Top 15 Free Boarding Schools For Low-Income Families in 2023

15 free boarding schools for low income families
15 free boarding schools for low income families

With over 300 boarding schools in the US, it can be difficult to find free boarding schools for low-income families, especially when it comes to making the right choice for your child.

After several google searches, inquiries, and conversations with boarding schools and their admissions units, you may have decided that a boarding school is perfect for your child’s education and growth.

However, most of the boarding schools you’ve come across are too expensive for you at this time. Not to worry, we’ve done the work for you.

In this article, you’ll find some tuition-free boarding schools where you can enroll your child in for his/her educational pursuit.

Before we go ahead to list out these free schools for low-income families, let’s quickly take a look at some important information you shouldn’t miss; starting from how to enroll your child in a highly rated tuition-free boarding school.

How to Enroll Your Child in a Tuition-Free Boarding School

Before you enroll your child into any high school, there are some vital steps you should take to ensure you make the right decision.

Below are the steps on how to enroll into a tuition-free boarding school:

1. Check the eligibility requirements

Review the requirements of any tuition-free boarding school you wish to enroll your child into. Different schools will have different admission requirements and criteria for eligibility. To find the eligibility requirements, browse through the boarding school’s website and compare it to your child’s qualifications.

2. Request Information

To learn more about the tuition-free boarding school you wish to enroll your child into, reach out to the school through their email, phone call, in-person, visits, or inquiry forms to know more about the school and how they operate. 

3. Apply

Before your child can be considered for enrollment/admission, they must have submitted both their application and other requested documents and supporting materials. Make sure you carefully follow the application instructions and provide correct information while you do so. Most times, you’ll be provided with information on how to submit the documents.

4. Schedule a Visit

After successful application, you can visit the school to get a glance at the kind of environment, policies, facilities, and structure that the institution has.

This will help you to know if the school is what you want for your child or not. It will also help you to know some staff and students and build relationships as well.

How to reduce the cost of boarding schools for low-income families

Below are 3 other ways you can reduce your child’s boarding fees: 

1. Financial Aid

Some boarding schools offer financial aid options for the tuition of students from low-income families. Oftentimes, private boarding schools use the parent’s financial statement to determine which child to allocate financial assistance to and the quota parents are to pay for tuition each year.

Keep your eyes open for financial aid opportunities and ensure you also take note of the deadline because they may not fall on the same dates as the application or enrollment dates.

2. Scholarships

High School scholarships and other merit-based scholarships are other great ways to afford your child’s boarding school education. However, most of these scholarships are given to students with outstanding educational performance and other valuable prowess.

Also, some schools may have partnerships with organizations that offer scholarships to students who meet certain criteria. While you carry out your boarding school search, endeavor to look out for these scholarships and partnerships.

3. State Reduced Tuition

Some states offer low-income families some tax-funded school programs or voucher programs where students receive scholarships to pay for their private school education.

Students from low-income families and students with certain disabilities and special needs are usually the beneficiaries of this state initiative for free high school education.

List of free boarding schools for low-income families

Below is a list of 15 Tuition-Free boarding schools for low-income families:

  • Maine School Of Science & Maths
  • Alabama School Of Fine Arts
  • Mississippi School of the Arts
  • Illinois Math & Science Academy
  • North Carolina School Of The Arts
  • Milton Hershey School
  • South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH)
  • Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
  • Burr and Burton Academy
  • Chinquapin Preparatory School
  • The Seed School of Maryland
  • Minnesota State Academies
  • Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Cente
  • Oakdale Christian Academy
  • Carver Military Academy.

15 free boarding schools for low-income families

Below are some free boarding schools for low-income families.

1. Maine School Of Science & Maths

  • School Type: Magnet School
  • Grades: 7 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Limestone, Maine.

Maine School of Science and Maths is a public secondary school with a specialized curriculum and courses. Individuals who are in grades 9 to 12 can enroll in this institution while students in grades 5 to 9 can enroll in its summer program. This magnet high school has two boarding dormitories with a student capacity of about 150 students.

Apply Here

2. Alabama School Of Fine Arts

  • School Type: Public; Partially residential
  • Grades: 7 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama.

Alabama School of Fine Arts, also known as ASFA is a tuition-free public science and art high school located in Birmingham, Alabama. This school also offers 7 to 12-grade students College preparatory education which qualifies students to earn an advanced diploma. Students also engage in specialty study which allows them to study a subject they are passionate about.

Apply Here

3. Mississippi School of the Arts

  • School Type: Residential Public High School
  • Grades: 11 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Brookhaven, Mississippi.

Grade 11 to 12 students can enroll in this upper high school with specialized training in Visual arts, theatre, literary arts, music, etc. Mississippi School of the arts has a curriculum that is focused on humanities and arts. However, students also take some important science lessons in maths and other core science subjects.

Apply Here

4. Illinois Math & Science Academy

  • School Type: Public Residential Magnet
  • Grades: 10 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Aurora, Illinois.

If you’re in search of a 3-year Co-ed boarding High School in Illinois then you might want to check out the Illinois math and science academy.

The Admission process is often competitive and prospective students are expected to submit grades for review, SAT scores, teacher’s evaluation, essays, etc. It has an enrollment capacity of about 600 students and admission is often offered to incoming 10th graders although younger students can enroll if they meet eligibility requirements.

Apply here

5. North Carolina School Of The Arts

  • School Type: Public Art Schools
  • Grades: 10 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

This High School was founded in 1963 as the first public conservatory for arts in the US. It has eight boarding halls which include; 2 for its High School students and 6 for its college students. The school also has a university arm and offers undergraduate degree programs as well as graduate programs.

Apply here

6. Milton Hershey School

  • School Type: Independent Boarding School
  • Grades: PK to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania.

This Institution offers academic training that prepares students for college and their career development. Students from families who qualify for enrollment enjoy 100% free education.

The educational programs at Milton Hershey School are broken down into 3 sections which are:

  • Elementary Division for pre-kindergarten to 4th grade.
  • Middle Division for 5th grade to grade 8.
  • Senior Division for grades 9 to 12.

Apply Here

7. South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH)

  • School Type: Public Boarding School
  • Grades: 10 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina.

For you to be admitted as a student into this high school program, you’ll undergo the school’s audition and application process for your discipline of interest in the academic year before your entry.

Graduate students who successfully complete their academic and pre-professional arts training receive a high school diploma and a scholars diploma. At SCGSAH students enjoy prestigious arts training without paying for tuition.

Apply Here

8. Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering

  • School Type: Magnet, Public High School
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: 520 West Main Street Rockaway, Morris County, New Jersey 07866

Students who have an interest in engineering can enroll in this 4 year High School program. Their programs are available to individuals in the 9 to 12 grades who wish to build a career in STEM. On graduation, students are expected to earn at least 170 credits and 100 hours of internship in STEM.

Apply Here

9. Burr and Burton Academy

  • School Type: Independent School
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Manchester, Vermont.

Burr and Burton Academy offers boarding facilities to international students and also indigenous students. Through the Burr and Burton Academy international program, international students can also apply for admission into the institution, but they’ll have to pay tuition fees.

The institution also accepts students from certain locations referred to as “Sending locations”. Sending locations are towns that vote on a yearly basis to approve the school’s tuition and pay for it through education funding.

Apply here

10. Chinquapin Preparatory School

  • School Type: Nonprofit private college-preparatory school
  • Grades: 6 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Highlands, Texas.

Chinquapin Preparatory School is a private institution that serves low-income students in their Six to twelfth grades. This school is known as one of the private college preparatory schools that offers education to low-income students in the Greater Houston area.

Students of this school are mandated to take two and half-credit courses in fine arts and two annual community service projects. A reasonable amount of students receive a 97% scholarship for tuition, which helps them to pay for their education.

Apply Here

11. The Seed School of Maryland

  • School Type: Magnet, Public High School
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: 200 Font Hill Avenue Baltimore, MD 21223

Students can attend the SEED School of Maryland for free. This tuition-free college preparatory school has two separate boarding school dorms for male and female students with 2 to 3 students per room. For students whose families live far from school, the institution also offers transportation at designated locations for its students.

Apply Here

12. Minnesota State Academies

  • School Type: Magnet, Public High School
  • Grades: Pk to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: 615 Olof Hanson Drive, Faribault, MN 55021

There are two separate schools that make up the Minnesota state academies. These two schools are the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind and the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. Both of these schools are public boarding schools for students resident in Minnesota who have disabilities and thus require special education.

Apply Here

13. Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center

  • School Type: Boarding High School
  • Grades: 8 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: 2750 Notaiah Road Estes Park, Colorado

Eagle Rock School is a full-scholarship boarding school for students from low-income families. This institution is an initiative of the American Honda Motor Company. The school enrolls young people around the age of 15 to 17 years. Admission occurs all through the year and students gain access to professional development activities as well.

Apply Here

14. Oakdale Christian Academy

  • School Type: Christian Boarding High School
  • Grades: 7 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: Jackson, Kentucky.

Oakdale Christian Academy is a Christian Co-ed boarding school for 7 to 12 graders. On average, the school enrolls only 60 students at its campus in Jackson, Kentucky.

Two-thirds of enrolled students from low-income families receive need-based financial assistance from the institution. 

Apply Here

15. Carver Military Academy

  • School Type: Public Military Boarding High School
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Gender: Co-ed
  • Location: 13100 S. Doty Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60827

This is a 4-year military high school operated by the Chicago public schools. The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students undergo training in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).  

Apply here


Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Are there free boarding schools in the US?

Yes. Some of the institutions we've mentioned above are tuition-free boarding schools in the US. However, some of these free boarding schools may have very competitive admission, while others may offer free boarding to only indigenous students.

2. What are the disadvantages of boarding schools?

Like everything else, boarding schools also have some disadvantages which includes: •Lack of Comfort for Some kids. •Young students may be denied time with family •Children may be bullied by peers or seniors •Children may become homesick.

3. Is it good to send your child to a boarding school?

This will depend on who your child is and the kind of education that will be perfect for his/her growth and development. While some kids may thrive in boarding schools, others may struggle.

4. Can you send a 7-year-old to boarding school?

Whether you can send a 7-year-old to a boarding school or not will depend on your child's grade and the school of choice. Some institutions accept 6th graders to 12th graders into their boarding schools while others may accept children from lower grades as well.

5. What is needed for boarding school?

You may need the following items for your boarding school. •Personal belongings like clothes •An alarm clock •Toiletries •Medications if you have any health challenges. •School materials etc.

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There’s no substitute for quality education. Many people make the mistake of thinking that most of these free boarding schools for low-income families are of low quality.

The truth, however, is that some of these schools are free because they run on public funding or philanthropic actions by wealthy individuals, groups, and organizations.

Nevertheless, we advise readers to carry out thorough research before they enroll their children in any school.