Select Page

Why Do Parents (And Students) Choose Oak Hill Academy?

From my desk in the Admission Office, I take a lot of calls from parents who are expressing, in one way or another, a sense of urgency.  For many of our parents, the option of boarding school is more about seeking a solution to a problem than a plan.

Their student is bright, capable and good.  But, due to a variety of factors, they are just not achieving the kind of success of which they are capable.  But, more to the point, for the student, there is a sense of unhappiness with their current school experience.

This sense of unhappiness, whether it be vague or acute, can stem from factors such as a learning style or a lack of engagement that is not being addressed in their current, large classroom setting leading to a sense of academic frustration or lack of motivation. Or, it can be a social issue that comes from labels, or a negative peer group.  I am also often told of a family dynamic that poses a challenge to a student’s happiness.  Psychology tells us that a sense of security and competency is needed before a student can focus on achievement.

In the end, there is a common thread in most of my admission calls – parents want their kids to be happy, and it is just not happening where they are.

This is the moment when finding Oak Hill Academy often becomes a turning point for our families.  We’re different – the preconceived notions that many have about college prep boarding school are challenged by a trip around our website, or better yet – a campus visit.  Many of our prospective students, fearful about the idea of boarding school with its highly competitive and elitist reputation, instead find an engaging community of kids seeking growth and who want to be here and who feel competent.  This competency is fostered through small classes where relationships with their teachers means extra help at the minimum, and mentoring in the best cases.


Is it easy? No.  For example, we go to school for half a day on many Saturdays. We are a structured environment with study hours and lights out. But our focus on growth–academic, social and emotional–means that our kids become proud of the changes they see in themselves through attending Oak Hill Academy. Our students are proud of becoming comfortable doing more than the minimum. They also find a lot of happiness in belonging to a school and peer community that is sharing and encouraging this personal growth.  For generations of Oak Hill Academy students and families, this change of trajectory has been known as “the turning point.”




If you are researching boarding school as an option for your student to provide a turning point, I’m glad you have found Oak Hill Academy.  I’d like to speak to you about your student and what we do well. We welcome your inquiry.

Admission Department Request Form:

Start a Conversation with our Admission Department Today.
  • Student Information

Learning Differences Boarding School – Oak Hill Academy


Still considering appropriate applicants for rolling admissions. Space available in current enrollment.


Oak Hill Academy specializes in working with students who are very capable, but have not had the kind of academic success that reflects those capabilities. 

Our students are smart–they often just learn differently.  Many times they come to us frustrated by past classroom experiences, and are feeling disengaged. To us, there is no such thing as an underachieving child, only an unmotivated one.

The small class size and relational approach by our teachers is a game-changer for our students.  Our experience working with learning differences shows up as an intentional approach to recognize a variety of learning styles and to coach the skills necessary to become a more engaged, organized and confident learner.  One of our core beliefs is that once a student tastes success, he or she wants more of it.

This interactive approach is obvious in our after-school support, including daily “8th period tutorials” for subject specific help; and organizational check-ins and homework remediation in our Resource Center, an administrative study hall where broader challenges are addressed and skills practiced.  All this is complemented by a structured dorm life that includes mandatory quiet hours for study each evening.

In this setting, Oak Hill Academy has maintained its mission since 1878, developing an intention to work with students whose learning differences and personal habits are addressed in a structured, supportive, small-class environment.  If you are seeking such a “turning point” for your student, please complete the inquiry form below to continue the conversation.


“Where can I find a school that will enable my child to realize his/her untapped potential?   You need a turning point for your child. You have found Oak Hill Academy.”

Michael D. Groves, Ph.D



Admission Department Request Form:

Start a Conversation with our Admission Department Today.
  • Student Information

“At Oak Hill, I began to see the bigger picture of my future and I gained the confidence to go after that image of my future.   Boarding school was tough because I was out of my comfort zone, but once I let my wall down and let people in they helped me a lot with my success. In the end, boarding school tested my patience, but it also made me see the importance in my everyday actions.”

Cierra T.

Radford University ’19, Oak Hill Academy Class of 2015

We always welcome a phone call: 

1 (276) 451-7082