbury School: Dorset

  • Sir Roger Manwood’s School: Kent

  • Skegness Grammar School: Lincolnshire

  • St George’s School: Hertfordshire

  • Steyning Grammar School: West Sussex

  • Thomas Adams School: Shropshire

  • Welbeck Defense Sixth Form College: Leicestershire

  • The Wellington Academy: Wiltshire

  • The Westgate School: Hampshire

  • Wymondham College: Norfolk

Are There Free Boarding Schools For Youths?

The issue of youths being depressed and a greater percentage of young people being emotionally downcast is becoming alarming.

Bullying, health-related courses of constant anxiety, addiction, abuse, and peer pressure are very relatable courses of emotional stress.

The good news is that some schools have experienced personnel ready to help these young ones.

Let’s have a look at their list below

  • The Seed School of Washington.

  • Cookson Hills.

  • Milton Hershey School.

  • New Lifehouse Academy.

  • Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.

  • Lakeland Grace Academy.

  • Agape Boarding School.

  • Eagle Rock school.

What Are The Free Boarding Schools In South Africa?

South Africa has quite a few free boarding schools that have scholarship schemes, financial aid, and need-based assessments.

They are:

  • Northwood School

  • Parktown Boy’ High School

  • Pietermaritzburg girls High School

  • Rustenburg education college

  • Wartburg Kirchdorf school

  • Maritzburg college


Finding a free boarding school can be a tough one. You’ll get confused in between, some might have very few fees that you weren’t ready to pay on the spot, and some might have academic requirements that may be high.

The key to all of these is research and when it comes to finding any school at all, you’ll really be in for the sweat, so be prepared for what’s coming because the result is usually worthwhile.

Editor’s Pick


  • southafricalists.com-List Of Free Boarding Schools In South Africa

  • worldscholarshub.com- Free Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens and Youth

  • en.m.wikipedia.org- List of state boarding schools in England

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