What is the National History Academy?
National History Academy is a 5-week residential summer program for 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students with an interest in American History. Through our experiential curriculum, students will have the opportunity to learn by doing – by experiencing American history in the places where it actually happened. Students will enjoy 3-4 trips to historic sites per week, supplemented by dynamic classroom experiences which include keynote lectures by distinguished guest speakers, History of American Democracy case studies developed by Harvard Business School Professor David Moss, parliamentary-style debates, and other unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Where is National History Academy based?
National History Academy is based at Foxcroft School, a private boarding school in Middleburg, Virginia just outside Washington, D.C.
Why go to the National History Academy?
Students at National History Academy will learn the foundations of American History by visiting some of the most historic places in the United States and will have unprecedented access to distinguished scholars, political leaders, and the seminal documents that define our nation. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the leaders who helped shape and define this nation by walking in their footsteps.
Quite simply: there is no other program like this in the Nation.
What is the admissions process for the National History Academy?
Students who are interested in attending should submit an application which includes GPA, test scores, and a short essay. Students may also include a letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, principal or community leader, and some students may also be asked to participate in a brief phone interview.
Applications will be reviewed by a committee and judged on maturity of response and understanding of the topic. Students whose applications are successful will be invited to register for the National History Academy.
Admissions decisions are made monthly on a rolling basis.
What is the quality of the education?
The National History Academy is passionate about teaching students American history through an innovative, experiential approach, and our teachers and counselors play a vital role in this experience. Students will be taught by a staff of accomplished master teachers who are experienced in weaving together immersive experiences, Harvard Business School history cases, debates, the Advanced Placement (AP) history curriculum, and innovative projects to create a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students.
Will I receive college credit?
Students will not receive college credit, but will receive a certificate of completion.
How many students does the National History Academy accept?
The National History Academy has a capacity of 90 students.
Is this program accredited?
The National History Academy is seeking American Camp Association accreditation and will meet or exceed national standards for summer programs.
Where are the students from?
Students of National History Academy are recruited from across the country and internationally. In 2019, students from 28 states and two U.S. territories joined us. The four states with the greatest representation in 2019 were Texas, California, New York, and Florida.
What sites will the Academy visit?
Although the schedule is subject to change, students at the Academy will most likely visit the following sites (and possibly several more):
- Native American Sites
- Presidential sites including:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
- James Madison’s Montpelier
- African American slavery sites
- Civil War sites including:
- Gettysburg National Military Park
- Antietam National Battlefield
- Transportation Revolution sites including:
- Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
- National Parks including:
- The Appalachian Trail National Park
- The National Mall
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
- Civil Rights sites including:
- The Lincoln Memorial
- Storer College
- The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Washington, D.C.
- The Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- The U.S. Capitol
- The National Mall
- The Old Soldiers’ Home (Lincoln Cottage)
Who goes to the National History Academy?
The National History Academy is designed for highly motivated 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students with an interest in American history, government and law.
What is it like living in a dorm?
It’s fun! Students will share bedrooms and bathrooms, but all beds are across the hall in separate “sleeping porches,” an integral part of the Foxcroft School experience.
Dorms are separated by gender, with same-sex teaching staff living on each floor.
See the “Student Life” page for more information.
I have a restricted diet. What will I eat?
At National History Academy, we know that a balanced diet for our students is important. That is why we are committed to delivering a healthy, delicious menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Students will be able to select from a variety of options, so accommodating food allergies, vegetarian diets and most other dietary restrictions won’t be an issue. Please call if you have a specific need you would like to discuss.
What do we do for fun?
The pool is open from 1 pm to 6 pm every day, trivia nights and movie nights are a regular occurrence, and tennis matches, softball games, and ping pong tournaments add a bit of friendly competition! Students will have access to a gymnasium, playing fields, an exercise area, and hiking trails at Foxcroft.
What happens on the weekends?
Weekends will include volunteer opportunities, learning experiences, lectures, and some day trips to historic sites.
Please also see the previous question – what we do for fun!
Are students allowed to have cell phones?
Yes, students are allowed to have cell phones so long as they are used responsibly and do not disturb other students. Students may not talk on their phones on the sleeping porches of the dorms, which are a silent zone. Cell phones may not be used during classes or tours of historic sites (other than to take pictures, when allowed). Please see our full cell phone policy here.
Is there internet available?
Yes, students will have internet access.
Is there a bed time?
Students are expected to be in bed with the lights off at 10:30 pm every night.
Can friends or family visit?
The majority of our Academy experience is programmed to make the most of our short time together. Parents and families will be invited the final day, Friday, July 29, for a closing ceremony.
What is your vaping, tobacco and alcohol policy?
Foxcroft School is a smoke-free campus, and the National History Academy has a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding vaping, tobacco and alcohol.
How safe is the campus?
Foxcroft School is located in Middleburg, Virginia, a safe and quiet hamlet in the Virginia countryside. To further ensure the safety of students, the Foxcroft campus has a gatehouse, which is manned by security at all times.
All dormitories are secure, with students only having access to their own building.
How much does the National History Academy cost?
The cost of the five-week residential camp is $7,995 per student, inclusive of room, board, learning materials, transportation, and admission to historic sites. Financial aid is available on a need basis.
Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is available on a need basis. Students who would like to be considered for financial aid should indicate this on their Academy application and complete the financial aid section in full. Academy staff will contact these families directly to verify the financial information provided. Families are notified if they have received financial aid at the same time as they receive notification about the admission decisions.
Do staff members live in the dorms?
Yes, teaching staff are assigned to live in the dorms. Dorms are separated by gender, with same-sex teaching staff staying in private rooms on each floor.
What type of medical care is available?
The National History Academy employs professional nurses staffing a health center to provide first-aid and response to minor ailments and injuries. Approximately five miles away are several family practice offices. Within 15 miles, there are two level-III trauma centers, and within 35 miles there is a level-I trauma center. The D.C. area boasts some of the most highly rated medical facilities and hospitals in the nation.
Is medication allowed?
Yes. The nursing staff will provide supervision and safeguard of all medication.
Can students have cars?
No, students cannot have cars at the Academy. All transportation will be provided by coach bus.
How do you apply for financial aid?
Financial aid is available on a need basis. Students who would like to be considered for financial aid should indicate this on their Academy application. Academy staff will contact these families directly for financial information. Families are notified if they have received financial aid at the same time as they receive notification about the admission decisions.
How do I pay for the Academy?
Students who are accepted will be invited to register for the Academy. Tuition must be paid in full by April 30, 2022.
Families paying by credit card have the option to pay in full at the time of enrollment or can pay in three equal installments.