The O'Neal School

The O'Neal School Photo #1 - A comment from a parent survey states, "It's the sense of community that allows for education to be more... natural and organic somehow. - students learn when they're comfortable. It all goes hand in hand."
The O'Neal School Photo #1 - A comment from a parent survey states, "It's the sense of community that allows for education to be more... natural and organic somehow. - students learn when they're comfortable. It all goes hand in hand."
The O'Neal School Photo #2 - The research and technology hub provides resources for students to learn and create. An expanded library database system and collection gives students in every division access to the information they need to research their interests. The Signature Scholars Research Program (SSRP) offers a protracted, inquiry-based course of study to upperclassmen. SSRP students receive a diploma with distinction.
The O'Neal School Photo #3 - O'Neal is an independent college preparatory day school serving students from PreK3 through 12th grade. 100% of its graduates are accepted to colleges and universities across the nation. Financial aid and limited transportation services are available.
The O'Neal School Photo #4 - O'Neal is one of 12 independent schools around the world to be awarded the Edward E. Ford Traditional Grant used to expand its current research programs and resources. The School is also one of the 1651 members of the National Association of Independent Schools by way of its SAIS accreditation.
The O'Neal School Photo #5 - Art is considered an integral part of the student's curriculum starting in prekindergarten. O'Neal holds two spacious art studios that share a clay room to turn pottery as well as a kiln. O'Neal student artists consistently have a strong showing in local art competitions.
The O'Neal School Photo #6 - The Hannah Marie Bradshaw Activities Center holds one of the School's two gymnasiums, a theater, classrooms as well as a sports performance area.
The O'Neal School Photo #7 - O'Neal's clubs and activities allow for leadership opportunities, character building, academic rigor, community service, and physical well-being. The School attempts to offer activities and associations that meet the interests of the students while providing value for their overall growth. Pictured is the drama performance "Steel Magnolias". O'Neal holds a charter for the International Thespian Society.
The O'Neal School Photo #8 - Founded in 1971, O'Neal's 40-acre campus is comprised of five buildings nestled between the beautiful pine trees of the Sandhills of North Carolina.
The O'Neal School Photo #9 - The Falcon Lab allows students to think creatively, design, and create using technology skills. Computer science classes are taught in addition to activities that use 3-D printing and a Glowforge 3-D laser.
The O'Neal School Photo #10 - O'Neal is proud to support military families. 30% of enrollment are students who are part of an active or recently retired military family. O'Neal holds an annual Military Appreciation All-School Assembly where families of active military or veterans are also invited to attend.
The O'Neal School Photo #11 - The athletics program consists of fall, winter and spring sports. Sports include: Soccer, Track, Cross Country, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Swimming and Dance Club. O'Neal holds 10 Wells Fargo Cups representing the top athletics program among division 2A independent schools in North Carolina. The last recognition was 2022-2023.
The O'Neal School Photo #12 - A traditional program is the Adopt-A-Senior program where seniors are paired with first and/or second-grade students. Seniors meet their little buddies at drop-off on the first day of school to help get them settled in their classrooms. Planned activities are scheduled throughout the school year.
The O'Neal School Photo #13 - O'Neal classrooms are equipped with the latest learning technology.
The O'Neal School Photo #14 - Much of O'Neal's nationally-recruited faculty have independent school backgrounds and make it a point to know their students in and outside of the classroom.
The O'Neal School Photo #15 - O'Neal has a natatorium. Swimming is a part of the physical education curriculum offered starting in kindergarten. It also offers a USA Swimming year-round club along with additional programs.
The O'Neal School Photo #16 - Parent satisfaction surveys show that one of O'Neal's top strengths is the sense of community. Many cross-division activities bring the whole school together. Pictured is the all-school human Tic-Tac-Toe event.
O`Neal is a college preparatory private school in Moore County NC serving families in Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and the surrounding areas.
The safe, nurturing environment provided offers a highly recognized early childhood education for preschool level students continuing through kindergarten and elementary school grades.
Its mission is the cultivation of academic excellence, character development, and physical well-being from prekindergarten to middle school and through the high school division.
The School is one of few educational institutions among Moore County Schools that is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) qualified for membership through its accreditation with the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).
Whether considering an education in public schools, private schools, homeschooling, or charter schools, O`Neal is worth a visit.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked NC School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 539 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $20,990
  • Acceptance rate: 72%
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

The O'Neal School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in North Carolina for:


School Overview

Student Body

Total Students
539 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 23%
Students by Grade
The O'Neal School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
54 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
15 students
Number of AP Courses
20 courses
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, European History, French Language and Culture, Physics C: E & M, Physics C: Mech, Pre-Calculus, Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, Studio Art, U.S. Government, U.S. History, World History
Average SAT score
(Out of 1600)
Average ACT score
(Out of 36)
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Tuition ranges from $9,180-$20,990 depending on grade level.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Mrs. Breanna Orentlikher
Admissions Associate
Mrs. Brittany Wicks



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
29 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Alliance of Organic Gardeners, Art Club, Battle of the Books, Board Game Club, Chess Club, Craft & Sewing Club, Cum Laude Society, D&D Adventure Club, Elementary Battle of the Books, Film Analysis Club, Hiking Club, Honor Council, International Club, Italian Club, Leadership Club, Literary Magazine - Blackbird's Eye Club, Model UN, National Honor Society, O'Neal Allies (LGBT Support Group), O'Neal Volunteers / Key Club, Ping Pong Club, Puzzle Club, Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate Club, Student Forum, WEP/Karimu - Women's Empowerment Club, Yearbook

Arts and Music Programs:
The O'Nealers - Choir

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Volleyball Club

School Notes

  • Situated on a 40-acre campus, O`Neal has five facilities housing two gymnasiums, a theater, art studios (with pottery room, kiln and red room), greenhouse, computer labs,swimming pool, media center, dining commons, tennis courts, and athletic fields. Across campus each classroom is equipped with the latest grade level technology.
  • The School has a full time nurse, school counselor, athletic trainer and college counselor and uses a national recruitment process for hiring its faculty. Students are governed by an honor code. After school care is offered to students - prek3 through grade 4 as well as many enrichment programs after school for the younger age groups. Summer camp consisting of a variety of enrichment programs is available to youth starting at age 3. Following a comprehensive physical education curriculum (including swimming) in Lower School, the athletics program begins in the Middle School offeringgolf,soccer,basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, cheerleading, volleyball, cross country,andtrack. O`Neal has been educating area youth for more than 50 years. 100% of O`Neal`s graduates are accepted to colleges and universities across the nation. The average graduating class of 40 students typically amasses more than $3M in merit-based scholarships. So far, O`Neal claims 3 Morehead-Cain Scholarship winners.
  • The School has a strong competitive record with the county`s Young People`s Arts Festival competition. The Middle School Science Olympiad team has won in regional competition qualifying for consecutive invitations to state competition. O'Neal has been awarded the 2022-2023 Wells Fargo Cup recognizing the School for having the best athletics program among Division 2A schools within the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association. The School holds ten Wells Fargo Cups in total.
  • In addition to its NAIS membership, O`Neal is also an active member of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS), the Cum Laude Society, the National Honor Society, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA).Financial aid for tuitionand limited transportation services are available.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does The O'Neal School cost?
The O'Neal School's tuition is approximately $20,990 for private students.
What is the acceptance rate of The O'Neal School?
The acceptance rate of The O'Neal School is 72%, which is lower than the national average of 87%. The O'Neal School's acceptance rate is ranked among the top private schools in North Carolina with low acceptance rates.
What sports does The O'Neal School offer?
The O'Neal School offers 10 interscholastic sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field and Volleyball.
What is The O'Neal School's ranking?
The O'Neal School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in North Carolina for: Lowest average acceptance rates, Largest student body, Most AP courses offered and Most extracurriculars offered.
When is the application deadline for The O'Neal School?
The application deadline for The O'Neal School is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
My family is very happy at the O'Neal school! We have a 2nd, 4th, and 6th grader and have found so much to love for each one of them! Firstly, the campus is beautiful, lots of big trees, wonderful playgrounds and outdoor spaces, not just for elementary, but for middle school as well! There is ample time built into all of my children's day to get outside and run around. We have been very impressed with ALL of the co-curriculars: Outdoor Science is a stand out, the art program is fabulous and well-designed, and my kids LOVE Spanish, PE and Music too! As an educator, I love that they have multiple co-curriculars per day. My son's middle school experience has been wonderful, with multiple ways for him to get involved, sports, Battle of the Books, off-season strength and conditioning, enjoying the class trip at the beginning of the year. There is so much to be involved in, the hard part is narrowing it down! He loves his advisory teacher, and has wonderful engaging teachers. Across the board I have found my children's teachers to be stand out, excellent communicators, passionate about their subjects, and wonderful at engaging the students in a way that goes way beyond the dreaded worksheets. I love how different disciplines work together to make the subjects come alive across multiple subject areas. I love the project based learning I see with all of my kiddos! Additionally, I have been impressed with the engagement with families, and feeling welcomed as new to the community. Admissions was wonderful to work with, and went above and beyond to help get our family situated. We are very pleased with our choice to come to O'Neal!
- Posted by
We are completely satisfied with our experience at the O'Neal School. Our family has three children enrolled, each with very different educational needs. The faculty and staff are professional, competent, dedicated to student learning, and really pleasant to interact with. Our eldest daughter arrived from a different school where she had been learning Chinese-Mandarin for two years, and she wanted to continue studying the language. O'Neal found a way to incorporate her online learning courses the curriculum. This same daughter has autism, and the O'Neal faculty have been exceptionally patient and accommodating is establishing the right learning environment for her. Another daughter is heavily involved in a local gymnastics program, and O'Neal exempted her from physical education due to the time she spends at the gym. The theater, art, and music programs are also excellent. Mr. Lussier is a community treasure! During the COVID-19 quarantine, he traveled to his students' houses to provide socially distant music instruction in the driveways of their homes. That example about sums up O'Neal's commitment to the growth and development of its students.
- Posted by
We have three children who have been identified as having learning disabilities. They have struggled in almost every academic environment we have put them in (we traveled a lot). The O'Neal School told us they would work with our children, and they have. They also gave us reduced tuition. Finally our children are successful in school! I would say that if you have kids that like sports, or are not that academic this school would be a great fit for you! They know how to meet each child where he is, and not push too hard.
- Posted by
The Academic Enrichment Program is unique to the O'Neal School and allows students with learning differences to not only work through their challenges and improve their own academic skillset, but ultimately surpass standards and put them at an advantage compared to students at different schools. Our son participates in the swim program at the school, which has given him the opportunity to compete and win multiple State Championships. The athletic program as a whole teaches the students to be well-rounded and how to manage their time while balancing multiple activities at once which are imperative skills that will carry with them throughout their lives. Our son has also learned the importance of working with others as a team, has gained strong leadership skills and realized the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The faculty and staff at The O'Neal School are passionate, supportive and consistently provide attention and aid where it is needed. They go beyond the scope of any ordinary educator and unremittingly support the students both inside and outside the classroom; whether that be cheering them on at sporting events, attending important outside activities such as volunteer work or working with students directly when they face challenges with their schoolwork. As parents we can confidently say that our son personifies the pillars and mission of the school and his character is a direct reflection of the institution and their practices. We are grateful to have such an amazing school so close to home.
- Posted by
One of the best & most important aspects of our time at O'Neal has been the 1 on 1 relationship that our daughters, my husband, & myself have been able to establish & maintain with O'Neal's teachers, year after year. Our daughters (9th & 8th grade) have been here since Pre-K. The small student-teacher ratio, together with the fact that the parent-student-teacher relationship persists even after the kids graduate from each division, has allowed us unparalleled access to all of O'Neal's instructors, many of whom have either a masters or doctorate. This access is one of the reasons why our daughters so far have achieved such great academic success. The fact that we can login anytime & track our daughters daily progress, from daily homework grades, test & quiz grades, to their current averages in each subject, makes this access even better.
- Posted by
Our child began his journey with the O'Neal school in the 3rd grade and is currently a Junior. I strongly suggest visiting the campus for yourself. Immediately upon entering the campus you will notice their warm, inviting environment that is well-equipped with state-of-the-art technology and accommodations that are simply unmatched. While some may see the commute from Sanford as a sacrifice, we believe the drive is well worth it. The O'Neal School is constantly developing new ways to provide opportunity and growth to their students. Attending a college preparatory school has given our son the confidence in knowing that his transition to college is one he will face with ease and an eager, optimistic attitude. The students graduate with a sense of confidence, determination, and social consciousness and are well-equipped as successful, passionate leaders. The academic curriculum is challenging and allows the students to flourish in the classroom.
- Posted by
My daughter started at The O'Neal School in Pre-K and is now in 6th Grade. While we are making somewhat of a financial sacrifice, we consider that an O'Neal education may in fact be one of the greatest gifts we can give her. She thrives in the classroom with a challenging curriculum that stresses critical thought (not just robotic regurgitation for testing purposes), the school offers a strong swimming program that created the foundation for her to swim competitively on a State level. The school's offerings in music and choral opportunities have fostered my daughter's strong interest in singing. The friendly and supportive environment, small class size, challenging academics and highly committed faculty and coaches of The O'Neal School are the building blocks that will allow her to continue to succeed academically, athletically and socially through her educational career and later in life. Visit the school: the spacious campus, happy students and passionate faculty are all impressive. I'm not sure how anyone could not choose O'Neal after seeing what this school offers to children in the Sandhills, it's truly unparalleled.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked NC School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 539 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $20,990
  • Acceptance rate: 72%
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in North Carolina is $9,760 for elementary schools and $10,745 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in North Carolina is 87% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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