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Thacher School

Student rating 4.2/ 5 by Scripps College student
5025 Thacher Road Ojai CA 93023 United States


Thacher Schoolreview by Scripps College student. Due to the size of the school, there are not as many classes to choose from as there are at larger institutions. However, the classes that are available are taught by enthusiastic and encouraging teachers. The faculty is extremely accessible in ways you simply can't find at non-boarding schools. Most of the teachers live on campus, which means you can just as easily meet with them after class as you can after dinner. The work load is tough but manageable. Thacher absolutely teaches you how to budget your time! With classes, extracurriculars, sports, homework and the occasional required lecture, free time becomes quickly becomes very valuable. Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to take advantage of the availability of teachers. Whether you're struggling in a class or excelling, talking to a teacher about your performance is never a bad thing. You can get extra help, find a mentor, discover your passion for a subject, etc. Thacher absolutely is not an "exam factory." Teachers know that the idea of a "prep" school is exactly that: students should be prepared for college, and overemphasizing tests and exams is no way to do that. On the contrary, teachers are incredibly enthusiastic about students simply learning and mastering the material.

College Counseling

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Sample insights on college counseling
  • "They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university…"
  • "For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more…"

Admissions - Getting Accepted

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Sample insights on admissions
  • "Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transfered from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools…"
  • "For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents*the kids speak on the tour. Don't ask their questions for them because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid…"

School Life

Thacher is fantastic! Honestly, looking back on it I am very fortunate to have gone to high school there. If you can, you should go. The housing is very nice (definitely better than my college dorm), especially the new freshman boys' dorm. The dining hall is adequate-every once in a while there's something fantastic, every once in a while there's something no one wants. I'm sure that's pretty standard cafeteria fare. The school is located about 10 minutes away from Ojai, which is a very pleasant town and extremely safe town. It's not very big, but since Thacher provides most student necessities most trips into town are for pleasure. The student body is fairly diverse, although most students are white, mid-upperclass, as are most of the teachers.

I would say that sports are probably the most visible extracurricular activity at Thacher. Even though the student body is relatively small, Thacher does incredibly well in its division, particularly in football, boy's basketball, girl's volleyball and lacrosse. In addition to sports, there are all kinds of art programs available. It's also easy to get involved in community service programs-these usually take place a few times during the week and are designed to not be an overwhelming time commitment for students. Guest speakers come frequently, and every year Thacher puts on a play in the winter and one spring musical.