Midland School

5.00 (4 reviews)
Tel: (805) 688-5114 Ext. 114
PO Box 8 / 5100 Figueroa Mountain Road
Los Olivos, CA 93441
Midland School, located on a 2,860-acre ranch at the edge of the Los Padres Wilderness, has been the leader of place-based college preparatory education since 1932.
Everything we do-from the courses we choose to teach to how we maintain our campus to the way we feed ourselves-originates from an intentional curriculum that focuses not only on college preparatory classes, but also on leadership, community, and stewardship.Our scale empowers students with authentic leadership opportunities, provides highly personalized learning, and inspires the pursuit of intellectual passions.
At Midland, thirty-eight percent of our students identify as students of color, over half receive generous financial aid to attend, and the depth of our boarding experience facilitates both top-tier college admissions and future success.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description

  • Class of 1998
    5 Stars  
    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  
    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  
    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. . .
  • Show more reviews (1 review)

Top Rankings

Midland School ranks among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 303 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2021 School Data
Midland SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-129-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19321907
Campus Size2860 acres125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment82 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1220* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score25*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size10 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Student : Teacher Ratio4:17:1
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedNoYes

Tuition Cost

Endowment Size$22 million$25 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students$71,600$54,500
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$43,000$25,000
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo

Acceptance Rate

Application DeadlineFeb. 15 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationNoNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
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 Offeredn/a18
CoursesAdvanced Ceramics, American Studies, Art, Biology, Calculus, English 12, Physics, Spanish 4


# Interscholastic Sports Offered716
SportsBasketball, Cross Country, Cross Country Running, Equestrian, Soccer, Surf Team, Volleyball


Total Extracurricular Organizations1223
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Community Service Club, LGBTQ Club, Prefects, Student Government, Woodworking

Arts and Music Programs:
Choir, Newspaper, Theater

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Gardening, Horseback Riding, Surfing, 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`s curriculum merges college preparation with experiential learning. Using the extraordinary resources at hand - 2,860 acres in Santa Barbara County, a near 90-year-old culture of responsibility to community and environment, and a committed faculty - we develop personal agency in our students.  Midland cultivates the belief that it matters what we do, and we actively engage students in their high school journey, both within and outside the classroom.
  • Midland students live their education, from exploring the natural and cultural history of the world beneath our feet in field-based UC-approved science and social science courses in 9th grade, to writing and presenting a senior thesis in 12th grade.  With courses ranging from Algebra 1 to Calculus 3 (some years) and English 9 to British Literature, Midland meets students where they are and challenges them to think critically and problem solve resourcefully.
  • To step into the Rich Arts Building during the academic day or evening and to see students engaged in the creative process of translating observations into 2D and 3D artworks in drawing, painting, ceramics, and metal is to see a school that values craftsmanship and design.  To observe our interdisciplinary World and American Studies classes is to see a school that values discourse and cultural competency. Midland students learn to speak publicly and write fluently, in English and Spanish.
  • To develop lifelong learners, our weekly Experiential Saturday program provides structure and staffing for ungraded 3-hour blocks every week that tap into the passions of faculty and students, including farm, ranch, and outdoor explorations; cultural events and talks through UCSB`s Arts & Lectures program; projects on campus;  health and wellness discussions; and diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops at peer schools.
  • While cultivating a life of the mind, Midland actively builds character, work ethic, and resilience through a daily Jobs program in which every student is not only valued but needed.  Midland is preparation for college and life.
  • Midland School accreditations: WASC, TABS, CAIS, NAIS

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