Education Paths: Military School vs. Public School

Which Suits Your Child Best? Picking the best academic road for your son is one of a parent’s most important choices. The majority of parents choose the public system. While this is certainly a viable option, it is worthwhile to consider a unique alternative – military school. Both options certainly hold different advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive in and compare the two.

1. Structure and Discipline:

  • Military School: Best associated with discipline and structure. The strict, consistent, and predictable environment gives students a sense of order, understanding of obligations, and observing rules.
  • Public School: The public system will provide a more relaxed environment. While this freedom is ideal for the growth of some students, other students may benefit from a more structured environment.

2. Focus on Leadership:

  • Military School: Leadership growth is fundamental, offering students structured chances to lead and develop confidence alongside decision-making abilities.  Leadership opportunities are given to a wide net of students and are earned based on a student’s attitude, effort, and performance.
  • Public School: Though leadership opportunities exist, they may be somewhat restricted to student council positions.  Often, these positions are elected by a vote amongst their peers, leading to popularity, not performance-based results.

3. Academic Environment:

  • Military School: Academics are often rigorous, with smaller classes and a focused, disciplined approach to learning. Academics are a central focus. Students do not fall through the cracks, thanks to small class sizes.
  • Public School: While public schools likely have more course options and provide for a larger spectrum of students, the classes themselves are often large and do not provide a lot of one-on-one learning and assistance for each student.

4. Character Development:

  • Military School: Character building is central. Military schools often offer a values-based education where students are taught responsibility, accountability, integrity, and honesty in all aspects of their life at the academy.
  • Public School: Character building is left to families and organizations outside the home and school.

5. Physical Fitness:

  • Military School: Due to the holistic approach of a military academy, physical fitness is emphasized to the students and is mandatory to promote the health and wellness of each child attending the school.
  • Public School: While students are taught about healthy, active living, physical education remains a component, the emphasis of this programming will vary from school to school. Since students in public schools have greater flexibility and freedom to choose courses, they can opt out of these programs in the later years of high school.  Participation in sports, extracurriculars, and fitness is often optional for public school students.

6. Culture and Environment:

  • Military School: Community centred. All students are living together and have similar experiences. They develop camaraderie and friendships that are unique in nature and strong in bond. Diversity varies between military schools, however, Robert Land Academy has a 20% international student population.
  • Public School: The diversity of the school is reflective of the diversity in the community it is located.

7. Cost and Accessibility:

  • Military School: Since they are privately funded, tuition and boarding come at a cost. This cost reflects the smaller class sizes, extracurricular opportunities, improved student supervision, and residence programming.  Some academies have scholarships available, however.
  • Public School: Accessible for all. Taxpayer dollars are used.


Every child has their own unique needs. As does every family. Choosing between a public or military school hinges solely on what your son and your family need. To sum it up, a military school will offer a consistent, predictable, and structured environment with small class sizes that won’t let your son fall through the cracks.  Public schools provide more social exposure and more accessible education.

If you’d like to see if a military school is right for your son, contact our admissions office at

Contact Us

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.