Admission and Tuition

A small community is core to the personalized approach at LightHouse. Admission is limited based on our program capacity of 75 students. All of our students are in grades 6-12. Our student to staff ratio is 3:1.


Admission is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, as the admission process is completed by prospective teens. The process requires a short written application and an in-person meeting with a representative of the LightHouse staff.

Students are welcome to enroll at any point in the year as space allows.

Waitlist admission offers will be on a rolling basis, as spots are available.

Admission and Waitlist Considerations

LightHouse strives to engage a diverse array of teens in our program. Our admissions process values a variety of qualities in each potential student.

What we do not consider are standard metrics—test scores, previous academic completion, previous GPAs…  While we are interested in whatever experiences and histories you choose to share with us, we do not expect that past performance in school is necessarily an indicator of success at LightHouse.

Our admission/waitlist process is heavily focused on first-come, first-served, as we believe that all teens who are interested have the potential to benefit. However, in order to create a community rich in diversity, we also will consider the following in making admissions decisions:

Age: LightHouse serves teens ages 13-19, with occasional exceptions on either end being made at the discretion of the core staff. There is no priority put on entering the program at a certain age, rather we seek to have a balance of ages in the program.

Capacity to pay: LightHouse is an independent, nonprofit organization that charges tuition on a sliding scale. Our ability to offer financial assistance to those who need it is based on the generosity of our donors and other funders. We must ensure that we enroll students whose ability to pay is varied, in order to support our budgetary needs. A student’s ability to pay will be considered as a part of their admission, though never as an exclusively limiting factor.  We are committed to creating an accessible program.

Background and interests: LightHouse aspires to create a diverse community of teens and families, and thus will consider all aspects of an applicant’s background and interests that they share through the admissions process.

To begin a discussion on whether LightHouse is right for you:


Financial Assistance

LightHouse is committed to serving youth from all economic backgrounds.  All students will pay some portion of the annual tuition.

The amount for a given student will be determined through the application process in consultation with the teen, their family, and the LightHouse core staff. LightHouse uses an independent partner organization to determine the amount of need-based scholarship required by each student.

Financial assistance for each student will be reassessed annually to reflect changes in income.



For the 2022-2023 year, tuition at LightHouse is $12,500. We have a variety of payment options available including annual, quarterly, and monthly.

Our goal is to create a accessible program. A robust fundraising program is key to meeting our annual budget needs, in order to accommodate all.

To begin a discussion on whether LightHouse is right for you:


LightHouse is currently accepting applications.

Click here to begin the application process:


Our Application Process

The LightHouse admissions process is designed to be as easy as possible for teens and families, while also providing us with a full picture of who each applicant is. The three parts of our process are:

      1. Written application—a few short answer questions for both the teen and their parent(s)/guardian(s). Don’t stress about the questions—we just want to hear about who you and your family are and what made you decide to apply to LightHouse.
      2. Tuition reduction assessment —if you are requesting consideration for need-based scholarship of any amount, we ask that you complete our tuition reduction assessment process. This process asks you to provide tax records and income information to help us make informed and equitable decisions about who is offered tuition reductions and how much they are offered. Please note that this review is conducted by a company we have partnered with to ensure a fair, non-biased review of all applicants (though LightHouse staff will be the ones making the final decisions). The scholarship application is only necessary to complete if you are requesting consideration for tuition reduction.
      3. In-person meeting—all applicants will be asked to attend a meeting with at least one member of the LightHouse staff to discuss your interest in the program. We want to meet you; it’s an important part of the admission decision-making process to get to talk with you in person! Meetings will be scheduled by email with each applicant after their application is received.

Frequently Asked Questions About Admissions

What are the things you are looking for when you decide who to admit to LightHouse?

We are looking for a diverse array of teens, of different ages, backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We want to find teens like you who are excited to be at LightHouse, and who want an education that is for and about them, not about a prescribed set of things you have to do. What we don’t look at in our process is your previous academic or behavioral records—we care about your future successes!

When and how do I find out if I get in?

You will receive an admissions decision letter from LightHouse by email after all pieces of the application process have been completed. Your tuition reduction offer, if applicable, will be included at the same time as the admissions decision letter. We will also do our best to keep you informed during our process to let you know when we expect to make decisions.

Is there a waitlist?

Often. LightHouse has capacity for 75 teens—having a small program is an important part of our philosophy, to make sure you get individualized attention. Once we have filled those spots, we will put people on a waitlist to be considered if/when spots are available. Please note that being on the waitlist does not mean that you have been accepted, it just means that you are in line for admissions consideration when there is space available.

What if I don’t get in? Can I reapply?

Yes, you can, and we are happy to talk with you about why you didn’t get in as well. Please note that applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you reapply you will start at the end of the waitlist and will be reconsidered as space becomes available.

You say admissions is rolling.  Does this mean I can even apply to come in the middle of the school year?

Yes! Though, of course, it all depends on if we have any spots for additional students at that point in the year. But we will gladly accept your application at any time, for consideration as soon as there are spaces available.

What is the tuition?

For the 2022-2023 year tuition is set at $12,500. Many of our families will be offered reduced tuition of some amount, based on their family’s need, and the specific amount each family pays will vary. Some students are funded through public school partnerships.

What does tuition include?

Tuition includes access to the program five days a week, from 8:30am-3:00pm. It entitles you to participate in any of the classes we offer, and to take advantage of personalized one-on-one tutorials. It includes access to an individual advisor on our staff, as well as to all the resources of our program: space to work, play, and hang out in; computers and printers; spaces we utilize outside of our building for activities; etc. We are also working to put together a meal program that will provide lunch to all LightHouse teens every day, and that will also be included in tuition.

If I get in, do I have to pay all the tuition at once?

No. There are multiple options for paying tuition, including paying it in one lump sum in August, over two or four payments throughout the year, or on a monthly basis over 10 months.


“Children must be taught how to think,
not what to think.”

-Margaret Mead