Dunn School

FIND YOUR FIT at Dunn School-a residential and day middle and high school with 250 girls and boys, located in Santa Barbara County in California.
Dunn School prides itself on a balanced, whole-student approach to education that grows out of our five core values of Emotional Wellness, Physical Readiness, Academic Excellence, Social Responsibility, and Moral Courage.Dunn`s 55-acre campus is nestled between the mountains and beaches of California`s Central Coast. While only 35 minutes from the Santa Barbara Airport and train station, our rural campus provides a peaceful, safe ad distraction-free setting for our whole-student philosophy.
Most of our faculty call this campus home and create a caring community of support for students, with individual attention paid to each young person both in and out of class.
And with a student body balanced between boys and girls, as well as American and international students, our community is remarkably diverse.
When this distinctive community is combined with a focus on leadership development, experiential education, and hands-on learning, students say that they "Find Their Fit" at Dunn School.

Quick Stats (2021)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Students: 256 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $66,900
  • Acceptance rate: 30%
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1 / rolling

Top Placements

Dunn School places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

Category
Attribute

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 6-12
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Learning Programs Supported
Mild to Moderate Learning Differences
Year Founded
1957
Summer School Offered
Yes
Summer Program Cost
$8,500
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
256 students
Student Body Type
Co-ed
Students by Grade
Dunn School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
40 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
63%
Average Class Size
10 students
Number of AP Courses
13 courses
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
AP Art, AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US Government, AP US History, AP World History
Average SAT score
1320
Average ACT score
27
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Casual

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline
Feb. 1 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Middle School Day - $26,600 Upper School Day - $31,600
% on Financial Aid
55%
Average Financial Aid Grant
$26,000
Acceptance Rate
30%
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Mr. Mike McKee
Admissions Associate
Sarah Harris
Endowment Size
$13 million

Sports

Extracurriculars

Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
12 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.
Club or Organization:
Birthday Club, Entrepreneurship, Gay Straight Alliance, Investment Club, Multicultural Club, Student Government, Surf Club, Sustainability Club, Youth for Direct Relief

Arts and Music Programs:
Band, Drama Program

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Outdoor Education program

School Notes

  • FIND YOUR FIT at Dunn School-a residential and day middle and high school with 250 girls and boys, located in Santa Barbara County in California. Dunn School prides itself on a balanced, whole-student approach to education that grows out of our five core values of Emotional Wellness, Physical Readiness, Intellectual Growth, Social Responsibility, and Moral Courage.Dunn`s 55-acre campus is nestled between the mountains and beaches of California`s Central Coast. While only 35 minutes from the Santa Barbara Airport and train station, our rural campus provides a peaceful, safe ad distraction-free setting for our whole-student philosophy. Most of our faculty call this campus home and create a caring community of support for students, with individual attention paid to each young person both in and out of class. And with a student body balanced between boys and girls, as well as American and international students, our community is remarkably diverse. When this distinctive community is combined with a focus on leadership development, experiential education, and hands-on learning, students say that they "Find Their Fit" at Dunn School.
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (4 reviews)
5  
I attended Dunn School from 1972 to 1976. When I arrived at Dunn, I was confused teenager with some real doubts about where my life was headed. Dunn gave me the tools and confidence to live a happy and successful life. It was perhaps the most important turning point for me. What I appreciate most about Dunn is that it ignited a love for learning that stays with me to this day. Go Earwigs!!
- Posted by
5  
The Dunn School has an outstanding Learning Strategies Program that sets it apart from other college prep schools. Our student entered Dunn after having a rough time in middle school. He has ADHD and, at that time, he was not able to get control of his ADHD and succeed in school. At Dunn he met with his Learning Strategies adviser every day and learned about himself as well as strategies for getting his work done and getting good grades. The same adviser worked with him all three years and nurtured his growth as a person and a student. In addition, Dunn also has excellent teachers and coaches that encouraged his participation in the many activities of the school. He played sports and developed leadership skills that have helped him gain confidence and relate well to his peers. Now that he is in college, I can fully appreciate the way that Dunn prepared him for this important step in his life.
- Posted by
5  
This was the best place for my son to go to middle and high school -- he found exactly what he was looking for... a fabulous supportive community of teachers and students, collaboration, creativity, and academic challenge. Be aware though, that becoming part of Dunn School is a life choice for your child. Whether they are boarders or are a day student, Dunn requires a great portion of their day, sometimes well into the evening for school activities and even some weekends. Dunn becomes a way of life and is as demanding and rigorous as it needs to be to support its students'' endeavors to be they best that they can be. My son earned a tremendous education and created a life long family among both students and teachers. I am forever grateful to the staff for the love and support and encouragement they gave my son. He is a better man as a result of their kindness and care.
- Posted by
5  
Sending my son to Dunn School was one of the best decisions I ever made for him. He thrived at the Middle School, not only doing well in his classes, but growing confident as he tried new things like rock climbing, a try-athlon, backpacking, running for office and acting. Now as a freshman at the high school, he is happy to be there every day. He has made wonderful friends, become more of an athlete/outdoorsman than he ever thought he would be and grown so much as a person. I am so happy that we decided to send him to Dunn.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2021)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Students: 256 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $66,900
  • Acceptance rate: 30%
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1 / rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Santa Barbara County, CA is $30,640 for elementary schools and $43,113 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Santa Barbara County, CA is 60% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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