Besant Hill School

5.00 5 1 (1 review)
8585 Ojai Santa Paula Road
Ojai, CA 93023
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Besant Hill School Photo #1 - Besant Hill School is located in the Ojai Valley, on 500 acres of private land with beautiful vistas in every direction. Facilities include four dormitories, outdoor sports facilities including a new aquatic center, indoor theater, atelier, and classrooms nestled along winding paths and oak trees. We also have an eight acre organic farm.
Besant Hill School Photo #2 - A spectacular view of the Topa Topa mountains from the common room in our Phoenix dorm. Students gather here for study sessions, snacks and social activities.
Besant Hill School Photo #3 - Socratic teaching and emphasis on experiential learning create a stimulating environment where students learn how to think, not what to think.
Besant Hill School Photo #4 - Students on a science class field trip to a local beach is part of our Aun Aprendo Experience. Aun Aprendo, our school motto that means "I am still learning," is the basis of the opportunities provided to students for learning outside of the classroom.
Besant Hill School Photo #5 - Art class in our beautiful atelier. Visual arts courses include film, photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, printing, and more. Students benefit from field trips to local art galleries and museums in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
Besant Hill School Photo #6 - A typical lunchtime meal includes organic, seasonal produce provided by an on-campus farm which also allows for unique student learning opportunities and special collaboration between Besant Hill's executive chef and farmer.
Besant Hill School Photo #7 - Athletics and physical activity are integral parts of student life at Besant Hill School. We strive to provide meaningful athletic activities that will instill a passion for lifelong health and wellness in our students.
Besant Hill School Photo #8 - The Doornink Grove student and faculty housing overlooks an eight-acre farm and are a short walk from classrooms.
Besant Hill School Photo #9 - Our performance hall, the Zalk Theater, hosts school plays, musicals and concerts. It is also where we gather three times a week for our tradition of all school assemblies.
Besant Hill School Photo #10 - Community is strengthened through group projects, trips, and all-school councils.
Founded in 1946 by Annie Besant, Aldous Huxley, J Krishnamurti, Guido Ferrando, Robert Logan, Louis Zalk and Rosalind Rajagopal on 520 acres in the resort town of Ojai, California this boarding school community offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with a cornerstone on creative expression, sustainability and divergent thinking.
Besant Hill offers 20+ art electives, competitive and noncompetative athletics, travel and experiential education programs, small classes and a 4:1 student teacher ratio.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description

  • Class of 2013
    5 Stars  
    CU Boulder
    The sense of community at Besant hill is truly unique. I almost never felt homesick because I always felt at home. My teachers became my best friends, and my best friends became my brothers and. . .

Top 20 Placements

Besant Hill School is listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 305 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2020 School Data
Besant Hill SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusPre-prof. Arts / College-prepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-12, PG9-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
ADD/ADHD SupportYesYes
Supports Learning Differences (LD)YesYes
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19461907
Campus Size520 acres125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment100 students309 students
% Students of Color
13%
25%
% International Students
25%
20%
% Students Boarding
88%
70%
Average SAT Scoren/a* National Avg. »View
Offers Post-Grad YearYesNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Respectful and Appropriate)
Casual
Average Class Size10 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Student : Teacher Ratio4:17:1
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1218
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
70%
70%
Summer Program OfferedYesYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Finances

Endowment Size$2 million$23 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$57,750$59,050
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$26,350$33,082
Tuition international students$64,155$53,848
% Students on Financial Aid
25%
40%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$20,500
(Apply at solutionsbysss.com)
$25,000
Merit Scholarships OfferedYesNo

Admission

Application DeadlineFeb. 1 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Acceptance Rate
50%
57%
Director of AdmissionsAlex Spence
Associate Director of AdmissionsTerra Furguiel

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1218
CoursesAdvanced Environmental Studies, Advanced Studio Art, Algebra II Honors, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Economics, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Government, AP Human Geography, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US History, Honors English

Sports

# Interscholastic Sports Offered1416
SportsAlpine Skiing, Basketball, Cross Country Running, Dance, Golf, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Surf Team, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Extracurriculars

Total Extracurricular Organizations2723
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Cooking Club, Environmental Sustainability, Film Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Acting, Art Club, Ceramics Club, Choir, Dance Activity, Dance Club, Digital Art, Language Enhancement, Playwriting Club, Prefects (Senior Student Leaders), SAGE- Students Affirming Gender Equality, STEM, Studio, Theater, Voice

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Crossfit, Outdoor Education, Peer Writing Center, Sandy Hook Promise, Surfing, Swimming, Weight, Weight Lifting, Yoga

College Matriculation

Year: 2016 - 202110 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Lewis & Clark College4
San Diego State University4
Sarah Lawrence College4
University of California, San Diego4
University of California, Santa Cruz4
University of Washington4
Emerson College3
New York University3
University of California, Berkeley3
University of Redlands3
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • As a community, our goal is to cultivate what is excellent in each student. Besant Hill School provides a small intimate learning environment where students are able to fully explore and express both their intellectual and creative abilities. With small classes, positive student/teacher relationships, and a quiet, rural location, we provide a safe and peaceful atmosphere for learning, study, contemplation, and self-expression. The mission of Besant Hill School is the development of each individual's intellectual and artistic abilities. Through awakening the spirit of inquiry, we encourage each student to pursue integrity and excellence. Our non-competitive community builds honesty, respect, compassion and responsibility. Our goal is to develop a lifelong habit of learning as embodied in our school's motto Aun Aprendo, I am still learning.
  • LD types supported: Dyslexia / Language-based and Mild Learning Differences
  • Besant Hill School accreditations: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC), California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

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