by MIT Ivy League and Oxbridge Educated Insiders

Thacher School

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


Thacher School review 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

Although in many areas the college counseling staff at Thacher was extremely helpful, I was personally disappointed with my experience. I'll start with the good aspects: counseling sessions concerning the SAT and ACT began (I believe) at the end of my sophomore year. In terms of organizing those tests, as well as with all the other necessary paperwork that ensues when applying to college, Thacher was always prepared and timely. Additionally, Thacher brought multiple college representatives to the campus almost every week in the fall and winter. The biggest issue I had with the counseling office is that the advisor assigned to me did not seem sincerely interested in my college application process. She was very pleasant, but she did not come up with any ideas for schools to apply to that my family and I hadn't already though of ourselves. If she made efforts to call those schools on my behalf I was not aware of them. Perhaps this probably could have been dealt with if I had asked for more help, or asked the staff directly what they were doing to help me get into college. While Thacher will help take care of the paperwork, it's up to you to really research schools.

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.