List of Tuition-Free Boarding Schools (No Cost Boarding Schools)

Many families considering sending their child to boarding school are caught off-guard by the costs involved.  So, naturally, they want to know if there are any boarding schools that are free to attend. The fact is, there aren’t many free boarding schools in America.  The ones that are free, generally, are very competitive to gain acceptance to.  Most are publicly-funded, so eligibility is based on your location (state).

Cost of Boarding School

The costs associated with educating AND housing AND feeding a child are such that most free boarding schools are either publicly funded or backed by wealthy philanthropists. If you are dead-set on sending your child to a boarding school but are shocked by the tuition rates, always check with the school to see if they offer need-based financial aid packages or payment plans. Below is a list of tuition-free boarding schools that you may want to explore further. Please let us know if we have missed any schools!



  • Illinois Math & Science Academy – Grades 10-12 The Illinois Math & Science Academy is a top public high school located in Aurora, Illinois, just 45 miles away from Chicago. The school is co-ed.


  • Maine School of Science & Math – Grades 9-12 A picturesque magnet school located in Limestone, Maine. It provides students a challenging curriculum in science, mathematics, technology, and the arts.


  • Mississippi School of the Arts – Grades 11-12 Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) is located in Brookhaven and offer grades 11-12. Approximately sixty miles south of Jackson.

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North Carolina

  • North Carolina School of the Arts – Grades 9-12 The UNC School of the Arts was founded in 1963. Today this publicly-funded school has over 1,100 students enrolled in grades 9-12, PG.


  • Milton Hershey School – Grades PK-12 The Milton Hershey School was founded in 1909 by the chocolatier himself, Milton Hershey, as a way to give back to the community.

South Carolina


  • Academy of Math & Science – Grades 11-12 Texas Academy of Math and Science is a residential private early college program located in the suburban area of Denton, Texas. This co-ed academy serves 11-12.


  • Burr and Burton Academy – Grades 9-12 Burr and Burton Academy was founded in 1829 in Manchester, Vermont. It is a private, coeducational, independent school.
  • The Chinquapin School – Grades 6-12 Chinquapin Preparatory School in Highland, Texas, is a private, nonprofit college prep school dedicated to the education of low-income students. (almost free)

Washington DC

  • The SEED School – Grades 6-12 The SEED School, Washington DC is one of the first public boarding schools in the nation. It is a tuition-free charter school that was opened in 1997.


  • Conserve School – Grades 10-11 Conserve School is located just outside of the town of Land O’ Lakes in northern Wisconsin. It is a 1,200-acre campus surrounded by four private lakes. (small fee)

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