Admissions Process

This year marks Conserve School's 10th year as a semester school.  Conserve School’s Board of Directors has launched a process to:

  • Review Conserve School's performance as a semester school,
  • Identify ways to improve the school’s fit with its founder's wishes,
  • Identify ways to increase the impact of the school, and
  • Improve the long-term financial sustainability of the school.

This process may lead to changes being implemented for future semesters beginning with fall 2020. The Board wants all applying students & families to be aware of those changes when they begin the admissions process. For that reason, the admissions process is on hold until further notice.

Check back soon for details on how to apply for future semesters or fill out a request information form to be notified when admissions opens up. 

Click here to request information. 


Admissions Checklist

Application for Admission

Conserve School utilizes an online application system. After creating an account, you can access the application as many times as you want, and all of your data will be saved automatically. Conserve School accepts applications during the school year prior to the semester for which you are applying. 

Admissions short essay questions

Below are the short essay questions that appear on the application:

  1. Based on what you know or have read about our school, please explain why you want to come to Conserve School. What is especially interesting to you about Conserve School? What do you hope to gain? What will challenge you?
  2. Please tell us about steps you’ve taken to learn about and practice environmental stewardship, as well as your hopes for how you may practice environmental stewardship in the future.
  3. Please tell us about activities in which you are involved (or have been involved) outside the classroom, including extracurricular activities, clubs, employment, and community service. Which of these is most important to you, and why?
  4. You need not have prior camping or outdoor adventure experience to participate in the Conserve School Semester, but you should expect to regularly spend time outdoors, including camping in the backcountry, carrying a backpack, biking, canoeing, traveling in the winter via snowshoes or Nordic skis, and experiencing a wide range of weather conditions. Are you physically able to participate in these activities? Are you motivated to try activities such as these? Do you have any concerns about this?
  5. At Conserve School, we intentionally form and nurture an inclusive community which values each individual, and embraces racial, socio-economic, cultural, religious, gender identity, sexual orientation, and political differences. How do you feel about living in a diverse, inclusive community? How might you contribute to an inclusive community? Please share any experience you’ve had living or working with those who are different than you.

Ethics Pledge

Conserve School students and staff live, learn, work, and play in an intentional, residential community. Healthy community is built, in part, on the commitment of each person to live ethically, and in a way which engenders the trust of others. As such, applicants are asked to demonstrate a record of positive, appropriate behavior at school, at home, and in other aspects of their lives. Applicants with a history of significant or repeated misbehavior, including use of illegal substances, will be be considered inappropriate for admission to Conserve School.

In consideration of these expectations, applicants are asked to sign an ethics pledge that asserts that they:

  • Currently abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and other illicit drugs, and pledge to continue to do so through the period of their enrollment at Conserve School.
  • Pledge to live by the values of the Conserve Code: compassion, honesty, justice, respect, and responsibility.
  • Pledge to communicate their whereabouts as required by Conserve School.
  • Pledge to refrain from actions that would endanger themselves or others.


As part of the application process you will be asked to provide the name and contact information of two adults willing to serve as a reference for you. One should be a teacher from the current or previous school year, and another should be an adult (not a relative) who knows you well (this person may also be a teacher). They will be given access to an online recommendation form, which will be submitted directly to Conserve School. (Homeschooled students should provide the names and email addresses of two adults [not relatives] who know you well, at least one of whom can attest to your academic abilities.)

School Report

Please arrange with an official at your school (typically your counselor, the registrar, or an administrator) to complete and send this form to Conserve School. As part of the online application process, a parent will need to electronically sign in the appropriate place on the first page of the form which, when electronically submitted, will automatically be emailed to the designated official at your current school. The school official will receive an email asking them to complete and return the form to us with a copy of your transcript, current grades, and most recent standardized test scores. (This form is not required for homeschooled students, unless you were enrolled in a traditional school program during the previous school year. Homeschooled students, though, should submit scores from a standardized test. Click here for more information about standardized testing options for homeschoolers. In addition, we ask homeschooled students to submit either a high school transcript, or a description of the topics that have been studied in the past two years.)

Graded Essay

Applicants are asked to submit a copy of a graded paper or essay from a high school English or history class. (Homeschooled students should submit an essay, paper, or other work that reflects your critical writing skills.)

Standardized Test Scores

All students, including home-schooled students, must submit their most recent standardized test scores. Click here for more information regarding testing for home-schooled students.

Other Information

Conserve School Semester Calendars

International Students

Conserve School will consider applications from students who are citizens of countries other than the United States. International students who do not also hold U.S. citizenship, or other status to lawfully study in the United States, must possess a valid I-20 through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and arrange with their current U.S. school to transfer the I-20 to Conserve School at the appropriate time. Conserve School cannot accommodate international students who do not already hold a valid I-20 from another U.S. School.

In addition to Conserve School's standard admission requirements, applicants who are not native English speakers must submit their scores from the TOEFL test. Successful applicants are expected to demonstrate a TOEFL score of 110 or higher.