Ask any one of the young men living and learning at Hargrave Military Academy’s sprawling campus in Chatham, Virginia, and they will tell you that men of honour, character, and grit must learn to forge their own paths to success. Laughter, chants and cheers fill the air as learners between the grades of 7 and 12 embrace challenges the likes of which most students never have the opportunity to conquer. Parents who choose Hargrave have faith in the school, but also faith in their sons, faith that they will take an active role in writing their transformation story from boy to young man. The Hargrave cadet is presented with ample opportunity to achieve this goal.
Christy Lipscomb can attest to this. The Academy’s assistant director of admissions is a proud mother of a thriving senior cadet. “The main benefit that I see first-hand, as a mother and as an Admissions Officer, is the character development of young men having the courage to become a leader and to step outside their comfort zone by trying something new,” she says.
Her role revolves around making a Hargrave experience open to all — by supporting and guiding families through the selection, application, financial aid and enrollment processes. The most fulfilling part of her job is fostering enduring relationships with families keen on joining the Academy’s caring community.
The best part? Sixty percent of those who attend Hargrave receive some form of financial aid. While most are offered primarily on merit, Hargrave also boasts need-based scholarship opportunities for those who qualify. Financial awards vary in size and are customised to each student. For 2021-22 boarding students, the average award was approximately US$13,000.
Qualifying for enrollment is a clear-cut process as well. Lipscomb and her team of experts make their decisions based on each applicant’s character, moral fitness and competencies to add value to the school. Teacher and principal evaluation notes, discipline reports from previous schools, and the student interview are all considered.
Warm welcomes all around
While the school is built and run on Christian values, all beliefs are welcomed warmly to enjoy the rigorous academic experience of a lifetime. Involvement in a local church is encouraged but not required. “Hargrave’s faith programme is intended to nurture a student’s interest in their own faith development, and to encourage them to take ownership of and responsibility for their own spiritual development,” explains Lipscomb.
Hence, the Corps of Cadets is intentionally diverse — encompassing varied walks of life, experiences, aspirations, cultural perspectives, and spiritual traditions. “At Hargrave, we firmly believe it is the duty, responsibility and honour of all of the faculty and staff to assist the young men under our care every step of the way.” Each goes on to evolve into selfless members of their communities with a Christ-like demeanour to match.
Communication skills are equally prioritised. Since Hargrave’s lustre fosters a multinational cohort of ambitious young men, English as a Second Language (ESL) offerings are provided in abundance. “Our programme works hand-in-hand with the student, faculty, residential life staff and the dynamic faith programme to ensure all language abilities are provided the appropriate support for academic success,” Lipscomb explains.
With the confidence to explore comes the courage to achieve. Thanks to the Academy’s emphasis on personalised attention and unwavering support, students are encouraged to fill their schedules until they pinpoint the methods of enrichment that mean the most to them — whether it be extracurriculars or advanced studies.
Hargrave’s Academic Learning Centre and Peer Tutors are ever willing to provide additional support to students who need it the most. These services come in especially handy to those with their hearts set on a smooth journey to and during university.
The college placement journey at Hargrave begins earlier than most military academies. Students in grades 7 and 8 focus their attention on exploring career opportunities through a customisable, interest-building curriculum. In grades 9 and 10, they can expect to dive deeper into their findings, have their existing skills assessed and investigate appropriate options based on their strengths. It’ll all come together in grades 11 and 12 when students are expected to prepare for college admissions through the Academy’s Junior and Senior Seminar courses — designed to help learners select the right college, nail the application process and excel at college admissions exams like the ACT and SAT.
“The goal of the college guidance programme at Hargrave is to help each student find the right college for him, not merely the most prestigious,” says Lipscomb. “Success is often achieved by finding the right college the first time and avoiding transfers.”
If this sounds like the academic experience your son needs, click here to apply to Hargrave Military Academy today.