No-Cost Teen Military Schools

by Jayne Thompson ; Updated March 15, 2018

Military schools are controversial for troubled teens due to their stringent atmospheres.

suvorov military school image by Alexander Petrari from Fotolia.com

If you’re thinking about military schools for your teenage son or daughter, then the idea of a free public high school might not immediately spring to mind. In fact, free military educational opportunities are flourishing across the country, and they are relatively easy to find if you know where to look. Parents often favor military schools for their structure, discipline and high standards of personal behavior. These values are as important in a cost-free public military school as they are in a private institution.

Free Military School for Low-Income Families

The Military School USA website maintains a directory of free public military schools across the United States. As of late 2017, it lists 31 schools in 17 states. To find your nearest school, navigate to the Military School USA search bar. Select your state from the drop-down list; then select “Public” from the drop-down list of school types. Review the matches carefully since the results include a mixture of free public high schools and colleges providing four-year undergraduate programs.

Admissions Criteria

The free military high schools listed on the Military School USA website are all part of the public school system, which means they are free for local residents to attend. However, public schools will only admit teenagers who live in the area in which the military school is located. In most cases, there are no additional admission requirements, but check with the school for specific guidelines. Some schools will interview students using the same process as if the student were seeking admission to a private military school.

If No Free School Is Nearby

Not every family lives close enough to a free public military school to qualify for admission. That’s not the end of the road, however. Community groups such as a local Rotary Club or Lions Club sometimes sponsor individual students who wish to attend private military school, and many schools offer scholarships programs for qualifying students. Some awards are based on academic achievement, while others are based on need. Scholarship programs can significantly reduce the cost of attending a prestigious private military academy, so shop around to see what’s available.

Other Low Income Schools and School Alternatives

Some private academies market themselves to lower-income, at-risk teens who are misbehaving or falling behind in school. The Freedom Academy boarding school in Lakemont, New York, for example, offers low-cost tuition to students who are failing school or causing trouble at home, school or with the law. California’s Grizzly Youth Academy, part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, is an alternative military school for troubled teens that targets young people who have dropped out of school or do not have enough credits to graduate. The government-funded program is free for participants.

Photo Credits

  • suvorov military school image by Alexander Petrari from Fotolia.com

About the Author

A former real estate lawyer, Jayne Thompson writes about law, business and corporate communications, drawing on 17 years’ experience in the legal sector. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in International Law from the University of East London.