9 Military Boarding Schools in Illinois

Here, the military boarding schools in Illinois have been discussed to give you a broad view of what these military academies represent and how they operate. It will also help you decide on which of the schools to attend if you are considering going to a military school.

Military academies and programs such as the ROTC are common in the US and each state has either a military high school, military college, or a school (college and high school) providing the ROTC program.

We have published several other articles on the military boarding schools in other US states, and now providing information on the military boarding schools in Illinois. This could help facilitate your admission especially when you’re considering going to a military school.

Military schools are often seen as where students or rather, cadets, are put through military drills and training without caring about their academic performance. While this may be partly true, it isn’t completely so. Military academies focus big time on students’ academic performance and it comes first before training drills and exercise.

High school students in military academies are trained to be self-disciplined, engage in community service and extracurricular activities, equipped with career and survival skills, and most of all graduate with excellent academic results. The result of these training ushers students into the next phase of their life, either to volunteer for service, pursue a college degree, or attend a vocational institution and gain career-ready skills.

Military boarding schools are a good investment in a child and if you are considering sending your child to one, then this article will guide you.


Admission Requirements Into Military Boarding Schools in Illinois

Whether you want to enroll in a military college or military high school in Illinois, there are certain requirements that applicants must meet to get accepted. These requirements are provided below;

  1. Applicants must be in the required age range of the military school
  2. Must be a resident of Illinois and a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident
  3. Applicant should be free of felony charges and no pending court proceedings
  4. Physical and mental capability to participate in the program
  5. Should be free from the use of illegal drugs or other substances
  6. If you are applying for a military college school, you must have completed high school or be a high school senior at the time of application.
  7. Complete and submit all supporting documents such as application form, recommendation letters, official transcripts from other schools attended, and other documents as required by your preferred school.
  8. Pay the application fee, if any.
  9. International applicants from non-English speaking countries must take an English language proficiency test and submit scores during application.

How Much Does Military School Cost in Illinois?

The military schools in Illinois are public chartered which makes them tuition-free.

Must I Become a Soldier If I Attend A Military Boarding School In Illinois?

You mustn’t become a soldier if you attend a military boarding school in Illinois. You can go on to pursue other careers, a college degree, or enlist for service.

What Is The Age Requirement For Military School In Illinois?

The age requirement for the military high school in Illinois is from grades 9-12 which typically puts the age between 14-18 years old. While the military college school simply requires that you are a college student between ages 17-24.

The State of Illinois has its own share of military academies and they have been discussed below.

Military Boarding Schools in Illinois

The following are the military boarding schools in Illinois with their details provided further below.

  • Lincoln’s Challenge Academy
  • Air Force Academy High School
  • Phoenix Military Academy
  • Rickover Naval Academy
  • Marine Leadership Academy
  • Chicago Military Academy
  • Carver Military Academy
  • Illinois State University ROTC
  • Marmion Academy

1.      Lincoln’s Challenge Academy

Lincoln’s Challenge Academy is one of the military boarding schools in Illinois, it is public chartered and tuition-free. There is zero cost of attending this academy everything from meals, uniforms, and lines are provided. Cadets are simply required to bring items for personal hygiene and a pair of running shoes. The academy is operated by the Department of Military Affairs but there is absolutely no military obligation for those who attend the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy.

The curriculum here combines classroom instruction, community service, life skills, jobs skills, computer literacy, life and job skills, physical training, and challenging individual and team activities into one unique experience.

Furthermore, the academy has two phases. The residential phase and the post-residential phase. In the residential phase, cadets spend 5 months on campus and after successfully completing it, they graduate into the 1-year post-residential phase where they return to the community and work towards completion of their individual Life Plans.

Website Link

2.      Air Force Academy High School

The Air Force Academy High School is one of the military boarding schools in Illinois and the only public Air Force Academy high school in the US, it is also a college-prep academy. The school aims to provide a safe, supportive environment that will inspire, educate, and empower cadets to lead a life of integrity, service, and excellence. Cadets are developed to be college and career-ready.

The academy is divided into academic departments which house about 10 departments including an AFJROTC dept., an educational support department for counseling and scholarships, an athletic department, and clubs and activities. You can either join the AFJROTC to be both a student and a cadet or just be a regular student at the academy.

Website Link

3.      Phoenix Military Academy

This is one of the military boarding schools in Illinois with a mission to develop young people to become better citizens and leaders with extraordinary character and a clear vision for success in universities, colleges, and top service academies. The staff here develops students in leadership, character, citizenship, service, and academics.

Phoenix Military Academy is a co-ed school that accepts students from grades 8-12. There are 11 academic departments within the school including a JROTC unit which is voluntary to join.

Website Link

4.      Rickover Naval Academy

Rickover Military Academy is one of the military boarding schools in Illinois accepting boys and girls from grades 9 through 12. Using the military model of self-discipline, self-discovery, and leadership Rickover help kids figure out what they want to do for their lives. Your kid does not need to join the military for attending Rickover Naval Academy.

As you may have guessed, Rickover has a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program that provides basic teaching in military science and operations, navy traditions, and citizenship training. The NJROTC has different teams such as the armed and unarmed IDR team, armed and unarmed exhibition team, color guard, and academic team for cadets to explore their potential.

Website Link

5.      Marine Leadership Academy

Marine Leadership Academy is a typical military boarding school in Illinois with various academic units such as music, math, art, Spanish, science, and JROTC. The school also has a department for the Middle school cadet corps program. There is a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to engage in.

Website Link

6.      Chicago Military Academy

The Chicago Military Academy is opened in 1999 as one of the military boarding schools in Illinois. It is a public four-year military high school located in Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois in a building known as the Eight Regiment Armory. The academy houses a JROTC unit that is compulsory to join in addition to a four-year college preparatory curriculum.

Both boys and girls are accepted from grades 8-12 and are instilled with self-discipline and developed to be leaders and college and career-ready. Cadets are encouraged in extracurricular activities such as volleyball, basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, etc.

Website Link

7.      Carver Military Academy

Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and established in 1947, Carver Military Academy is a public four-year military high school in Riverdale, Chicago, Illinois. The school is operated by the Chicago Public Schools and accepts both boys and girls from grades 8 through 12.

At Carver, all cadets are provided with a rigorous, inquiry-based, college-prep curriculum that creates lifelong learners. A military model is utilized to foster leadership and empower all cadets to be independent and active citizens.

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8.      Illinois State University ROTC

Illinois State University is a public research university in Illinois with a comprehensive ROTC program that students can voluntarily participate in. If you fancy a career in the military and still want to get a college degree at the same time to employ in the military then you should consider applying to Illinois State University and participating in the ROTC program.

The program offers students more than regular college experience and prepares them both physically and mentally for the challenges of leadership. Cadets are encouraged to engage in extracurricular activities as well to become better leaders. Upon completion of your program, you become a college degree holder and an officer in the military.

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9.      Marmion Academy

On our final list of military boarding schools in Illinois is Marmion Academy, formerly known as Marmion Military Academy, a Roman Catholic high school for boys in grades 9-12. It was established in 1933 and is located in Aurora, Illinois. Spirituality, academics, and leadership are the three pillars of the academy.

And just as you may have guessed, it houses a US Army JROTC program that has been part of the school since its year of establishment. Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and if you are interested in the military lifestyle then you can join the Adventure Platoon. There are also other clubs such as the chess team, drama club, foreign language clubs, and debate team.

Website Link

This concludes the post on military boarding schools in Illinois and there is a lot to choose from. Begin your application early and carefully go through the admission requirements as well. Good luck with your application.