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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is your school so inexpensive?
While "inexpensive" is a relative term, Houghton Academy is on the lower end of the price range for boarding schools. The primary cost saving factor is that our faculty and staff are mission-driven and not money driven. Faculty are drawn here out of a sense of ministry and are willing to work for less than they could make elsewhere.
What kind of kids come to your school?
Regular kids from all over the world attend here. Our student body would be a good representation of a variety of familial backgrounds, academic abilities, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds and they come here for an equally diverse set of reasons. Often, when this question is asked, the real question that is driving it is, "Do you accept kids with problems?" We are not a therapeutic residential program. We do not have a Special Education Department. We are not an alternative placement for juvenile delinquents. While it is fair to say that our students are not problem-free, it is also fair to say that most are typical teenagers and not "troubled".
What code do I use to have my TOEFL Score reported directly to Houghton Academy?
The TOEFL people know us as school number 2144. If you use this code when you register for the TOEFL, Houghton Academy will receive your TOEFL score report directly.
Do I have to wear a uniform?
Yes, students wear uniforms during the school day.
How many students do you have from my home country?
International students ask this most frequently--the general trend is to seek a school with a low enrollment from the same nationality with the notion that it will be a better environment in which to be forced to speak exclusively English. We have students from many different countries each year. The largest percentage originate in the Pacific Rim. Since numbers vary from year to year, choosing to attend here or not based on this factor is not advised.
How many students do you have?
Seventh through twelfth grade enrollment is about 130.
Do you provide transportation (bussing) for local students?
Houghton Academy does not bus students to and from school each day. Commuting students travel here via car. Families living within 15 miles of our school are eligible to be bussed by their local public school district (See Local Transportation Options). Please call if you need the details of this opportunity.
How can I get to Houghton?
Getting to Houghton can be a challenge; there is little by way of public transportation to bring you here. We provide a transportation service to our students and visitors who make it to Rochester or Buffalo (preferred), NY. Please give us a week's notice to arrange transportation for you from Buffalo or Rochester. Rental cars are available at the airports. Houghton is about 65 miles from either Rochester or Buffalo. Helicopters have a variety of landing options here in town; skydivers are urged to avoid the forest when landing.
Do you accept incoming twelfth graders?
We sometimes accept a student as a senior at the beginning of their senior year after evaluating their transcript to verify that they are able to meet graduation requirements (within the limits of our schedule) in one year. We do not accept seniors after the start of their senior year.
Does a student have to be a Christian to attend your school?
No. Applicants need to understand that we are a Christian school and we do all those traditional Christian school things, like integrating Bible truths into academic classes and talking about moral absolutes defined by God and establishing a God-honoring standard of living. As long as a student is not deterred by our educational philosophy and practice, he or she is eligible for admission.
My child has strong ability but weak grades. Would you accept him?
We do not automatically exclude students whose school work is less than exemplary. We try to consider each applicant on his or her own merits. Through the admissions process, we seek to answer the question, "Why has your ability not matched your school output?" We do not have a magic potion to sprinkle on weak students and make them into strong students. We do offer structure and accountability; this is often an effective solution for the "underachiever."