The Thacher School

5.00 5 1 (16 reviews)
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Tel: 805-640-3210
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 250 students
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'Education is not merely the making of scholars. It is the making of men and women. It is the training of the younger generation in the art of living for their own greatest good and the greatest good of their fellow citizens.'
-Sherman Day Thacher
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'Education is not merely the making of scholars. It is the making of men and women. It is the training of the younger generation in the art of living for their own greatest good and the greatest good of their fellow citizens.'
-Sherman Day Thacher
Thacher's 427 acres sit at the foot of the Los Padres National Forest in Southern California's idyllic Ojai Valley. Here, members of the girls' varsity soccer team stretch before an afternoon practice.
In courses designed for intellectual and creative expansion, students and teachers meet in seminar circles, studios, and laboratories to create a learning environment that is vigorous and supportive, galvanizing and nurturing.
Team sport offerings include football, volleyball, cross-country, tennis, basketball, soccer, track and field, lacrosse, and baseball. Students can also choose to participate in yoga, dance, rock climbing, and riding.
Twice a year, the entire school packs up and heads into the wilderness for a week of adventure, challenge, and bonding. Leaders offer a variety of trips focusing on activities such as backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, and sailing.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before lunch, the community gathers outdoors for Assembly, a time reserved for announcements, presentations, and acknowledgements. The spontaneous spirit of Assembly usually becomes fodder for discussion later in the day.
State-of-the-art dormitories incorporate as much of Thacher's beautiful outdoor space as possible.
Though most new students have had little or no experience with horses, each ninth grader spends the first year learning to care for and ride a horse. A long-standing tradition and central part of a Thacher education, the program teaches responsibility, problem solving, and grit in addition to riding skills and rewards participants with heightened self-confidence and awareness.
The Milligan Center for Performing Arts, a 450-seat auditorium, hosts three major stage productions each year as well as multiple performances by the dance ensemble, jazz band, Chamber Singers, and string orchestra. Thacher's vibrant studio art program offers courses in two and three-dimensional art, photography, ceramics, and wood design.
'Come west. Breathe deep. Let these books and these hills and these horses be your teachers.'
-Sherman Day Thacher
Founded in 1889, The Thacher School is a coeducational boarding high school located 85 miles north of Los Angeles, California.
The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience.
The faculty and students live and work closely together in a community in which cooperation, trust, honesty, and respect are the cornerstones of school life.
Together, we commit to the belief that demands in the academic classroom, when combined with those of mountains and horses, of sports and the arts, produce independent minds, strong bodies, and powerful character.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Yale University
    Two concrete things that set Thacher apart from other boarding schools are the Horse Program and the absence of drugs and alcohol. The Horse Program: At Thacher all freshmen learn to care for and ride. . .
  • Columbia University
    One major aspect of Thacher that sets it apart from other schools is the unique, California-mission style. Many boarding schools have architecture that, while very upscale and nice, is not distinctive from others.. . .
  • Harvard University
    What makes Thacher the unique and impressive place it is transcends the typical academics, athletics, and artistic opportunities. It is the Honor Code, founded in the motto of Honor, Fairness, Kindness, and Truth, that shapes. . .
  • Yale
    The thing that makes Thacher unique is definitely the horse program. Freshman are given a horse for the entire year and taught to ride it and care for it. I don't know of any other. . .
  • Emory University
    Thacher is a westerns school. It is not what you picture when you think Old West, but we do hold honor, riding, and camping in high regards. Week long rough camping trips are required twice. . .
  • Show more reviews (11 reviews)

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Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 323 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2016 School Data
The Thacher School Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Prep College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 9-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1889 1910
Campus Size 427 acres 120 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 250 students 298 students
% Students of Color
41%
20%
% International Students
12%
20%
% Students Boarding
88%
70%
Average SAT Score 2075 * National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile) 1930 - 2220 -
Average ACT score 30 *National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad Year No No

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes No No
Classroom Dress Code Casual Casual
Average Class Size 11 students 12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio 1:6 1:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered 18 16
ESL Courses Offered No Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
80%
69%
Summer Program Offered No Yes

Finances

Endowment Size $141 million $16 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$57,200 $50,800
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$38,650 $28,500
% Students on Financial Aid
28%
35%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $41,400 $21,500
Merit Scholarships Offered No No

Admission

Application Deadline Jan. 15 Jan. 15
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 83 -
Acceptance Rate
12%
55%
Director of AdmissionsBill McMahon

Sports

# Interscholastic Sports Offered 13 14
SportsBallet, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Equestrian, Football, Lacrosse, Rock Climbing, Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Extracurriculars

Total Extracurricular Organizations 32 23
ExtracurricularsAmnesty International Club, California Mathematics League, Chamber, Cheese Club, Chorus, Christian Fellowship Club, Community Service Club, Computer Network Consultants, Cum Laude, Dance Club, El Archivero (the yearbook), Film Society, Foreign Students' Club, French Club, Games Club, Gourmet Club, Gun Club, Indoor Sports, Instrumental, Latin Club, Literary Society and Symposium, Mad Bomber Ski Society, Prefects, Radio Station, Sir Winston Churchill Debating Society,

College Matriculation

Year: 2012 - 2016 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Stanford University 16
New York University 12
Colorado College 11
USC 11
Claremont McKenna College 10
Columbia University 8
Dartmouth College 8
Tafts University 8
Universtity of Richmond 8
Duke University 7

School Notes

  • Founded in 1889, The Thacher School is a coeducational boarding high school located 85 miles north of Los Angeles, California. The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience. The faculty and students live and work closely together in a community in which cooperation, trust, honesty, and respect are the cornerstones of school life. Together, we commit to the belief that demands in the academic classroom, when combined with those of mountains and horses, of sports and the arts, produce independent minds, strong bodies, and powerful character.
  • School accreditations: TABS, NAIS, WBSA, SSATB
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