Merit Academy

Merit Academy Photo #1 - Engineering a brake-light system. All students engage in ProjectMERIT where they start an independent project that teaches them leadership and critical thinking skills in the real world. These projects separate Merit Academy students from their peers in the competitive college admissions process.
Merit Academy Photo #2 - In regular classes, not all students receive detailed instruction and individualized guidance. Sometimes it seems remarkable that students are prepared for college by the time they get their diploma. At Merit Academy, we don't have this problem, because there is one student per class. Teachers teach directly to that one student, so there's no way to slip through the cracks.
Merit Academy Photo #3 - Touring American Honda and driving the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car (FCX). Working on setting up a partnership between American Honda and Kids 4 Hydrogen.
Merit Academy Photo #4 - TEDxMeritAcademy features fresh ideas from our student body, faculty, and local community. Every Merit student creates a ProjectMERIT and selected students debut their projects at our TEDxMeritAcademy events. By sharing ideas and developing programs to improve and sustain life on earth, we hope to intrigue, inspire, and innovate one another and our audience!What is TEDx?In the spirit of
Merit Academy Photo #5 - After scooping ice cream from an electric ice cream maker that was powered by her sister's hydrogen fuel cell in 4 th grade, Jaclyn became a true environmentalist. Merit's College Advisors coached her as she researched alcohol fuel, hydrogen fuel cells, and solar energy.In 9th grade, Jaclyn founded Kids 4 Hydrogen, a non-profit 501.c.3. She spoke at the American
Merit Academy Photo #6 - One of our students with his painting at the women's march!
Merit Academy Photo #7 - Our student representing her project on Earth Day!
At Merit Academy, there is one student per class.
Teachers teach directly to that one student, so there's no way to slip through the cracks.
The classes move at a level appropriate for each student. You won't have to wonder whether your child is participating in class discussions or whether the teacher is engaging your child; these concerns are nonexistent at Merit.
Merit's teachers and director keep close tabs on each student's progress.
Teachers report directly to Merit's Director about each student's work.
The director meets with each student once per week to ensure that the student is making good progress, enjoying their classes, and using their time wisely.
If a student looks like they might fall behind, they are able to receive extra tutoring.
No one gets lost in the shuffle at Merit.
At the same time, we employ rigorous standards to fully prepare students to be successful at even the most selective universities.
Our dedicated teachers, who are experts in their fields, offer exciting lectures and individualized support. Students not only take a full load of accelerated classes, but they also get experience with life outside the classroom-holding internships, working on special projects, and performing community service.
As students approach college, they receive guidance with the admissions process.
Although the workload might seem heavy for some students, we offer the support they need to get it done.

Top Placements

Merit Academy places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

School TypeAlternative School
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 1-12
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedAll
Year Founded1994
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students24 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%
Students by Grade Merit Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers24 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio1:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size1 students
Number of AP Courses37 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesAP Art 2D, AP Art 3D, AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calc AB, AP Calc BC, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, AP Comp Sci A, AP Comp Sci P, AP CompGov, AP Drawing, AP English Lang, AP English Lit, AP Environmental Sci, AP Euro History, AP French, AP German, AP Human Geo, AP Italian, AP Japanese, AP Latin, AP Macro, AP Micro, AP Music Theory, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C1, AP Physics C2, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Lang, AP Spanish Lit, AP Statistics, AP US GovP, AP US History, AP World History, Aquaponics 1010, ASL 910-930, CHI 1010-1030, CHI 1110-1130H, CHI 1210-1230H, CHI 910-930, ENG 1010-1030 Honors, ENG 1110-1130 Honors, ENG 1210-1230 Honors, ENG 910-930 Honors, FR 1010-1030, FR 1110-1130H, FR 1210-1230H, FR 910-930, HEB 1010-1030H, HEB 910-930H, HIS 1010-1030 Honors, HIS 1110-1130 Honors, HIS 1210-1230 Honors, HIS 910-930 Honors, JPN 1010-1030, JPN 1110-1130, JPN 1210-1230, JPN 910-930, LIT 1010-1030 Honors, LIT 1110-1130 Honors, LIT 1210-1230 Honors, LIT 910-930 Honors, MATH 1010-1030 Honors, MATH 1110-1130 Honors, MATH 1210-1230 Honors, MATH 910-930 Honors, MUS 910, SCI 1010-1030, SCI 1110-1130 Honors, SCI 1210-1230 Honors, SCI 910-930 Honors, SPA 1010-1030 Honors, SPA 1110-1130 Honors, SPA 1210-1230 Honors, SPA 910-930 Honors
Average SAT score1400
Average ACT score29
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$39,000
Tuition NotesStudents can enroll in one to six courses per trimester. $39,000 is based on full enrollment and educational/college advisory.
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorSusan Tatsui-D'Arcy
Admissions AssociateJaclyn D'Arcy


Total Sports Offered6 sports
SportsBallet, Dance, Diving, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, WeightliftingBalletDance,
Martial ArtsWeightlifting,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.4 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
History and Literature Classes, Kids 4 Hydrogen, projectMerit, Travel Abroad with English

School Notes

  • Academic requirements for High School Graduation with Honors: 4 years of English Grammar (36 essays and articles per year) 4 years of World Literature (36 books per year) 4 years of Mathematics (including calculus) 4 years of Science (with labs) 4 years of History/Economics/Civics/Psychology/World Religions (3 comprehensive research papers per year) 4 years of Foreign Language 4 years of Contract Physical Education 2 years of Fine Arts or Electives 12 Professional Internships 1 College-prep Project (Minimum 2 years)
  • Academic requirements for High School Graduation: 4 years of English Grammar (18 essays and articles per year) 2 years of Literature (18 books per year) 4 years of Mathematics 4 years of Science 3 years of History/Economics/Civics (2 research papers per year) 4 years of Foreign Language 4 years of Contract Physical Education 2 years of Fine Arts or Electives 3 Professional Internships 1 Community Service Project (Minimum 1 month)

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    (408) 354-0743
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  • San Jose
    Grades: 5-12 | 110 students
    17.7 miles
    4340 Almaden Expressway
    San Jose, CA 95118
    (408) 833-7050
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  • Santa Clara
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    220 Blake Ave # B
    Santa Clara, CA 95051
    (408) 247-4740
    23.2 K-12
  • Campbell
    Grades: K-12 | 34 students
    18.7 miles
    1 W Campbell Ave (J70)
    Campbell, CA 95008
    (408) 898-8627
    18.7 K-12
  • Los Altos
    Grades: K-12 | 595 students
    25.2 miles
    327 Fremont Ave
    Los Altos, CA 94024
    (650) 209-3050
    25.2 K-12

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (3 reviews)
Merit Academy came to our rescue! Our son was failing high school math , we did not know what to do. We found Merit and with the help of Kimberly my son's teacher he turned his grade into a B plus. We are forever grateful and my son is thriving. Can't say enough about the personalized attention my son has received.
- Posted by
Before we decided to attend Merit Academy my daughter was overwhelmed with pressure and hours of homework. My child is now thriving and extremely happy. I am grateful for the flexibility and nurturing of the wonderful and professional staff at Merit Academy.
- Posted by
Merit Academy is a truly unique school. I attended Merit Academy for all of my pre-college education. The one-on-one class environment allowed me to customize my curriculum to meet my development needs. There are theater opportunities and dance training integration programs that facilitated my dual passion for academics and competitive dancing. Susan offers customized college advisory programs to support every student at Merit Academy. Because of Merit Academy and the guidance and direction from Susan, I was accepted into one of the top colleges in America and landed a job at a major electronics company after college that supports and furthers my career ambitions. I attribute all of my academic and artistic/athletic success to Merit Academy.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in California is $11,734 for elementary schools and $20,099 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in California is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).