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Low-Cost Boarding Schools List (2023)


Provided by: Best Choice Admissions Services

free boarding schools and programs

If you have a troubled teenager and have low income, we’ve listed below the affordable boarding schools and free programs that you may want to contact.

List Updated: September 15, 2022

IMPORTANT! If you are interested in one of these programs, please contact them directly. This website has no affiliation with them. Others have shared them with us, but we do not vouch for them nor endorse them, nor do we have any more information about them than is included here. Be sure to check them out carefully.

ALLEGANY BOYS CAMP (Boys Ages 9-15) (WEB: www.alleganyboyscamp.org) Ph:  301-478-5721

ANCHOR ACADEMY (Missouri) (Boys ages 16-24) (WEB: www.anchoracademymo.com) Ph: (573) 471-2900

BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOME of NORTH CAROLINA  *North Carolina Residents Only (WEB: bchfamily.org) (Co-ed, Ages Vary by Location) Ph: 800-238-4269

BETHANY’S HOUSE (Adult age 18+) Christian ministry for pregnant women, age 18 and over, providing a free residential program.  For more information call 1-800-454-0454 or 209-526-3342. (WEB: www.bethany.org)

BLOUNT YOUTH HOME (Boys Ages 10-18) WEB: blountyouthhome.com  Ph: (912) 537-7758

BOYS TOWN (Co-Ed Age Range Varies by Location) WEB: www.boystown.org  Ph: (800) 448-3000

CHEROKEE HOME FOR CHILDREN * Texas residents only (Co-ed ages 2-18) (WEB: www.chc4kids.org) Ph: 325-622-4201

CONNIE MAXWELL CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed Ages 5-16) *South Carolina Residents Only (WEB: www.conniemaxwell.com) Ph: 800-868-2624

COOKSON HILLS CHRISTIAN HOME (Co-ed Ages 5-17)  (WEB: cooksonhills.org)  Ph: 918-948-6300

EDGEWOOD RANCH *Florida Residents Only (Co-ed Ages 7-17)  (WEB: edgewoodranch.com) Ph: (407) 295-2464

FAIR PLAY CAMP (South Carolina & Surrounding States) (Boys, Ages 8-15) (WEB: www.fairplaycamp.org) Ph:  864-647-4311

FRENCH CAMP ACADEMY (French Camp, MS) (WEB: www.frenchcamp.org) Ph: (662) 547-6482

FLYING H YOUTH RANCH (Naches, WA) (WEB: www.flyingh.org) Ph: (509) 658-2990

GOOD NEWS MINISTRIES (Indiana) (Web: https://goodnewsministries.com/boys-home-2/) Ph: 765-795-3722

HAPPY HILL FARM (Granbury, TX) (WEB: www.happyhillfarm.org) Ph: (254) 897-4822

HEARTLAND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Bethel, Missouri ) (Coed, grades K4-12) (WEB: hcaboardingschool.org)  Ph: (660) 284-6300

HOPE HARBOR (three locations in Minnesota & South Dakota). (Coed ages 12-17 ) (WEB: www.hopeharbormn.org)  Ph: (507) 537-4525

MASONIC-EASTERN STAR HOME FOR CHILDREN (Ages 5-18) (WEB: www.meshc.org) Ph: 402-721-1185

MASTER’S RANCH (Missouri) (Boys ages 10-17) (WEB: Mastersranch.org)  Call: (417) 938-4711

MICHIGAN BOOT CAMP (weekend only) Mid-Course Correction (WEB: www.midcoursecorrection.org) Ph: 810-227-0243

MIRACLE FARM (Web: www.miraclefarm.org)  Ph: 979-836-0901

MOUNTAIN STATES CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed, ages 11-18) (WEB: www.msch.org) Ph: 303-776-6841


OBLONG CHILDREN’S HOME (Co-ed Ages 5-17)  (WEB: oblongchristianhome.org) Ph: 618-592-3633

OKLAHOMA BAPTIST HOMES FOR CHILDREN  (Co-ed, ages 6-17) (WEB: www.obhc.org/bch-okc) Ph: 405-942-3800

PILGRIM’S REST BAPTIST ACADEMY  (Ages 7-12)  Ph: (270) 276-5152

PINE HAVEN SCHOOL (WEB: www.pinehaven.net) Ph: 406-745-4545

RODEHEAVER BOYS RANCH (Palatka, FL) For boys who, because of parental death, desertion, divorce, disability or dysfunctional home situation, have no home of their own. Phone: (386) 328-1281 (WEB: www.rbr.org)

SHENANDOAH BAPTIST ACADEMY (Cleveland, TN) Phone: (423) 339-0103 (WEB: sbcministries.com/sba)

SHERIDAN HOUSE FAMILY MINISTRIES *Florida residents only (WEB: sheridanhouse.org) (Boys ages 11-17)  Ph: 945-583-1552

SHILOH CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S HOME (WEB: www.shilohranch.org) (Coed ages 5-15)  Ph: 573-588-2191

SHOW ME CHRISTIAN YOUTH HOME (Missouri) (Web: www.showmehelpingkids.com) (Web: 660-347-59820

STILL WATERS CHRISTIAN BOARDING SCHOOL (Missouri) (Boys ages 10 – 17) (Web: stillwatershome.com) Ph: 601-656-7714

SUNRISE CHILDREN’S SERVICES –Therapeutic Boarding School (2 locations in Kentucky) (Boys and girls age 12-18) (Web: www.sunrise.org/therapeutic-residential-care/) Ph: (502) 538-1059

SUNRISE CHILDREN’S SERVICES – Psychiatric Care (Kentucky) (Boys ages 6 -18 ) (Web: www.sunrise.org/psychiatric-treatment/) Ph: 859-936-3545

TEXAS BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOMES (Round Rock, Texas) (WEB: childrenatheartministries.org) Ph: (512) 255-3682


triangle cross ranch

TULSA BOYS HOME (Boys Ages 11-18) (WEB: www.tulsaboyshome.org) Ph: (918) 245-0231

VICTORY HOUSE (Girls Ages 16-18) (WEB: victoryhouse.ws) Ph: 785-694-2921

WATERSPRINGS RANCH (Co-ed Birth to 12 years) (WEB: www.waterspringsranch.org) Ph: 870-772-7187

WEST TEXAS BOYS RANCH (WEB: www.wtbr.org) Ph: (325) 949-1936

WESTVIEW BOYS HOME (Boys Ages 12-18) (WEB: westviewboyshome.com) Ph: (580) 688-9281

WILL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL (West Columbia, SC)  (WEB: www.willougray.org) Ph: (803) 896-6480

YOUTH-REACH (Houston, Texas, and Louisiana) (WEB: www.youth-reach.org) Ph: (281) 459-4555


JOB CORPS (Free – NATIONWIDE) Job Corps is a free education and vocational skills training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible youth at least 16 years of age, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. If you are interested in placing your teen in a Job Corp program in your area, call (800) 733-JOBS or (800) 733-5627. An operator will provide you with information about Job Corps, place you in touch with the admissions counselor closest to where you live, and mail you an information packet about the Job Corp program.

FREE DRUG PROGRAM (San Antonio, TX)(WEB: www.pdap.com/sahome.htm)

YOUTH BUILD USA –In YouthBuild programs, unemployed and under-educated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people.  To find a location near you, click here.  For more information, call 617-623-9900.

NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH CHALLENGE — (Age 16-18) A preventive non-religious youth-at-risk program, targets unemployed, drug-free, and law-free high school dropouts.  Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and hygiene, skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training. The five-month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth’s community (WEB: www.ngyf.org/)

Alaska Military Youth Academy Challenge Program Anchorage 877-242-5643, Fairbanks 907-374-7960
Arkansas Youth Challenge – 1-800-814-8453
Grizzly Youth Academy (California)- 1-800-926-0643
Sunburst Youth Academy – 1-877-463-1921
Capital Guardian Challenge Academy – 202-685-8899
Florida Youth Challenge Academy – 904-682-4031
Fort Gordon Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 706-823-8000
Fort Stewart Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 912-876-1721
Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy – Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) 808-685-7139, Kulani (Hilo) 808-933-1922
Idaho Youth Challenge Academy – 208-272-8392
Lincoln’s Challenge (Illinois) – 800-851-2166
Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy – 765-345-1000 or 877-860-0003
Kentucky Bluegrass Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Appalachian Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Louisiana Youth Challenge – 1-800-CAMP-KID
Freestate Challenge Academy (Maryland)- 410-436-3559
Michigan Youth Challenge Academy – 1-800-372-0523
Mississippi Youth Challenge – 1-800-507-6253
Montana Youth Challenge Program – 1-877-367-6927 or 1-406-683-7556
Nevada Youth Challenge Program – 775-885-8201
New Jersey Challenge Youth Program – (609) 556-6080
New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy – 800-366-9098 or 575-347-7600 or 575-347-7610
Tarheel Challenge Youth Program (North Carolina)- 910-525-5520 or 800-573-9966
Thunderbird Youth Academy (Oklahoma)- 918-824-4850
Oregon Youth Challenge Program – 541-317-9623 x223 or 541-317-9623 x224
Keystone State Challenge Academy (Pennsylvania) – (717) 861-7767
Puerto Rico Youth Challenge Program – 787-260-1737
South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy – 803-299-4879 or 1-866-737-7292
Texas Challenge Academy – 877-822-0050 or 432-836-4648 or 432-290-7145
Seaborne Challenge (Texas)- 409-741-7131
Virginia Commonwealth Challenge – 757-491-5932 or 1-800-796-6472
West Virginia Mountaineer Challenge Academy – 1-800-529-7700 or 304-329-2118
Washington Youth Academy – 360-473-2600
Wisconsin Challenge Academy – 877-968-8427
Wyoming Youth Challenge – 307-836-7500 or 307-836-7512 or 844-WYO-WCCA (996-9222)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Online directory to help locate treatment facilities for adolescents and adults (NOT FREE). Call 800-662-HELP; 1-877-767-8432 (Spanish); 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). (WEB: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/)


Residential Treatment Programs for Military Families utilizing Tri-Care Insurance:


Medicaid recipients may attempt to get a list of programs that will work with their insurance directly from their State’s Medicaid Office:

1. Call Member Services – the Member Services number is located on the back of the Medicaid insurance card – ask for their list of preferred providers for Residential Treatment Centers, both in and out of their coverage area.

2. Do not let Medicaid ask to pre-qualify the student or patient over the phone – just request that they provide you with their list of programs, or website address where providers are listed.

3. Inquire Directly – programs accepting Medicaid often require that the child meets the medical necessity requirements for coverage. Then, the program will begin to act as the family advocate to get funding for the child’s stay. However, this can take months.  Inquiring directly through Medicaid may save a 4-month wait to be evaluated.

Some states post providers who work with Medicaid on a webpage, please search for your state’s Medicaid providers via the Internet.

If your child has been hospitalized for crisis stabilization or short-term treatment, ask the hospital for a social worker who can assist you in finding longer-term placement using Medicaid services.

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