Here are Some Free and Low Cost Boarding Schools and Programs

If you have a troubled teenager and have low income, here are lower cost programs you may want to consider, though they are usually full, with a long wait list.

List Updated November 7, 2017

IMPORTANT! If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact them directly as we have no affiliation with them. Others have shared them with us, but we do not vouch for them nor endorse them, nor do we have any more information about them than is shared here. Be sure to check them out carefully, including any news stories about them.

CAL FARLEY’S CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS (several locations in Texas). (WEB: No longer taking kids with behavioral issues. Call: (800) 687-3722

CIRCLE OF HOPE GIRL’S RANCH (Humansville, MO) Phone: (417) 754-1339

BETHANY’S HOUSE — Christian ministry for pregnant women, age 18 and over providing a free residential program for adoption-minded women.  For more information call 1-800-454-0454 or 209-526-3342. (WEB:

FAITH RANCH (Uvalde, Texas). Phone 210-232-6611

FREEDOM ACADEMY (Lakemont, New York)
Freedom Academy is one of the best low cost Christian academies for teenage boys and girls who are at-risk or misbehaving or failing in school.  No set tuition — offers a sliding scale and scholarships.
Address: 5275 Route 14, Lakemont NY 14857
Phone: 800-842-8679  EMAIL:

FRENCH CAMP ACADEMY (French Camp, MS) (WEB: Phone: (662) 547-6482

FLYING H YOUTH RANCH (Naches, WA) (WEB: Phone: (509) 658-2990

HAPPY HILL FARM (Granbury, TX) (WEB: Phone: (254) 897-4822

HAVEN OF HOPE GIRLS HOME (Tupelo, MS)  (WEB:  Phone: (662) 842-6982  Haven of Hope Girls’ Home is a 12-month behavior modification and support program for teenage girls who are between the ages of 13 – 16.  Address: Tupelo Children’s Mansion • PO BOX 167, Tupelo, MS 38802

HEARTLAND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Bethel, Missouri ) (WEB: Has 225 students enrolled in grades K4-12. Address: 101 Nations Blvd., Bethel, MO 63434  Phone (660) 284-6300

HOLY HIGHWAY FOR GIRLS (Pickton, Texas). (WEB: Phone (903) 866-3300

HOUSE OF HOPE (Several locations nationally) (WEB:


MICHIGAN BOOT CAMP (weekend only) Mid-Course Correction (Web: Phone: 810-227-0243

MIRACLE FARM (Web:  Phone: 979-836-0901

MOUNT ZION GIRLS HOME – Harrisonburg,Virginia (WEB: Phone: (419) 438-5551  Faith based home and academy for at-risk teen girl’s ages 12-17.

(Longmont, CO) (WEB: Phone: (303) 776-6841

PILGRIM’S REST ACADEMY Phone: (270) 276-5152 (Ages 7-12)

THE MEL BLOUNT YOUTH HOME (Claysville, PA) (WEB: Phone: (724)948-2311

TEXAS BOYS RANCH (Lubbock, TX) (Web: Phone: 806-747-3187

TEXAS BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOMES (Round Rock, Texas) (WEB: Phone: (512) 255-3682

WEST TEXAS BOYS RANCH (WEB: Phone: (325) 949-1936

WILL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL (West Columbia, SC)  (WEB: Phone: (803) 896-6480

YOUTH-REACH (Houston, Texas and Louisiana) (WEB: Phone: (281) 459-4555


JOB CORPS (Free – NATIONWIDE) Job Corps is a free education and vocational skills training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible youth at least 16 years of age, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. If you are interested in placing your teen in a Job Corp program in your area, call (800) 733-JOBS or (800) 733-5627. An operator will provide you with information about Job Corps, place you in touch with the admissions counselor closest to where you live, and mail you an information packet about the Job Corp program.


YOUTH BUILD USA –In YouthBuild programs, unemployed and under-educated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people.  To find a location near you, click here.  For more information, call 617-623-9900.

Day Break Centers This CMHC (Community Mental Health Center) is staffed with a Multidisciplinary Team that consists of Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, an MD, a Psychiatrist, Dietitian and an RN. The services are designed to reduce symptom severity, increase coping and problem solving skills, enhance communication skills, assist patient in achieving positive personal goals and foster reintegration back into the community.

NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH CHALLENGE — A preventive youth-at-risk program, targets unemployed drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age.  Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and hygiene, skills training, leadership/followership, and physical training. The five-month residential phase is followed by a year-long mentoring relationship with a specially trained member from each youth’s community (Web:
Alaska Military Youth Academy Challenge Program Anchorage 877-242-5643, Fairbanks 907-374-7960
Arkansas Youth Challenge – 1-800-814-8453
Grizzly Youth Academy (California)- 1-800-926-0643
Sunburst Youth Academy – 1-877-463-1921
Capital Guardian Challenge Academy – 202-685-8899
Florida Youth Challenge Academy – 904-682-4031
Fort Gordon Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 706-823-8000
Fort Stewart Youth Challenge Academy (Georgia)- 912-876-1721
Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy – Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) 808-685-7139, Kulani (Hilo) 808-933-1922
Idaho Youth Challenge Academy – 208-272-8392
Lincoln’s Challenge (Illinois) – 800-851-2166
Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy – 765-345-1000 or 877-860-0003
Kentucky Bluegrass Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Appalachian Challenge Academy – 1-877-599-6884
Louisiana Youth Challenge – 1-800-CAMP-KID
Freestate Challenge Academy (Maryland)- 410-436-3255
Michigan Youth Challenge Academy – 1-800-372-0523
Mississippi Youth Challenge – 1-800-507-6253
Montana Youth Challenge Program – 1-877-367-6927 or 1-406-683-7556
Nevada Youth Challenge Program – 775-885-8201
New Jersey Challenge Youth Program – 609-562-0577
New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy – 800-366-9098 or 575-347-7600 or 575-347-7610
Tarheel Challenge Youth Program (North Carolina)- 910-525-5520 or 800-573-9966
Thunderbird Youth Academy (Oklahoma)- 918-824-4850
Oregon Youth Challenge Program – 541-317-9623 x223 or 541-317-9623 x224
Puerto Rico Youth Challenge Program – 787-260-1737
South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy – 803-299-4879 or 1-866-737-7292
Texas Challenge Academy – 877-822-0050 or 432-836-4648 or 432-290-7145
Seaborne Challenge (Texas)- 409-741-7131
Virginia Commonwealth Challenge – 757-491-5932 or 1-800-796-6472
West Virginia Mountaineer Challenge Academy – 1-800-529-7700 or 304-329-2118
Washington Youth Academy – 360-473-2600
Wisconsin Challenge Academy – 877-968-8427
Wyoming Youth Challenge – 307-836-7500 or 307-836-7512 or
844-WYO-WCCA (996-9222)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Online directory to help locate treatment facilities for adolescents and adults. Call 1-800-622-HELP; 1-877-767-8432 (Spanish); 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). (WEB:

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