The Leelanau School

The Leelanau School offers students in grades 9-12 an educational experience where integrated learning support, individualized attention, small classes, and a commitment to whole-person wellness are at the center of what we do.
Students discover and develop their strengths as both students and citizens with the guidance of engaged faculty committed to cultivating a school where students know and embrace themselves as learners - no matter how they learn.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked MI School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 41 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $69,575
  • Acceptance rate: 96%
  • Average class size: 6 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

The Leelanau School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Michigan for:

Sports offered
School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12
ADD/ADHD Support
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
41 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 19%
Students by Grade
The Leelanau School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
12 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
6 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Students are encouraged to be comfortable; bring weather appropriate gear; special dress on occasions

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
2022-2023 Programs: 7-Day Boarding ($69,575), 5-Day boarding ($59,700) and Day Student ($34,790)
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Kate Caliri



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
9 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
National Honor Society, Numerous Clubs are offered, Options are endless!, Student Council, Student Voices, Volunteer Opportunties

Arts and Music Programs:
Guitar, Options are endless!, Performance Group: Mighty Snappy

School Notes

  • Since its founding in 1929, The Leelanau School has ignited a passion for learning. In continuing this tradition, we allow our students to immerse themselves in their educational experience, by flipping traditional learning on its point.
  • With an emphasis on analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, our students are constantly pushed to think about the world around them and how they interact with that world.
  • We help guide our students toward answers rather than telling them what is correct, thus allowing each student to explore their academic passions in an immersive and nurturing environment.
  • As a College Preparatory school, we define rigor by pushing our students to stretch their perceived limits.
  • As an experiential school, we push our faculty to create authentic experiences that foster the level of thinking our students are capable of achieving.
  • The Leelanau School has a long history of teaching students with various learning styles through experiential learning. We are passionate about teaching and learning and are ready to help fuel our students' desire to learn.
  • Located on the shores of Lake Michigan and on the banks of the Crystal River, Leelanau is a small boarding school with limited enrollment. We are able to offer students an individualized approach to academics from our expert faculty and an enriching and structured residential life program that continues beyond the school day. Whether in the classroom or the dorm, in the equestrian ring, on the slopes, or volunteering in the community, everything about Leelanau is a life-enriching experience.
  • For over 90 years, The Leelanau School has challenged high school students to reach beyond their acknowledged potential in every aspect of their lives. We offer a rigorous college preparatory curriculum using multi-sensory, experiential, and strength-based methodologies. We offer an approach to education that is excellent for all learners, and critical for those with learning differences.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does The Leelanau School cost?
The Leelanau School's tuition is approximately $69,575 for private students.
What schools are The Leelanau School often compared to?
The Leelanau Schoolis often viewed alongside schools like Interlochen Arts Academy by visitors of our site.
What is the acceptance rate of The Leelanau School?
The acceptance rate of The Leelanau School is 96%, which is higher than the national average of 93%.
What sports does The Leelanau School offer?
The Leelanau School offers 12 interscholastic sports: Alpine Skiing, Archery, Cross Country, Equestrian, Golf, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Paddle Tennis, Snowboarding, Tennis and Weightlifting. The Leelanau School is ranked as one of the top 20% of private schools in Michigan for most sports offered.
What is The Leelanau School's ranking?
The Leelanau School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Michigan for: Most sports offered and Oldest founding date.
When is the application deadline for The Leelanau School?
The application deadline for The Leelanau School is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (8 reviews)
If you are looking for a special place that will be like a second home to your child, with loving staff, incredible teachers, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is the place. This is not rhetoric; I genuinely get emotional when I talk about how much we love this place and what an incredible difference this school has made in our child's self-esteem, education, and life in general. We live 9 hours from this school and are average middle-class folks, this school was a HARD decision for us as a really close-knit family to decide on for many reasons: price, distance, and being away from your child.... But, someone recommended it and after visiting and touring the campus our son fell in love with it. He has loved all 4 years there, and I will tell anyone who listens that without this school my son would not be and have the things he has today (confidence, music skills, comfort with adults, and an education like none other). My advice to anyone on the fence is just GO VISIT. It's very simple, go and visit and spend a day on campus.
- Posted by
Leelanau has been transformational for our son, and I am confident it will greatly improve his life beyond high school.Our son is a smart and engaging boy. Despite a good level of support from the school. , he struggled badly in the public school system. We searched for a school that would be focused on college preparation - but also effective at teaching methods that address his executive function and ADHD issues. We found it at Leelanau.Leelanau is unique in addressing our sons needs academically, socially and emotionally. The teachers are very skilled and the administrators are engaged and talented. Despite its small size, it offers a good range of extracurricular activities, including arts, music, theater and outings.The school has very small class size and personal attention, and multifaceted approach to learning to help each student achieve their potential. They offer a very solid education in the core high school skills: math, literacy, science, etc. It takes advantage of its truly beautiful and unique setting in the middle of a National Lake Shore (similar to a national park) for teaching opportunities (such as for biology) and socially (for camping and outings).
- Posted by
As a student with ADHD, this school changed my life. Some of the kindest, most caring people I''ve ever met work at this school. Some of them attend it. It's in a beautiful place and they do an amazing job of teaching. Excellent. 10/10 would recommend.
- Posted by
The Leelanau School is unique. Academically, it has an ideal student-teacher ratio, and the experiential approach to education keeps kids focussed and enthusiastic. Given the student-teacher ratio, my son is learning a valuable skill speaking with teachers and adults (other than parents) about school and life. It is a subtle, but significant, difference to traditional schools. The teachers and staff at Leelanau care, and it shows. My son went from 1. something to a 3.2 overnight after switching from a traditional, catholic, college-prep school to Leelanau. Here's why: in biology, why reach into a formaldehyde filled jar, pull out a dead frog, and dissect it when you can go down to the Crystal River, catch a fish and dissect that instead? In English, why sit in a class and discuss a great book (think The Sword in the Stone), when you can read the book and then go see a falconer and learn about falconry? Or, why read a book about swimming in a classroom when you can go outside and swim in a river between chapters? Which approach will reinforce the concepts better? Same material, different approach, better outcome. The Leelanau campus is beautiful, too. It is situated on Lake Michigan, the Crystal River runs through it, the campus is exceptionally large and forested, and the accommodations are just right. I highly recommend this school.
- Posted by
The school is amazing! They are committed to keeping class sizes small, so all students receive individuailzed attention. Students are encuraged to think for themselves and ask questions, while particiapating in a rigorous college prep. curriculum. All classes are hands on and minds on, thus honoring all learners and helping all students succeeded . An incredible school, we wish all students could attend Leelanau!
- Posted by
Leelanau School has been the best decision for my child! Our child is independent and has found an environment where he is thriving! Leelenau is a structured and loving environment where students are surrounded by a staff invested in seeing each child reach their individual potential. Highly Recommend!
- Posted by
Fantastic program! Teachers, advisers, and administrators work with each student individually to help students grow academically, socially and emotionally. It's one of the best programs I've seen as an educator and as a parent. So much of it is hands-on and outside that the location is beyond ideal. You can't do this kind of work in New York City or Boston.
- Posted by
This school is an amazing and beautiful place. The staff and students become like family. The kids are given the support and tools to really grow emotionally and intellectually. The environment they have created gives their students an abundance of opportunities to experience success. The Leelanau environment fosters leadership, creativity, self discovery and confidence. Best decision I ever made for my son and he agrees.
- Posted by

Endorse The Leelanau School. Endorsements should be a few sentences in length. Please include any comments on:

  • Quality of academic programs, teachers, and facilities
  • Availability of music, art, sports and other extracurricular activities
  • Academic or athletic awards
Endorse this school:

Recent Articles

Montessori Schools
Montessori Schools
Montessori schools are popular world-wide with parents of children in the primary grades.
How To Find A Summer Program
How To Find A Summer Program
Sending your children to a summer program or camp keeps them active in fun-filled settings. We explore your options.
Leadership, Legacy, and Learning: Pillars of Top Schools
Leadership, Legacy, and Learning: Pillars of Top Schools
We explore the key elements contributing to the success of leading private schools, highlighting the importance of strong leadership, a rich legacy, and a focus on comprehensive learning experiences.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked MI School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 41 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $69,575
  • Acceptance rate: 96%
  • Average class size: 6 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Request Information

Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Michigan is $6,853 for elementary schools and $12,387 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Michigan is 93% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

Related School Videos

Quick Links