Midland School

5.00 5 1 (4 reviews)
Tel: 805-688-5114
PO Box 8
Los Olivos, CA 93441
  • Founded in 1932, Midland School makes education real by doing the work of taking care of campus and community alongside rigorous college preparatory academics at a small, rustic boarding school in the foothills of a national forest in Santa Barbara County. Midland`s strong environmental ethic is cultivated through exploring and knowing the natural world around us, growing our food, chopping our wood, and drawing electricity from student-installed solar panels.
  • Midland puts boundaries on screen time and digital entertainment in order to model and cultivate meaningful human connection. At the same time, Midland students are challenged academically, attain digital literacy, engage in experiential learning every week, and complete a senior thesis as a graduation requirement. A Midland education builds character, develops a work ethic, and cultivates authentic student leadership - all things that develop our inner resources and sense of self - by working as a community to take care of our place.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description

  • Class of 1998
    5 Stars   1/18/2017
    Stanford University
    Midland's philosophy is "needs not wants." And the community lives that philosophy every day. For four years, I lived in a wood cabin (heated only if I made a fire in our room's. . .

  • Class of 1997
    5 Stars   1/18/2017
    Lehigh University
    Few schools empower you the way Midland does. The school's experiential learning coupled with its student run maintenance program gives students the skill set to pursue and build their own projects. For instance. . .

  • Class of 1997
    5 Stars   1/18/2017
    Smith College
    Midland is an incredibly unique educational opportunity. What sets it apart are the values of self-reliance and the relationship with the land. The emphasis placed on experiential learning and leadership really grow out of the. . .

  • Class of 1980
    5 Stars   11/5/2016
    University of Oregon
    Small school that teaches one the basic of life. From collecting wood to heat your shelter to mathematical equations to solve the economic world problems. A unique education.. . .
  • Show more reviews (-1 reviews)

Top 20 Placements

Midland School is Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 321 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2018 School Data
Midland SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-127-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19321909
Campus Size2860 acres105 acres

Student Body

Enrollment89 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1697* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score25*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesYesNo
Frequency of Saturday ClassesWeeklyWeekly
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size10 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:41:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered517
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedNoYes


Endowment Size$16 million$20 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students$60,200$48,100
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant35000$23,000
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo


Application DeadlineFeb. 15 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Average Percentile SSAT80%-
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsCierra Ensign

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered517
CoursesAdvanced Ceramics, American Studies, Art, Biology, Calculus, English 12, Physics, Spanish 4


# Interscholastic Sports Offered715
SportsBasketball, Cross Country, Cross Country Running, Equestrian, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball


Total Extracurricular Organizations924
ExtracurricularsCooking Club, Environmental

Club or Organization:
Common, Library, Student

Arts and Music Programs:
Drama Club

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Farm and Forest, Outdoor, Yoga

College Matriculation

Year: 2010 - 201510 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
University of California, Santa Cruz4
Hendrix College3
Kenyon College3
Drew University2
Earlham College2
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University2
Guilford College2
Hampshire College2
University of California, Berkeley2
University of Southern California2
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • Midland uses its 2,860-acre campus academically and recreationally, and the school believes that a life lived close to nature is instructive and enriching.
  • Simplicity: One of Midland`s guiding tenets is that the essential ingredients of learning are a student, a teacher, and an idea. In and out of the classroom, Midland students learn how to distinguish between needs and wants, and how to appreciate life's fundamental joys and challenges.
  • Self-Reliance: In a ten-acre organic garden, the school grows much of its own produce. To help run the school and maintain the grounds, Midland entrusts students with daily jobs. And older students have authentic leadership roles, which emphasize individual and collective responsibility.
  • Community: Midland School is a diverse community of students and teachers in pursuit of academic excellence and moral lives.
  • Midland School accreditations: WASC, TABS, CAIS, NAIS
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