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Learning to Ski: The Top Five US Ski High Schools

Learning to Ski: The Top Five US Ski High Schools
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Defined as the ultimate winter sports experience, skiing has soared in popularity so significantly that learning it has now been transformed into a burgeoning industry with a myriad of ski high schools opening up across the country to groom budding professional skiers. Many young ski enthusiasts dream of becoming a professional and as a result dedicated schools are springing up where training for skiing has become a priority. The commitments and benefits of attendance at one of these institutions may be worth delving into so that you know whether U.S. ski high schools are a good fit for you in your quest for success.


High Schools (Grades 9 to 12) With Ski Programs

Many high schools offer a skiing program during the winter months at a local mountain but only a handful of professional-level ski programs exist to train young skiers with Olympic dreams in the sport –– either on a part-time or full-time basis. A few athletes opt to stay in local high schools to balance their school load and professional skiing dreams, but most aspiring professionals move on to high schools with dedicated ski programs –– outfitting them with the best chance of success.

Several ski high schools offer full-time programs alongside academic curriculum, which can be extremely demanding on students, but the results are well worth it when you sample a taste of success you’ve always wanted.

Every high school or skiing academy has their own method of scheduling, but students are typically expected to maintain an academic balance between schoolwork and ski training. Most high schools with dedicated ski programs have rigorous fall and spring workloads while keeping classes lighter in winter for ski training. The lure of benefiting from the best of both worlds has attracted students towards these dedicated ski academies, designed to combine an all-round education with professional-level ski training.

Innovations in quality and affordable technologies have made high schools with dedicated ski programs a highly viable solution for many parents of budding athletes. Modern methods of instruction have also allowed traveling athletes to complete their workloads without missing out on fundamental education.


Why Do Students Want To Attend Ski Academies?

While many ski academies require students to live away from parents, the intense regimen filled with schoolwork and ski training provides them with the best possible opportunity to make the national team and take part in the Olympics –– a common dream shared by most students who attend these rigorous ski academies.

Many schools have certain academic and sporting requirements to accept students into their full-fledged ski programs. Students are even expected to keep their grade point average above a certain level if they expect to continue training. The amount of time students get to ski on the mountains will once again depend on the way the ski academy operates, which is why it’s important to do your own research before making a decision to attend a ski high school.

Finally, the percent of ski school students attending college is higher than what is found at the average high school.  Some go on to perform on a professional level, pursuing a full-time career in skiing by becoming instructors or even opening up their own training academies.


Top US Ski High Schools

With a number of ski high schools currently springing up in the United States, students need to be cognizant of their own needs and capacities before making a decision. America Unraveled has compiled the following list of our top five choices:


5. Green Mountain Valley School

By dvs ([ Flickr]) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By dvs ([ Flickr]) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sequestered in Fayston in Vermont, the Green Mountain Valley School is celebrated as a world-class ski academy with excellent training facilities available in the area. The school fosters a combination of academic learning and sports training to produce some of the best skiers the country has seen. The program generally requires students to fill out an application form, provide transcripts and teacher recommendations. The school has about 130 students. Boarding students will have to shell out $52,200 for the year to attend GMVS, while the cost for day students is $40,360. Financial aid is available for students for the school.


4. Carrabassett Valley Academy

Some rights reserved by jack heddon
Some rights reserved by jack heddon

Snuggling at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, the Carrabassett Valley Academy is an elite ski school with an excellent academic and ski curriculum for budding athletes. To obtain admission into this 25-acre campus, students need to provide three essays, school transcripts, psychological assessments, an interview, parental statement, and references. The school has 102 students with 14 teaching and 24 coaching faculty. The full-year boarding cost is $51,100, while day students pay $38, 475. Financial aid is available for deserving students.

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Lana Pelly Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.

Comment(1)

  1. To rank these is almost irresponsible. Each one offers advantages and disadvantages. The best ski school is the one that fits your racer the best. Schools that absolutely should be on this list and consideration are Waterville Valley Academy, Winter Sports School in Park City, Mount Mansfield Academy, Killington Mountain School, Stratton Mountain School, Rowmark Academy, and National Sports Academy. All these academies have turned out top-notch skiers at the highest level. Visit and find the best one for your child.

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