Besant Hill School

5.00 5 1 (1 review)
8585 Ojai Santa Paula Road
Ojai, CA 93023
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 three dormitories, outdoor sports facilities including a new aquatics center, indoor theater, atelier, and classrooms nestled along winding paths and oak trees.
Besant Hill School Photo #2 - Doornink Grove student/faculty housing overlook a five-acre farm and are a short walk from classrooms.
Besant Hill School Photo #3 - 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 #4 - Performing arts offerings include music and acting with one play, one musical, two concerts, and two variety shows performed each year. A small, supportive community allows each student to explore their creativity.
Besant Hill School Photo #5 - Students enjoy swimming and aquatics fitness in a new Aquatics Center part of many team sports and fitness offerings including basketball, soccer, golf, volleyball, cross country, yoga, surfing, and more.
Besant Hill School Photo #6 - Students enjoying a meal on the outdoor dining patio. 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 - 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 #8 - A spectacular view from the common room in our Phoenix dorm.
Besant Hill School Photo #9 - Community is strengthened through group projects, trips, and all-school councils.
Besant Hill School Photo #10 - Our unique location 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, and just minutes from California's mountains and coastline allow for amazing Experiential Learning opportunities. Each spring, students and faculty embark on international educational trips that recently included Greece, Italy, Cuba, Galapagos Islands, and Iceland.
  • 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 322 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2019 School Data
Besant Hill SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusPre-prof. Arts / College-prepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-12, PG5-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
ADD/ADHD SupportYesYes
Supports Learning Differences (LD)YesYes
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19461909
Campus Size520 acres106 acres

Student Body

Enrollment100 students318 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Scoren/a* National Avg. »View
Offers Post-Grad YearYesNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Respectful and Appropriate)
Average Class Size10 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:41:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1217
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details


Endowment Size$2 million$20 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students$58,140$50,145
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$20,400
(Apply at
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo


Application DeadlineFeb. 1 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsKristen Kaschub
Associate Director of AdmissionsTerra Furguiel

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1217
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


# Interscholastic Sports Offered516
SportsBasketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball


Total Extracurricular Organizations2623
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Environmental Sustainability, FOCUS- Fellowship of Christian Schools and Universities, Gunn Hall Newsletter

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

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

College Matriculation

Year: 2011 - 201610 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
University of California, Santa Cruz4
University of California, Santa Barbara3
Cal State Poly Pomona2
California Polytechnic State University2
Evergreen State College2
Michigan State University2
Otis College of Art and Design2
School of the Arts Institute of Chicago2
University of California, Los Angeles2
University of Southern California2
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)

Profile last updated:

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