Admission to Friends School
State College Friends School welcomes students who will benefit from our instructional style and who will contribute positively to the life of the school community.
We are an independent, tuition-based school, seeking families who are supportive of our Quaker values and our educational goals. Friends School is committed to building and maintaining a community that is diverse and inclusive with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, creed, family structure, and economic background.
One of the comments we hear most frequently from families who come to visit State College Friends School is, “It feels so good here!” We believe this feeling is the result of many things -- our child-centered approach to education; our Quaker roots and practices; beloved school traditions; vigorous academics rather than test-driven instruction, and the families, teachers, staff, administration, and trustees that make up our school community.
Upon visiting, one of the first things you'll notice is the warm, almost home-like feel of the school, designed for student autonomy, independent and group work, social gatherings, and connection with nature. Our small school is a welcoming environment for students in Pre-K through middle school.
In bright, spacious classrooms, you’ll hear respectful language, positive encouragement, and lots of joyful laughter. You'll get a quick sense of the genuine relationships between children and teachers. Student work -- from poetry, to inventions, to art -- is displayed throughout hallways and common spaces. The feeling comes from the work and the learning you see happening in the classrooms.
We would love to have you visit with us so that you can see, hear, and feel for yourself what a Friends School education could mean for your child. Please contact our Associate Head of School, Lisa Gamble for a personal visit or drop by on a Walk-though Wednesday. We'd love to see you soon.
"What makes the Friend's School stand apart for us is the attention paid across grades to the whole child, their intellectual, emotional, and social well-being. This underlying intention, shared by all the teachers and staff, permeates the instruction and informs the care paid to the academic and social lives of the students. Practically this intention is put into practice with the small mixed-grade classes, which allow the older children to model what it means to be a good student and friend for the younger ones and the younger ones to gain self-confidence in their interactions and friendships.
Because the class sizes are small and the teachers see the same students over two years, they get a true sense of the individual children and can form a meaningful bond that can be the foundation to instill a true love of learning.
We also love that the kids get to play outside more than in the public schools. Outdoor play has repeatedly been shown to improve learning outcomes as it allows students to focus on learning when it is time to do so. Kids need and love to be outside and move!"
- Parent, Clara Drummond
"One of the things we love about Friends School is the way every child is known deeply. We know our children are loved and cared for by teachers and staff and that's really important to us. We know they'll have the academic experience they need but the sense of belonging and community we find at Friends is really unique."
Join us on a Walk-Through Wednesday
We love visitors! To really understand what a small independent school like Friends School has to offer, it's best to see and feel the difference for yourself. Please join us during an upcoming Walk-Through Wednesday (the first Wednesday of each month, or contact Lisa Gamble to schedule a personal visit. Learn More
Flexible Tuition at State College Friends School
Friends School offers an alternative to publicly-funded/charter schools for families residing in State College and surrounding communities. Also referred to as private schools, independent programs, such as Friends School, are funded through tuition and supplemental contributions from a variety of sources -- primarily individual donors, local businesses, and small grants.
We want as many people as possible, who see the value of a Friends education, to be able to become a part of the Friends School community. Therefore, we are committed to offering flexible tuition to help make a Friends education available.
K-8 flexible tuition means that the amount a family pays -- from full tuition to partially funded tuition -- varies based on parents' income, assets, and other pertinent financial information.
Subsidized child care is available for families with children ages 3-5 (Pre-K) who qualify. The subsidized childcare program helps low-income families pay tuition. Visit dhs.pa.gov for information and application.
Our Associate Head of School, Lisa Gamble is happy to meet with families to discuss tuition and scholarship availability.
"I love how learning takes place in so many different ways at Friends School - in every grade. Teachers have an amazing ability to identify the strengths of each child and to help them polish and shine those nuggets of ability. But in the most creative ways, they also help children to grow confidently and stretch their abilities that are still developing. It's like beautiful magic!"
State College Friends School