Shifting Perceptions: Debunking Common Myths Surrounding Military Schools

cadet flag ceremony

March 4th, 2021
By: Becca Nelson

If you have come across this article, then you may be considering enrolling your son into a military school. Or, maybe you are writing a research paper on the history of military schools. Whatever the case may be, we’re glad you are here. Keep reading as we debunk seven common myths surrounding military schools.



MYTH: Military schools are only for students interested in enlistment.

TRUTH: Military schools are for any child interested in gaining a college preparatory education while learning leadership skills that cannot be taught elsewhere. Military schools are also great for students who may need a little more discipline and structure in the classroom to help them succeed. No matter what career or higher education a student decides to pursue after leaving Southern Prep, we are confident that their experience will be benefited by their exposure to our military standards and discipline.


MYTH: Military schools will put pressure on my son to enlist in the military upon graduation.

TRUTH: Military schools all have one goal in common: to support each student’s aspirations and push them to achieve their dreams. At Southern Prep, less than 10% of each graduating class goes on to join the military. We believe in preparing youth for the work of life, whether that be college, trade school, joining the military, or starting a career after high school.


MYTH: Military schools are like boot camp.

TRUTH: Military schools place an emphasis on structure, responsibility, and the importance of peer leadership. Student leaders help set the tone on campus by leading by example. At Southern Prep, our adult T.A.C. (Teach, Advise, Counsel) Officers act as mentors and coaches for our Corps of Cadets, rather than disciplinarians.


MYTH: Military schools are places where bullying, hazing, and harassment take place.

TRUTH: No school is protected from these issues, however, military schools are far more vigilant than independent schools. At Southern Prep, our adult and student leaders alike are trained to recognize signs of bullying, and promptly address and resolve the issue. Students are encouraged to share knowledge with adults if they feel they have witnessed something inappropriate.


MYTH: Military schools are for bad kids or kids facing legal trouble.

TRUTH: Military schools are not reform schools or juvenile detention centers. It comes as no surprise that many believe this, considering how the media portrays military schools in movies and television shows. However, therapeutic and wilderness programs are better options for kids who are in trouble with the law. At Southern Prep, we are selective with our admissions process and accept students who we believe will best benefit from the structure and discipline offered. We are not a school for court-appointed kids.


MYTH: Military schools are for military families only.

TRUTH: Military schools are not restricted to service members or veterans. At Southern Prep, many of our families do not have any ties with the military, but sought us out to help motivate their son.


MYTH: Military schools are subsidized by the military, or they are free.

TRUTH: Private military schools are typically nonprofits and operate solely on tuition and donations. At Southern Prep, we understand that the cost of tuition may exceed a family’s resources, so we make every effort to assist with financial aid and loan programs.

Read more about Southern Prep and see if we’d be a good fit for your child.

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