Culver Military Academy has been an excellent experience for my eldest son. My youngest son will be a freshman next year.
With regard to the parent review submitted 4/14/2015, I politely disagree with her assessment. My son is in the honors program (and he is American born and raised). He has achieved honor roll (gold A) and a 4.0 in "honors" classes and will have the opportunity to be in AP classes (according to his advisor). Also, this is a military school and I believe the expectations of the school were provided with great detail prior to attending the school. Finally, please review Culver's matriculation reports for the last 5 years. They are available on Culver's website. The top 10% of students are attending STEM and or tier 1 schools e.g., USMA, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Princeton, University of Michigan....
Culver is beautiful, with impressive facilities & several strong teachers. But I cannot recommend it for the following reasons: 1. It is dominated by gifted international students who are academically years ahead of all American students in STEM classes. They consume the limited AP class openings and the American kids can't earn a spot. Check the matriculation statistics. Few American kids graduating from Culver are getting into top STEM schools as many are not allowed to take advanced classes in high school. In hindsight, my children's college applications would have been more impressive (GPA, class rank, AP classes) had they gone elsewhere. Kids who were top performing in American schools are competing for the second quartile at Culver. 2. There is a pervasive problem of bullying in the military leadership system. Domineering, aggressive kids are promoted with actual authority over their more tolerant, gentler peers creating an environment that is ideal for bullying. If your child is non-aggressive, this is not a welcoming environment. There are many positives, but these two negatives are show stoppers for me.
Culver Academies is the best of the best with the finest facilities, the most beautiful campus, a caring staff and great teachers. An intl leadership HS with a rigorous college schedule, AP classes, Harkness style teaching in obligatory humanities class, etc. Culver also requires an intensive community project for HS graduation, similar to the IB program but much more sophisticated and elaborate. Many graduates move on to Ivy league and other top colleges with full or large scholarships. My daughter loved her time at Culver and the flood of tears of the graduates after the graduation ceremony, realizing it's time to say goodby to their Culver family is almost heartbreaking but the Culver campus will always be their home away from home.
My experience is being nothing but marvelous, every photo shows happy faces, and only the fact that my girl is willing that the summer arrives to get there, makes me fill confident that have made the right choice, is a wonderful place to send your kids.
Do not consider sending your child here! My son came to culver hoping to become a leader. Turned out the school cares about one thing money. My son tells me the military program was very poor. (probably why Culver isn't considered a military school anymore after dropping their ROTC program years back) Its sad to see a once great school has took a turn for the worst.
Just a flat out horrible place to be, i will not return for my senior year. This place is filled with greed and the staff is so arrogant. Don't make the mistake I made! Don't let the nice campus fool you.
The school offers a great selection of courses;the teachers are fantastic and very supportive. Many teachers are college level. The curriculum is challenging and the grading is very strict. The athletic program is strong, without being all consumming. Emphasis is on the process, not the outcome for most sports. Students are encouraged to be independent and solve all problems; parental involvement is limited.
Is it legal to have these kids in dorms with no supervision at night and on weekends? Many of these kids are 14-15 years old and have never been away from home before. I had a friend that sent her child there for a few years and she felt her child spent a lot of time alone and no one really reached out to him. This includes not just the kids, but counselors and teachers. He ended up leaving after 2 years because he was miserable and definitely not worth $40,000 a year. She admits she was fooled by the beauty of the campus. Buyer Beware!
Beautiful campus with average facilities. Rowing and tennis facilities are first rate but what percentage of the student body will be able to enjoy them? My biggest concern is the lack of supervision and the way kids can be treated with such little respect by each other and even by Culver staff. The layers of secrecy allow bullying to flourish with an apprehension to tell. The dining hall choices are inferior and does not meet the expectations for a quality boarding school. Like any school, there are excellent teachers, average teachers and below average teachers. I get the impression many of the kids are disconnected to their families which would make boarding a viable option for them. There is a lot of focus on petty things which doesn't allow for enough time to study and sleep. Parents may not know about poor grades until it is too late. It's a tough time for adolescents to leave their families. Everyone runs a risk of losing a year of their lives if you realize your mistake.