Admission
If you’re interested in applying to Thacher, you’ve probably done your share of research. You’ve read about what sets us apart from other high schools.  You have seen the rugged beauty of our campus via our virtual tour. You’ve watched the videos of our students and faculty talking about their own Thacher lives, and you’ve begun to imagine your own. And you probably follow us on social media. Now it's time to take action.
 
Here are the key steps you need to complete to apply to Thacher for Fall 2023 entry:
 

The Application Process

List of 7 items.

  • Inquiry form (required)

    If you have not already, get on our mailing list by clicking here.
  • Admission presentation (required, virtual or in-person)

    While all interviews are virtual this year, we are able to host optional on-campus visits for fully vaccinated guests only. Click here to register. This program is for families applying for the 2023-2024 academic year. Families who do not attend an in-person visit are required to attend a Virtual Information Session. Click here to register.

    HEALTH PROTOCOLS: In navigating ongoing covid risk on campus, we recognize that testing can be a useful tool to keep our community safe. When possible, we ask that visitors take an at-home rapid covid test at some point in the 24 hours preceding their arrival on campus. If anyone in your party tests positive or feels ill, we ask that you postpone your visit to campus. We recognize that in some cases testing will be logistically difficult given travel plans and other complications. If you are unable to test prior to arrival, we still welcome you to campus and just ask that you pay particular attention to masking while indoors.

    Given that not all families are able to visit campus in person, you can attend an admission presentation by either coming to campus or attending a virtual information session. Please note that you must attend an admission presentation before you can interview. Click here to register.
     
    On campus visits are routinely held on Mondays and Fridays from 9:40am to 12:30pm from mid-September through the end of January when the school is in session. (Some Wednesdays will also be available.) The visit includes attendance at a school assembly, the admission presentation followed by a Q+A, and a student lead tour.  All visitors must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after the final vaccine dose) and bring masks in case they become necessary. 
     
    The virtual admission presentations are held a few times a month from mid-September through the end of January when the school is in session. The event, which runs about an hour, includes a presentation and Q+A. 
    Read More
  • Virtual events (optional)

    Click here to register for an optional virtual event to help you learn more about Thacher. In addition, consider joining us at virtual fairs and receptions.
  • Virtual interview (required)

    To enhance equity and health and safety, all Thacher admission interviews during the 2022-23 season will be virtual via a Zoom appointment. Your virtual interview must be completed by February 1, 2023. Time slots are limited and in high demand so please schedule as soon as possible. The interview involves a 15-20 minute discussion between an admission officer and the applying student. If available, parents should join the session after the students' portion is completed. Families who will not be visiting campus in person are required to attend a Virtual Information Session before the interview.

    To register, click on the month that you would like to schedule your interview: September, October, November, December, or January
  • Character Skills Snapshot (required)

    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 require applicants to complete the Character Skills Snapshot (CSS). The CSS is an online tool students take at home in approximately 25 minutes.  An internet connection is all you need.  The Snapshot measures a student's preferences, attitudes and beliefs about their character and is meant to complement the other elements of a student’s application.

    To request a fee waiver, contact our office at admission@thacher.org or 805-640-3210.
  • Standardized testing (optional)

    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 has temporarily suspended our requirement for all students to submit either a SSAT or ISEE score. 

    In a similar fashion, Thacher is making the TOEFL optional for international students for the 2023-24 admission cycle
     
    For those students who will be able to take one of these tests in a positive and appropriate setting, you are welcome to 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
    TOEFL code: 6955 
  • Online application

    The Thacher School recommends families apply via 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

    Families applying through a community based sending organization and/or the SAO are also required to complete our supplemental application.
     
    For fall 2023 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.

Admission Process Timeline

List of 5 items.

  • September - January

    Campus visits and virtual events and interviews
  • January

    Application Deadline: January 15
  • February

    Financial Aid Deadline: February 15
  • March

    Candidates Notified of Decisions: March 10
  • April

    Accepted Candidates Reply Deadline: April 10

Additional Information

To learn more, please click on the links below. 

List of 7 items.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • 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
  • 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 2022-23 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants Interested in Repeating a Grade

    Based on current California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) regulations, students repeating a grade at a California high school—including Thacher—are likely to be ineligible to complete in CIF competitions during their senior year. Please notify your admission officer if this applies to you.
  • Applicants Transferring from Another High School

    Based on current California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) regulations, students transferring from one California high school to another—including Thacher—who play on a varsity team will be able to practice from the start of the season but will likely need to wait 4-6 weeks from the start of the season before they can participate in a varsity game. Please notify your admission officer if this applies to you.
We invite you to leap into an education unlike any other, where high-achieving academic rigor and uplifting community go hand in hand.

Still have questions?

Contact us via email at admission@thacher.org or by phone at 805-640-3210. You can also find our individual contact information here.
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.