We understand you have lots of questions. And sometimes, it's hard to know what questions you should be asking as you get started on the journey to discovering more about boarding school. Browse through these most frequently asked questions from both parents and students. Don't see the answers to some of your questions? Feel free to send us a note and we’ll get right back to you.

Student FAQs


I’ve heard that boarding schools are for kids who get into trouble and their parents don’t know how to handle them. Is that true about Delphian?

That’s a common misperception about boarding schools. And maybe that used to be partly true a very long time ago. But these days, while a few still exist for troubled kids, most boarding schools are pretty competitive -- you even have to take an entrance exam to be accepted. So, if you have good teacher recommendations and grades, you shouldn’t have a problem getting in. Delphian in particular is known for strong academics, the ability to play a different sport every season, and the opportunity to try new things that you may not normally get to try, like high-tech or maker projects, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument, ceramics or art. And because you live with your friends in a dormitory, you build really close friendships too.

What can I expect from boarding at Delphian school?

Our boarding students say that living on campus provides more opportunities for leadership and to try new things.

What if I get homesick or lonely?

For most students, homesickness doesn’t last very long, if it even shows up at all. You’ll meet other students and participate in fun activities to break the ice and get comfortable in your new surroundings. Plus, living on campus, you’ll be around a community of peers and adults who are always there for you, every step of the way!

What’s the biggest difference between my public school and Delphian school?

There are many. First and foremost, Delphian will challenge you by offering you more opportunities to stretch and grow than you ever thought possible. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the stage, or on the field, Delphian is an immersive environment. That means everything is right there for you on campus, so you can make the very most of your time. From classes, to meals, to social events, after-school and evening activities, every opportunity is all in one place. And, if you choose to live on campus, it means always being with your best friends. Faculty, staff and coaches are available 24/7. It’s a close-knit community that you’ll belong to. You won’t be a number at Delphian – everyone will know your name.

Is Delphian School really like Hogwarts or Zoey 101?

While our 720-acre campus may be just as beautiful, there’s no wizarding curricula or throngs of contemptuous, gossipy teens. Instead, Delphian is like one big family. You’ll have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, try new things, live with your best friends and find out what you’re passionate about.

I love my family. I would miss them if I went away, and my parents would probably think I didn’t want to live with them. Do kids get used to being away from home?

Great question! Happy, loving families that have strong connections make great Delphian School families. And believe it or not, your connections to your family will probably grow even stronger when you’re living away from them. Like sleep-away camps in the summer, after the first day or two, you start to get involved, and that homesickness begins to fade. You’ll get to see your parents for events at the school, and of course you go home on breaks and vacations. Delphian students say that boarding at Delphian has helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence and the ability to think critically. All things that help prepare you for college, and for life.

I’m not athletic, but I like to join clubs. Would Delphian School be a good fit for me?

Yes. The good news is that 35% of current Delphian students spend between seven and 14 hours per week on non-athletic extracurricular activities like the arts, student council and clubs. There’s really something for everyone.

I really like my teachers, but they’re so busy that they don’t really have time to help me outside of class time. How would Delphian be different?

At Delphian, teachers often live in the same building or right on campus like you do. Entire families live right down the hall or just a few hundred yards away, and they are there for you, like a family. You’ll also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with your teachers and coaches in the school dining room, so you see them every day, many times a day. The Association of Boarding Schools did a study and found that boarding school students enjoy more time with teachers, coaches and staff members outside of class than public and private day school students do – about nine hours per week, compared to four hours. That’s a big difference!

Will I have time at boarding school to do the things I love, like playing an instrument?

Absolutely. Delphian students spend at least six hours a week on creative activities, like performing music and painting, compared to four hours by private day and five hours by public school students.

What is the admission process like?

The admission process is actually a lot of fun. During the journey, you will learn a lot about yourself and Delphian. When you visit, you will meet students, your admission officer, and oftentimes other Delphian parents who want to share with you why they love our school.  
After your application has been accepted, you should you visit Delphian so you can make sure it's a good fit for you. When you're here, you will take our entrance exam and speak with your admission officer about why you think Delphian is the best fit for you and your future. 
Our admissions process is less about what you’ve accomplished so far, and more about what you’re capable of doing once you get here. The most important things we're looking for when accepting new students are:
  1. Students who are ready for a challenge
  2. Students willing to become independent learners who can see the benefit of putting ideas into action
  3. Students interested in becoming responsible, effective leaders
  4. Students who value honesty in themselves and others and are able to treat others with respect--regardless of gender, sexual preference, race or religion 

Is it hard to make friends?

If you feel like it might be hard for you to make friends, remember that there are lots of other new students just like you who feel the same way, and are likely just as nervous as you. Students at Delphian are warm and friendly, eager to make new friends, open-minded and adventurous. Most new students find it very easy to make new friends as they begin the adventure of their life!

How much independence/freedom can I expect at Delphian?

New students, and younger students, tend to have more structure built into their day. They have fewer free periods and more structured study time in the evenings. But as students get older, they earn more independence and freedom each year. By the time students are seniors, they have a good deal of freedom, and are expected to manage their time effectively. In fact, we count on our juniors and seniors to manage many aspects of the school through their positions on student council and other duties they may have. The goal is that over time students become completely self-reliant and able to manage their time and responsibilities so that they are ready for the freedoms and challenges of college and university, and of life in general.

What is there to do on the weekends?

Students and faculty work hard to create great options for students both on and off campus each weekend. From dances and mixers, to movies, games and other activities, we make sure that weekends are action-packed on campus. Some weekends we also plan off-campus trips for shopping in Portland or other fun activities like bowling, camping, skiing, the ballet or opera are also planned. Weekends are also a time for students to go home, or visit the homes of friends who live nearby. And, weekends are also a great time to relax, take a nap and hang out with friends.

After my classes end each day, how will I spend my time?

At Delphian, there is an expectation that students will be involved in some aspect of school life. Whether it’s the arts, athletics or another activity, Delphian students are often at their busiest after school. Delphian offers a wide variety of options, from traditional sports and arts to hiking, biking, skateboarding, community service and much, much more.
All students are also required to participate in our student service and student council programs outside of classtime. Students work with the other students and staff at Delphian in creating a functioning, well-run school. This program teaches lessons in hard work, gives a student the experience of having a job or position of responsibility and helps them to learn about and experience a more real-world situation. In general, the student service program gives students chances to build leadership skills, to develop responsibility and to grow by experiencing success and failure in a safe and supportive environment. Students experience learning from mistakes and trying again; and at the higher levels, it develops a broadening leadership and responsibility.

Is the food any good?

Nothing compares to home cooking, but our students think our food is pretty good. At breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll find lots of options, and you’ll never go hungry. And if you don’t like the options one day or another, you can always order a pizza or Chinese food from a local restaurant! Our rec room also offers lots of food options and has a microwave available for student use. Additionally, many faculty advisors will invite students over their homes to bake cookies or enjoy a BBQ.

Don't take our word for it! See what other students have to say about Delphian in the video below:

Parent FAQs


Will my child get into an Ivy League university or their top choice of college if they attend Delphian School?

While Delphian is known for rigorous academics, competitive sports and developing critical thinking skills useful for life, there are no guarantees of an Ivy League acceptance.
Many of our graduates do attend Ivy League and other prestigious universities. While college placement may vary from student to student, almost all of our graduates go on to a four-year college. Those who choose to move directly into their career choice often move straight into positions of leadership and many go on to become very successful entrepreneurs or CEOs of major corporations. Delphian has a robust college and career counseling program aimed at helping students and their families navigate the process successfully.
What we can guarantee is that the character and independence students learn at Delphian allows them to adjust more quickly and seamlessly to university life (and life in general). 

Is it true there is little to no free time each day for my student to relax and just hang out with their friends?

While most weekdays are fairly structured, there is typically an hour or two of free time each evening. There are many opportunities and events in dorms and clubs as well for students to just be kids and relax among friends.

While Harry Potter is a great series, is Delphian very rigid and formal? Will my son/daughter have to wear a uniform every day?

No, Delphian does not require a uniform, but we do have a dress code. Believe it or not, our dress code was written entirely by our students and is also self-governed.
The purpose of the Delphian Student Dress Code is to teach students to present themselves in a positive way and to have a well-represented student body with a high standard of appearance.
You can read our inclusive dress code here

We have a very happy family life at home. Why would I send my child away?

Boarding school presents an alternative learning environment where many happy, well-adjusted kids thrive. A loving home life is a wonderful springboard to boarding school, and allows each student to grow and learn in a new environment, becoming more independent and resilient. It’s natural that you will miss your child and they will miss you. Kids who are looking for more challenges academically, more diverse friends and more opportunities to try new sports or activities see boarding at Delphian as the opportunity of a lifetime.

Without parental supervision, do Delphian boarding students get more involved in drinking and drugs than kids who live at home?

Not at all. In fact, our boarding students say that their social lives do not revolve around drugs and alcohol at all, compared to 82% of other private day and public school students. Delphian also has ethics standards and a code of honor, and experimenting with drinking or drugs (or sex) is not tolerated.

What’s the process for enrolling in Delphian School? Are any special tests required?

Visiting the campus is the best way to get a feel for the school and the student body. A Delphian student will conduct your tour and can answer any questions you may have about the school program and residential life. Touring the school is a key element of the enrollment process at Delphian.

On this day, students will also complete an in-person interview and take our school’s entrance exam.

Your family's visit will be scheduled for a weekday so that you can see the school in action. In the case of some international families, a video interview can be arranged. However, we strongly recommend a personal visit to really get to know us.

If you have not done so already, click here to request more information or Contact our Admissions Office. We are dedicated to helping families understand Delphian’s unique learning community and would love to help you determine if Delphian is the right fit for your family. You can reach our office at 1-800-626-6610 or 503-843-3521

After you fill out the Admissions Form you will be asked to provide your child's most recent report cards (including the last full year), any standardized test scores and teacher recommendations.

There is an application fee of $100.

Delphian also accepts the Standard Application Online (SAO).

After your application has been accepted, you should you visit Delphian so you can make sure it's a good fit for you. 

Our admissions process is less about what your student has accomplished so far, and more about what they are capable of doing once they get here. The most important things we're looking for when accepting new students are:
  1. Students who are ready for a challenge
  2. Students willing to become independent learners who can see the benefit of putting ideas into action
  3. Students interested in becoming responsible, effective leaders
  4. Students who value honesty in themselves and others and are able to treat others with respect--regardless of gender, sexual preference, race or religion 

As a parent, will I have the opportunity to be involved with my child’s education and community, even if they are far away?

Absolutely. The success of our program depends on parental involvement and interaction with both your student and your student's teachers. Often parents will fly in a few times a year to visit campus and catch up with their student on weekends or at our annual Parents Weekend. While we do have policies against cell phone and social media usage during the school day, our students are allowed to use their devices in evenings and on weekends to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

What is an independent school?

Independent schools are private learning institutions with missions unique to each. In order to be considered 'independent,' such schools must be not-for-profit institutions governed by independent boards of trustees and funded through tuition, charitable contributions, and endowment income.

Independent schools uphold high standards of educational quality and are publicly accountable to parents, communities, and the agencies that accredit them. Delphian School is accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, www.nwais.org, through a rigorous self-study process comparing our mission and values against the NWAIS standards, which include cultivating excellence in school leadership and academic rigor, furthering diversity, equity and inclusion, encouraging free and open inquiry, and fostering collegial and collaborative relationships, among many others.

What is the true cost of a Delphian education?

Delphian tuition covers the costs related to most student experiences, including field trips and experiential activities, practical projects, community service, and often travel to apprenticeships and internships.

Elementary and Middle school boarding students are assigned a personal teacher who provides extra service and personal care outside of class. The fee for this ranges from $2575-$3410 depending on the age of the student.

For all students there are additional materials fees. Please see the Tuition & Fees page for details.

Can my family apply for a scholarship or financial aid?

Yes. Please visit our Affording a Delphian Education page for more information.

Does the Delphian School have any religious affiliation?

No. Delphian School is a fully independent, non-religious, K-12 day and boarding school welcoming students of all faiths.

Delphian does not teach the doctrines of any one faith, although students will study a course entitled Understanding the Classical Religions in their senior year. This course covers the basic tenets of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism and includes reading from their respective religious texts.


Do young children board at your school?

Delphian School accepts boarding students from the age of 11.5, but the majority of our boarders are of high school age, with a smaller percentage at the middle school level (around 20% between ages 12 and 13).

Our elementary and lower schools primarily service local families whose children attend our day (non-boarding) programs.

Because younger children need a greater level of care and attention than older students, all boarding students enrolling in the Elementary and Middle Schools are assigned personal teachers (PTs). The PT is a faculty or staff member who helps provide the extra care and attention needed by a child of this age group who is living away from home.

PTs assist the parents by overseeing the welfare of younger boarding children in a variety of ways, such as eating most meals with their students, visiting with them at bedtime and spending time together on weekends.

Read more about our Advisor Program.


How are children of differing faiths supported?

Delphian School admits students from around the world and has hosted a student body representing as many as twenty different nations. As a result, there are children in attendance who are members of many faiths, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Scientology, and representative of different denominations and sects.

In coordination with each child's parents, Delphian School helps arrange transportation to local churches, synagogues or temples on days of worship as required by a student's individual religious practice.

Isn't boarding school mainly for children with behavioral or learning problems?

While some boarding schools cater to children with specific needs, the majority of boarding schools have the general mission of offering excellent educations that by statistic far exceed other private day and public schools in a number of important areas.

Boarding School Facts

The Art and Science Group conducted a nationwide survey of over 2,700 high school students and adults regarding their experiences in high school and their lives since. The survey found that, compared to day students, boarding students:

  • Devote more time to homework and extracurricular activities: 17 hours/week, versus 9 hours (private day) and 8 hours (public).
  • 90% of boarding students report having high quality teachers - versus 62% (private day) and 51% (public).
  • 78% of boarding students said they were well prepared for college - versus 36% (private day) and 23% (public).
  • 56% of boarding students go on to earn advanced degrees - versus 36% (private day) and 21% (public).

In fact, the survey found that 60% of students applied to boarding school primarily for the opportunity to get a better education.

The above survey also offered the following key findings:

  • Students at private boarding schools have a better experience in high school than do students of a similar profile in public and private day schools.
  • Students at private boarding schools are better prepared for and attend more prestigious colleges and universities than do students of a similar profile in public and private day schools.

The Association of Boarding Schools has done extensive research into the quality of boarding school education and its long term benefits to students. Visit TABS.org for more information or for additional statistics and survey findings.

Sending a child of any age away to school is an important decision for any family. To be accepted at Delphian, both the child and the parents must want to be here for the right reasons. We do not accept children who are being 'sent away' for various reasons, only those who want to tackle their own education head-on.

Our Admissions team spends many hours with each applying family to ensure Delphian is the right fit for both the needs of parents and the child. Please reach out to them for more information. They welcome your questions and calls.

Will Delphian School prepare my child for real life – to face challenges and have a successful career?

Our research shows that Delphian alumni succeed at a higher rate than their public- or private-school peers. In addition, the resiliency that Delphian (and our boarding school students in particular) build is directly tied to their ability to learn independent living skills and how to be an advocate for themselves.

Do all students who go to Delphian go on to attend college?

While college placement may vary from student to student, almost all of our graduates go on to a four-year college. Those who choose to move directly into their career choice often move straight into positions of leadership and many go on to become very successful entrepreneurs or CEOs of major corporations. Delphian has a robust college and career counseling program aimed at helping students and their families navigate the process successfully.

Where do the students eat during the school day and on the weekends?

Students typically eat three meals a day in our dining room. Students sit with their friends, and at times, with faculty members and their families. Multiple times a week, where students sit at assigned tables with students and faculty members. This is often meant to encourage students to meet new friends at the school. Food options also vary from day to day, but every day we offer balanced meals with a variety of options for differing tastes and specific food allergies. Our dining room is also open on the weekends, however many students will go off campus with a faculty member to a nearby restaurant for brunch, or order food to be delivered right to the school.

What are weekends like in Delphian School?

There are all kinds of weekend activities to choose from! Everything from off-campus trips to neighboring cities, hiking and biking, athletic contests and theatrical performances, dorm pizza parties, movie nights and everything in between. Weekends at Delphian are filled with all different kinds of activities, time to hang out with friends in the dorms, or the opportunity to go home for the weekend and visit family.

How is Delphian School associated with L. Ron Hubbard?

L. Ron Hubbard was a writer, an engineer, a philosopher, an educator and a researcher whose discoveries and writings cover a wide range of secular (non-religious) activity.
Mr. Hubbard studied and wrote at length about methods of learning which markedly improve a student's ability to understand and apply what is being studied. These breakthrough methods are part of the study tools learned by all Delphian students.
Mr. Hubbard also researched and wrote extensively on the subjects of logic, ethics, leadership and communication. Delphian students study these subjects, and some of their materials include data selected from Mr. Hubbard's secular research in these areas.
Mr. Hubbard's book entitled, The Way to Happiness, is a common sense moral code, and students study this work to understand the basic, moral agreements that we expect all members of our community to follow.

How is Delphian associated with Applied Scholastics?

Mr. Hubbard gave his research on study free of charge to Applied Scholastics and they license us to use it in our school. Applied Scholastics is a non-profit, public benefit organization formed in 1972 by educators from colleges, universities, and both public and private schools. The mission of Applied Scholastics is to provide effective education services and materials that help people learn how to learn and thereby work effectively to achieve their goals and realize their full potential.
Delphian School is licensed by Applied Scholastics International to use the study methods developed by Mr. Hubbard.

Does the Delphian School teach the Scientology religion?

No. Delphian School does not teach the Scientology religion. We are a non-religious school accepting students of all faiths. The fact of the matter is that if we wanted to teach the Scientology religion we would not be able to because that violates the law as we are licensed only to use the study methods of Mr. Hubbard.
Our community is made up of people from many different religious backgrounds and heritages—Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Taoists and Muslims have all been or still are part of our diverse international community. In order for such a community to work and live well together, community members do not proselytize their faiths.
Delphian does offer a comparative religion course for seniors. This course deals with the major religions of the modern and ancient world and covers both the doctrine and practices that are found in Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. Students read from the Old and New Testaments, the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita and from the writings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) and Confucius, as well as other works.

If you don't teach Scientology, why do some people think you're a Scientology school?

Delphian School is a non-religious school that is not affiliated with any church. We think our school has become incorrectly associated with Scientology for several reasons:
  1. We use the study methodology developed by L. Ron Hubbard. For this reason, many people associate the school with Mr. Hubbard, and since Mr. Hubbard is the founder of the religious philosophy known as Scientology (although not the founder of the Church of Scientology), Delphian has become incorrectly termed a "Scientology school" by some online fake news sites.
  2. We welcome and encourage diversity of all kinds in our school community (we embrace free and open inquiry and the diverse perspectives of people of different backgrounds, religions and cultures). While we have staff members and students of all faiths represented at the school, many of our staff are Scientologists. We think this has encouraged some people to incorrectly assume Delphian is a "Scientology school." However, our community is made up of people from many different religious and cultural backgrounds, from Catholic, Christian and Jewish faiths, to Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists.
  3. Our educational approach is founded on the principles Mr. Hubbard uncovered in his many decades of research into the humanities. From his non-religious writings on education, morality, leadership, ethics, communication, organization and logic, we have developed courses that forward this knowledge and understanding to our students.
Some of the aforementioned courses at the Upper School level include:
The Way to Happiness, a common sense moral code involving 21 precepts for happy living.
The Ethics Book, an elementary approach to important concepts of ethics, morals and justice.
The Thinking Book, a basic course teaching students to differentiate logic from illogic.
Logic Series 1-3, advanced courses teaching students to critically evaluate data in order to resolve organizational problems and revert declining statistics.
Leadership, a senior level course covering basics of leadership and advanced communication skills.
Education, a junior level course covering important concepts for successful educational systems as well as elements of how to successfully educate self and others.
Professional Basics for an Artist, a course for those interested in the Arts, covering art as communication, professionalism, performance stage manners, etc.
Public Speaking, a senior level course including communication drills and outlines to become an effective public speaker.
Managing by Statistics, a junior level course covering statistics and how to read and manage by them.

Many questions about our program are answered elsewhere on our site—such as, What are forms? How independent is independent study? What are the age ranges of your Lower, Elementary, Middle and Upper Schools?

For those questions not answered elsewhere, you can hopefully find your answer above. If not, please contact our Admissions Office. We welcome your questions about our school and program.