The Thacher School

5.00 5 1 (25 reviews)
Tel: 805-640-3210
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, CA 93023
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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

  • Class of 2017
    5 Stars   10/24/2017
    Pitzer College
    The tight knit community is a really rare quality at high schools in general but especially boarding schools. The relationships with teachers and students is so close and the fact that there is very few. . .

  • Class of 2017
    5 Stars   10/24/2017
    University of Montana
    The horse department at Thacher is both unique and outstanding. Unique because the school strives to keep the cowboy culture alive with over 100 horses and a fully outfitted western riding center. It is outstanding. . .

  • Class of 2017
    5 Stars   10/23/2017
    Yale
    I loved Thacher because of the deep, respectful, and genuine connections in the community. Students, faculty, and staff were all so supportive to ensure I was the happiest and most challenged I could be. During. . .

  • Class of 2017
    5 Stars   11/19/2017
    Yale University
    You cannot mention Thacher without talking about the horse program; each freshman is required to take care of and ride a horse for the first year of high school. I rode all four years and. . .

  • Class of 2016
    5 Stars   11/19/2017
    Dartmouth College
    One thing that makes Thacher unique are the opportunities to form close, meaningful relationships with teachers and its commitment to helping students grow personally as well as academically. Whether it's out in the Domelands wilderness. . .
  • Show more reviews (20 reviews)

Top 20 Placements

Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 325 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2017 School Data
The Thacher SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-129-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded18891910
Campus Size427 acres110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment246 students300 students
% Students of Color
41%
20%
% International Students
12%
20%
% Students Boarding
93%
66%
Average SAT Scoren/a* National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile)1920 - 2150-
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size11 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:61:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1816
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
83%
70%
Summer Program OfferedNoYes

Finances

Endowment Size$137 million$17 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$58,920$52,760
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$40,970$28,400
% Students on Financial Aid
29%
36%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$44,620$22,410
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo

Admission

Application DeadlineJan. 15Jan. 15
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Acceptance Rate
11%
56%
Director of AdmissionsBill McMahon

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

Sports

# Interscholastic Sports Offered1414
SportsBallet, Baseball, Basketball, Climbing, Cross Country, Dance, Equestrian, Football, Lacrosse, Rock Climbing, Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Extracurriculars

Total Extracurricular Organizations3223
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 - 201610 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Stanford University16
New York University12
Colorado College11
USC11
Claremont McKenna College10
Columbia University8
Dartmouth College8
Tafts University8
Universtity of Richmond8
Duke University7
Link to Matriculation Data

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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