Are you ready to begin an adventure?

We look for motivated, highly capable students who are prepared to commit their energies, talents, and personal integrity to a unique experience—one that will encourage them to focus on existing passions while also asking them to tackle a wide array of new challenges. And it all takes place in a rich community where honor, fairness, kindness, and truth are the touchstones and where racial, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity is embraced. As you navigate the following deadlines and requirements, remember that the Thacher admission team is here to be your partner every step of the way

An Unprecedented Year: Applying for Fall 2021

2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. As we all work to adjust to ever changing circumstances and to prioritize the health and safety of our community and our applicant families, we want to assure you that the admission process at Thacher will be fluid, flexible, and above all, equitable.

With this in mind, you will note in the following sections these changes to our admission process: for the time being we will have virtual campus visits and interviews; standardized testing will be optional; and we are waiving the application fee for all U.S. families applying for financial aid.

As you will see, the theme here is simple: Thacher is committed to fair access to our process and will not penalize students for circumstances beyond their control. As a small, relationship-based community, this is an easy move for us to make, and we look forward to partnering with your family as you embark on the journey.

List of 7 items.

  • Submit the Online Application

    Complete and submit the Gateway to Prep Schools common application which includes: 
    • Student questionnaire

    • Parent questionnaire

    • Current transcripts

    • Principal/Counselor recommendation

    • Current English teacher recommendation

    • Current mathematics teacher recommendation

    • Personal recommendation

    For fall 2021 we will continue to require transcripts from all applicants to Thacher, however we recognize the form and content might be quite different this year and may include pass/fail grades or significantly reduced teacher comments. 
    Thacher relies on teacher recommendations to give insight into a student’s progress and character. We will continue to require recommendations from a student’s current English and math teachers, but we are mindful that online or modified programs will impact the level of detail teachers are able to provide.

    For families applying for financial aid, Thacher will provide a fee waiver for the Gateway to Prep Schools common application. Information on how to access the fee waiver can be found in the right column of this page under the "Fee Waiver Information" link. 
  • Standardized Testing

    Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT)/Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)
    Given the widespread disruption caused by covid-19, and in an effort to create an equitable and fair process for all applicants, Thacher will temporarily suspend our requirement for all students to submit either a SSAT or ISEE score. 
    For those students who will be able to take one of these tests in a positive and appropriate setting, we ask that you do submit your scores. Please know that students who do not submit tests scores will not be at a disadvantage in the process.
    SSAT code: 7648
    ISEE code: 052265

    SSAT fee waivers are available to families applying for financial aid. To request a fee waiver, please contact us directly at  
    Character Skills Snapshot (CSS) 
    The Thacher School instructs young people in the art of living for their own greatest good and for the greatest good of their fellow citizens in a diverse and changing world. In congruence with our mission, the application process places a premium on character and one’s potential to be a positive member of our community and beyond. With this in mind, we invite applicants to complete the CSS, a tool that provides a more comprehensive understanding of one’s unique values. While it is not a required part of the application, we highly recommend it as an opportunity to highlight strengths in non-cognitive areas.
  • Math Requirement

    It is expected that every entering ninth grader will have completed a comprehensive Algebra 1 course that includes quadratics.
    Students enrolling who have only taken Pre-Algebra (Math 8 or equivalent) or Basic First Year Algebra (Math 1 or equivalent, which does not include extensive study of rational expressions, irrational numbers, and quadratic equations) will need to cover the required material in the spring or summer.
  • Additional Info: Day Students

    Approximately 20 day students attend Thacher. Given the demands of our program, our policy is that a student must live in Ojai to apply as a day student.
  • Additional Info: Homeschooled Applicants

    We welcome homeschooled applicants and encourage them to complete the standard application process. We also ask that they submit the following:

    • One or two additional letters of recommendation from adults or teachers other than the student’s parents/guardians
    • A statement of educational philosophy pertaining to the student’s specific homeschooling curriculum, including any state law guidelines
    • A 1-2 page course description or syllabi, similar to a transcript, for the last two years of homeschooling
  • Additional Info: International Applicants

    Thacher is proud to enroll students from around the world and actively welcomes applications from international students. International students should fill out our standard application. 

    Thacher is making the TOEFL optional for the 2020-21 admission cycle. 

    For those students who will be able to take these tests in a positive and appropriate setting, we ask that you do submit your scores. Please know that students who do not submit tests scores will not be at a disadvantage in the process.

    TOEFL code: 6955   

    Financial Aid: a U.S. tax return is required for all financial aid applications.
  • Additional Info: Community Based Sending Orgs

    Students applying through a sending organization, including SEEDs, Daniel Murphy, YES Scholars, TEAK, Breakthrough Collaborative, and Oliver’s Scholars, also need to complete our supplemental application, which is available here.

Admission Timeline

List of 5 items.

  • September - December

    • Virtual Events and Interviews
    • Winter Vacation: TBD
  • January

    • Virtual Events and Interviews
    • Application Deadline: January 15
  • February

    • Financial Aid Deadline: February 15
  • March

    • Notification of Admissions Decisions: March 10
  • April

    • Accepted Candidates’ Reply Deadline: April 10

- Josy

The moment we set foot on Thacher grounds, my son and I knew it was home. I felt I was entrusting him to a community of people who would guide and support him to be his best self. The faculty and staff are genuinely invested in the students. Although the distance seemed daunting at first, there’s no other place my son would rather be than enjoying life as a Thacher student!

Parent from Brooklyn, New York

Unable to apply online?

Please contact the Admission Office via email at or call (805) 640-3210 for further assistance.

List of 1 items.

  • Fee Waiver Information

    Gateway to Prep Schools application fee waivers are available to families who are applying for financial aid. On the payment section of the Gateway application, include the following information to access the waiver:

    Date granted: Enter today's date
    Fee waiver code: 202021
    Name of person who granted request: Yung Roman
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.