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Midland School

Los Olivos, California, USA


Co-Ed, No Religious Affiliation

  • Small community: twice per day our students, faculty, and staff gather for assembly outside, led by our two senior class Head Prefects.
  • Midland's students plant, cultivate, harvest, wash, and deliver organic produce from our 10 acre garden to the kitchen, learning what it takes to grow their own food by tracing their hard work from the farm to the table.
  • Environments that foster learning both inside and outside the classroom: Algebra I in Glass House.
  • College preparation on 2,860 acres
  • Our sophomore class installing our 13th 3-kW solar array on campus during Midland's annual Experiential Week.
  • A Natural Horsemanship student walks her horse through the Midland Farm & Garden on her way to our 30 miles of trails.
  • A student in the Metals & Jewelry class preps wax forms to cast in silver and bronze. Additional electives in the visual arts include Representational Drawing, Introduction to Painting, Beginning & Advanced Ceramics, and Advanced Art.
  • Small class sizes, a student body under 100, and rigorous curricula make for a compelling academic experience. Students connect with their teachers, their peers, and the world.

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.

At A Glance

  • Founded: 1932
  • Campus Size: 2860 acres
  • Boarding Grades Offered:
  • Accredited By: WASC, CAIS/CA
Student Body
GIRLS 48 0 48
BOYS 41 0 41
TOTAL 89 0 89
Tuition And Financial Aid
  • 7-Day Boarding: $55,300
  • 5-Day Boarding: $N/A
  • Day Tuition Fee: $N/A
  • Payment Plans: Offered
  • Need-Based Aid: Offered
  • Students Receiving Aid: 48.00%
  • Average Awarded: $34,000


  • Summary: “A student, a teacher, and an idea” is the cornerstone of Midland’s academic approach. Class sizes are small, the curriculum is compelling, and classes demand much of students’ critical and analytical facilities. Midland features several interdisciplinary courses, such as Midland 101/102, World and American Studies, and a range of provocative electives in science, art, and the humanities.

    A Midland graduate must fulfill the following graduation requirements (19 academic credits):

    • Four years of English

    • Three years of mathematics (including Algebra II and Geometry)

    • Two years of history, including one year of U.S. and one year of world history

    • Two years of laboratory sciences (including Chemistry & Biology)

    • Three years of a foreign language

    • One year in the visual or performing arts

    • At least two elective courses (one elective consisting of a social studies elective)

    • One year of Midland 101 (if entered as a freshman)

    • Senior thesis; a year long research project that results in a scholarly paper and project (if applicable).

  • Department Director: Lise Goddard
  • Average Class Size: 12
  • Full Time Teachers: 15
  • Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 70.00%
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 5/1
  • Notable Achievements: Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership, Santa Barbara Green Award, Character Award

Campus Life

  • Summary: Midland students are connected to each other, the faculty, the curriculum, and the land. Accountability and responsibility are two central values that Midland cultivates through academics, the job system, athletics, and land use.

Dorm Life
  • Number of Dorms: 23
  • Average Students Per Dorm: 4
  • No. of Girls Dorms: 11
  • No. of Boys Dorms: 13
  • Dorm Amenities: Laundry Facilities, students live in wood cabins - 2 per room
  • Dress Code: Casual

Student Life
  • Facilities: Baseball field(s), Volleyball court(s), Indoor basketball court(s), 10 acre Organic Garden, Soccer Field, Horse facilities
  • Clubs and Organizations: Community Service, Dorm Proctors, Gardening, Horseback Riding, Investment Club, Newspaper, Sexualities Club, Student Government, Student Publications, Surfing, Theater, Weightlifting, Woodworking Club, Yoga, Common Ground Service Club

Arts & Athletics

  • Summary: Courses in the Fine Arts department are designed to encourage each student's creative expression and technical expertise through the visual arts. Individuals are encouraged to have confidence in their own productions, to value their own ideas and instincts as well as those of their peers, and to learn a variety of techniques for use with a variety of media. Risk-taking and a high degree of individual interpretation of assignments are encouraged. Competence in fundamental studio skills, particularly drawing, painting, and use of ceramics and metals, is stressed. Students are encouraged and expected to develop their technical skills in order to most successfully present their concepts and to utilize their problem solving skills to the best of their ability.

    Athletics: Midland School is a member of the Condor League which includes independent boarding and day schools in the tri-county area. Interscholastic sports offered by Midland include volleyball, soccer, basketball, cross-country, and softball. Midland also offers an Equestrian Program featuring Western and English riding and horse care. Students may also choose from Organic Gardening, Yoga/Pilates, Outdoor Leadership, or Campus Maintenance as non-competitive options. Through the athletics program, Midland strives to teach the values of good sportsmanship and the rewards of team effort.

  • Arts Department Director: Faith Nygren
  • Athletics Department Director: Tom Rogowski


A Cappella Group, Art Club, Choral Music, Drama Club, String Ensemble, Theater, Ceramics, Metals & Jewelry, Representational Drawing, Introduction to Painting, Advanced Art

Interscholastic Sports

Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country Running, Soccer, Volleyball

Recreational Sports

Camping, Horseback Riding, Yoga, Garden, Outdoor Leadership

College Info

  • Summary: The goal of the Midland College Counseling Center is to help our students find the right college, one that fits each student's goals. It is a comprehensive process that includes research, standardized testing, recommendations, and various other steps. Our college counselor helps guide our students through this important process.

    "Midland prepares its students not only academically for college, but also gives us the life lessons necessary to live with a roommate, in a college community, and in the world. Midland has involved and caring teachers, which makes it really helpful when it comes to college recommendations. Our college counselor is especially devoted to helping students get into colleges that are the best individual fits. All in all, Midland is a very nurturing and helpful environment for a process that can be very stressful.” ~Midland Senior

  • Department Director: Lynda Cummings

College Information
  • Percentage of Graduates Who Attend College: 100.00%
  • Middle Percentile of SAT Scores
  • 25th % 75th %
    Critical Reading 550 660
    Mathematics 510 650
    Writing 0 0

Summer Programs

  • Summary: No summer program offered
P.O. Box 8, 5100 Figueroa Mtn. Road
Los Olivos, California, USA 93441

  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Application Fee: $50
  • International Application Fee: $100
  • Accepts SSAT Standard Application Online (SAO): Yes
  • Accepts Gateway to Prep Schools Application: No
828.258.5354 | Email Us