Emerson, founded in 1852, is a small, independent, and diverse college preparatory day school for students in grades 9-12. Emerson's welcoming environment prepares students for college without the unhealthly competition.
We embrace the words of George Barrell Emerson, "Strive no to surpass on another; strive instead to surpass yourselves.".

Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • Top Ranked DC School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 41 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $29,000
  • Average class size: 8 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

Top Rankings

Emerson Preparatory School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in District Of Columbia for:

School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12
Year Founded
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
41 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 48%
Students by Grade
Emerson Preparatory School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
10 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
8 students
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Admissions Director
Jon Shickler
Admissions Associate
Andrea Reinhart


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
5 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
and ACLU Club, Anime Club, Games Club, Student Council, Yeabook

School Notes

  • Emerson Preparatory School began in 1852 as the Emerson Institute, a school to prepare local boys for attendance at Harvard.  Emerson was named after George Barrell Emerson, a progressive thinker in women's education and cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Early Emerson graduates include three-time Civil War Medal of Honor recipient James Madison Cutts, and Buck and Jesse Root Grant, sons of President Ulysses S. Grant.   
  • Emerson evolved to become a more inclusive college preparatory school, as Washington`s first co-ed preparatory school in 1920.  After World War II, in 1946 Emerson adopted its current half-year, full-credit academic term system, modeled after the British system of secondary education.  Today Emerson welcomes a diverse student body from all parts of DC, suburban Maryland and Virginia, and the international community and prepares them in a healthier way for colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world.  

School Reviews

Emerson has enabled my student to express himself freely, excel academically, and grow personally. The quality of the teachers is outstanding. They are true professional and humanitarian who care about the students. The music department at Emerson has been an excellent opportunity for my student to collaborate and lead.
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Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • Top Ranked DC School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 41 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $29,000
  • Average class size: 8 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Washington, DC is $26,533 for elementary schools and $29,688 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Washington, DC is 69% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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