Admissions Process

For those applying for the fall 2019 or spring 2020 semesters, the application for enrollment will be available online beginning September 1, 2018. Once all required pieces of an application have been received (this includes the application, application questions, teacher and personal recommendation forms, school report for students who are not homeschooled, recent standardized test scores, transcript, and a recent graded essay), the application will be reviewed by Conserve School admissions staff.

The priority deadline for the receipt of a completed application package is February 15, 2019*. We are no longer admitting on a rolling basis. Please note, however, that admissions staff will begin review of completed applications as soon as they are submitted. As such, it is advantageous to submit an application in advance of the priority deadline (during the fall and early winter) to afford admissions staff maximum opportunity to review an application, and request supplemental information, as needed. A completed application will be reviewed within several weeks. If it meets our minimum requirements, the candidate will be contacted for an interview, which is typically conducted via phone or Skype/Google Hangout.

Offers of admission will be emailed on March 19, 2019.

Accepted students must complete the income verification process (which is necessary for Conserve School to determine a financial aid award) no later than April 2, 2019. However, applicants may submit financial information, as part of the income verification process, at any time during the application process, to receive a financial aid quote prior to receiving an admission decision. Enrollment Agreements, including financial aid awards, will be extended to those families who accept the offer of admission in a timely manner.

Signed Enrollment Agreements, accompanied by the $200 enrollment fee, are due no later than three weeks following the accepted student's receipt of the Enrollment Agreement.

Fall semester tuition payments (the balance of the tuition) will be due by July 1, 2019, and spring semester tuition payments (the balance of the tuition) will be due by September 1, 2019.

*After the priority deadline, applications will be considered on a rolling basis to fill any spaces that may remain unfilled.


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 (e.g., applications for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters are accepted beginning September 1, 2018).

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

Admissions Process Timeline and Deadlines

September 1, 2018 - Application module is available.

February 15, 2019 - Priority deadline.

March 19, 2019 - Admissions offers emailed.

April 2, 2019 - Accepted student family income verification process deadline (used to determine financial aid award).

Enrollment agreements, including financial aid awards, emailed in a timely manner.

Signed enrollment agreements, accompanied by the $200 enrollment fee, due no later than three weeks following accepted student receipt of financial aid award.

July 1, 2019 - Fall 2019 semester tuition payment deadline.

September 1, 2019 - Spring 2020 semester tuition payment deadline.



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.

Lowenstine Honors Scholarship Application

All accepted students become Lowenstine Scholars and receive, at a minimum, a $10,000 Lowenstine Honors Scholarship.

99% of families in the United States are eligible for additional need-based assistance with over 60% of the families eligible for $25,000 Lowenstine Honors Scholarships. Conserve School uses a simple scholarship system based on a family's federal tax information from the previous year, allowing families to determine the cost of attending Conserve School at any time during the application process.

Click here to visit the Tuition & Affordability page for more information.