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Dear Prospective Student,

The Island School believes that young people, given the right tools, can do just about anything--including change the world. The tools we offer will help you dive deep into the ocean and dig even deeper into yourself in order discover new sources of your own strength, the strength to ask difficult questions, to live well with less, and to believe that you can become a force for positive change in the world. At The Island School, we will ask you to turn off your cell phones and turn on to your surroundings- rich laboratories of learning that include the Caribbean Ocean, Bahamian culture, and our own vibrant community of scientists, faculty and students. By pushing the usual boundaries of classroom education, we create an environment in which critical thinking skills are just a normal part of daily life.

A semester at The Island School involves hard work, community living, and new challenges. For a taste of what life is like during a semester on Eleuthera, take a look at our student blogs and alumni stories in the 'Stories' section in the website footer. When you are ready to begin your own Island School adventure, the first step is to start an application. Through the process of writing your essays, we hope that you might already begin to imagine a new way of learning and even discover something wonderful about yourself.

The Admission Team will be your first point of contact.  Please let us help you with your questions!

Taylor Hoffman
Director of Admissions

Our Admissions Philosophy

The Island School embraces diversity in its many forms. We believe firmly that education happens when we are surrounded by those with different backgrounds and experiences from ourselves. We also know that our community is immeasurably enriched by the different cultures and mindsets that our students bring from their diverse homes, schools, neighborhoods, and nations. While our ideal candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, they all share an intense curiosity about the future of the world around them and are motivated to become leaders effecting change. Acceptance criteria include personal essays, academic records, recommendations, and, most importantly, a clear indication of the student’s enthusiasm and desire to explore a new world and discover new ways of learning. Students come from a variety of schools – public and private, boarding and day.

Who can apply?

Fall & Spring Semesters
High School Sophomores & Juniors

Summer Term and Expeditionary Summer Term
Rising Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

Gap Year 'Semesters'
Students 18+ apply through the Cape Eleuthera Institute

Summer One Week Research Programs
For students 16+ apply through the Cape Eleuthera Institute

Application Timeline

Interested students may learn about our programs from our website and are also encouraged to attend an admission event whenever possible. Interviews are recommended, but not required. To schedule a video interview, please contact us at 

September 15
Applications open

November 1 - February 15  
Students may book an optional 15 minute interview in person or via Skype

February 15
Applications due

November 1 - March 1
Applicants and families in need of tuition assistance begin financial aid applications

March 31
Admission decisions mailed


Email us at or call +1 (609) 620-6700.


Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid

Affording The Island School

The Island School is founded upon the belief that students will leave the program as engaged global citizens, empowered to be active leaders of their generation. In order to fulfill this mission, we understand that our financial aid program must be supportive to a diverse range of students.

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters is $29,950 and tuition for Summer Term 2017 and Expeditionary Summer Term 2017 is $9,130. Tuition covers the cost of room and board. We ask that the family obligation is paid in full before a student arrives on Eleuthera.

Our financial aid is tuition-based only. Additional and incidental costs will be borne by the family. Additional expenses include travel, school clothing, gear, any outside medical treatment, and personal spending money, which typically range from $1,000-$1,500. In extreme hardship, The Island School will help contribute to some of these incidental costs, such as uniform or gear.

If you would like to discuss options on how past students and families have worked through these additional expenses, please email

Financial Aid

We recognize that an elective program like The Island School can be difficult for many families to afford. The Island School and our partner schools are committed to make The Island School a reality for deserving students. We firmly believe that our program is invaluable in shaping future leaders and therefore must be accessible to all.

Our financial aid is need-blind, meaning acceptance to The Island School program is not determined by a family’s need for financial aid. We use a service called FAST, a financial aid service that helps us assess need in a fair and unbiased manner, to generate awards. The Island School and financial aid will be applied for simultaneously. FAST applications are due on March 1st. Awards will therefore be announced with the student's acceptance to The Island School at the end of March.

If you are currently receiving financial aid at your sending school, please discuss the possibility of transferring your aid towards the tuition costs at The Island School with your Director of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Summary 2015-2016

  • Every family that qualified for financial aid received an award
  • 30% of the student body is receiving financial aid
  • The household income of families receiving financial aid support ranged from less than $40,000 to more than $250,000, with a median of about $150,000

Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars

Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars

The Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars (BESS) program is a unique opportunity for graduating students in The Bahamas ages 15-18 who have a keen interest in the environment and want to learn more as they transition from high school to university studies. Successful applicants will participate in a 14-week academic semester at The Island School in South Eleuthera and a four-month paid internship at an environmental conservation-related organization. Upon completion of high school, students can use BESS as a gap year experience before pursuing further studies. The BESS Program is administered in collaboration with 'BREEF,' Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation.

As part of the BESS program you will:

  • Study Marine ecology
  • Conduct research
  • Earn SCUBA certifications
  • Develop your leadership skills
  • Learn about alternate sources of energy
  • Consider how to make small communities more sustainable
  • Prepare for college
  • Connect with the environment around you
  • BESS participants may complete their four-month internship at the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, or other environmental organizations in The Bahamas.



Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer


Each school responds differently as to how they handle our credits and grades.

Many schools honor our credits for everything and factor our grades into the GPA’s. Other schools accept some credits and do not include our grades in GPA’s (but attach The Island School transcripts as a supplement). Most frequently there is an issue with our math credit and lack of foreign language. Almost all schools accept our science, literature, history, and arts credits as well as the community service hours students earn with us. Many schools offer two science credits for our term. Strategies that schools use to navigate the credit transfer challenges include:

  • Tutoring   Students are with us for 1/3 of a year. Many gaps, especially in math and language can be addressed during winter/summer breaks.
  • Online Learning   Some schools recommend that students fill in gaps with online programs such as the ones provided by Johns Hopkins.
  • Flipping Electives   Some schools will have a student take their history or science electives while with us and use Junior/Senior year for required courses. Our college list reflects that even making these kinds of choices, our students are getting into great colleges!
  • Dropping Honors/AP   Occasionally a student will drop down from 1-2 Honor/AP classes in order to facilitate re-entry.
  • Rescheduling Exams   When a student is asked to take an exam either prior to departure of upon their return, flexibility is key.



Fall 2016

August 29
Students Arrive

November 16 - 20
Parents Weekend

December 7
Students Depart

Summer 2017

June 25
Students Arrive

July 22 - 25
Parents Weekend

July 25
Students Depart

Fall 2017

August 28
Students Arrive

November 15 - 18
Parents Weekend

December 5
Students Depart

Spring 2017

February 27
Students Arrive

May 17 – May 20
Parents Weekend

June 7
Students Depart

Expeditionary 2017

June 28
Students Arrive

July 27 - 29
Graduation and Research Symposium

July 29
Students Depart

Spring 2018

March 4
Students Arrive

May 23 - 26
Parents Weekend

June 12
Students Depart

Admission Calendar

Throughout the school year, our admissions team will be traveling across the country, hosting informational receptions and visiting schools. Please check out the links below to see if we will be coming to a place near you! 


Sending Schools

Sending Schools

Students arrive at The Island School from high schools around the world.

Take a look at some of the schools that have sent students to study at The Island School in the past:


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College Matriculation

College Matriculation

Students depart their semester at The Island School ready to take on academic and personal challenges at a wide range of undergraduate colleges and university programs. Five or more Island School alumni enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at the following schools between 2011 and 2016:


Bates College
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Bucknell University
Colby College
Colgate University
College of Charleston
College of The Bahamas
Colorado College
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Dickinson College
Duke University
Eckerd College
Elon University
Emory University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Hamilton College

Harvard University
Haverford College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Lafayette College
Lehigh University
Lewis and Clark College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Miami University
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
New York University
Northeastern University
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Princeton University
Southern Methodist University
St. Andrews University-Scotland
St. Lawrence University
Stanford University
Trinity College
Tufts University

Tulane University
Union College
University of California - Berkeley
University of California-Santa Cruz
University of Colorado - Boulder
University of Denver
University of Georgia
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of Southern California
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin
Vanderbilt University
Wake Forest University
Wesleyan University
Williams College
Yale University


Student Testimonial

Student Testimonial

A pivotal experience, thoughtfully introducing me to the idea of independence, in its many forms.
Nick Del Vecchio F'02


IS remains as the singular defining adventure of my life; it has made me me. 
- Griffin Hunt F'11


It's an attitude and an appreciation that is with you in all life's endeavors.
- Stuart Naeny F'04


One of my favorite things about Island School is that I continue to find meaning and understanding about myself, others, and the natural world by reflecting on experiences I had during my semester nearly three years ago. 
Katie Johnson S'11


Island School - where you learn to turn 'I can't' into 'I did'. 
- Adriana Misoul S'06


A place promoting positive change to its students, who in turn positively change our world. 
- Noelle Cooper F'04


It challenges everything you thought you knew about community and the earth - for the better. 
- Stephanie Chaston F'05


Island School is where the improbable becomes possible and the extraordinary becomes ordinary. 
- Robbie Balloch S'12


Leaving technology behind, appreciating a new community, learning with my hands and feet. 
- Anika Ayyar F'11


A new perspective of what community means and a redirection of life's real priorities.
- Jennifer Boone Purviance S'03


Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors

We believe that the best people to hear from about our program are those who have lived it for themselves! Please enjoy learning from some of our 2015 - 2016 students, who they are, where they come from, and what they have to say about their experience at The Island School. Check out the link below for more information about our ambassadors and how to contact a student!