Experience the Magic of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA

A Rich History

Founded in 1839, Episcopal High School holds the unique distinction of being the first high school in Virginia. Originally called the Howard School, it was situated on 80 acres of land and housed 35 boys. Today, the school sits on a 130-acre campus in Alexandria, Virginia, home to 440 students from diverse backgrounds.

Over the years, Episcopal High School has seen a significant transformation. Its central administration building, Hoxton House, dates back to around 1805 and has witnessed much of the school’s storied past.

During the Civil War, the school’s buildings served as a hospital for Union troops, with poet Walt Whitman tending to the wounded. The school reopened in 1866 and has since grown into a renowned institution, consistently ahead of the national boarding school average for student diversity.

Episcopal High School Timeline

Year Event
1839 Founded as the Howard School
1861 Closed due to the Civil War
1866 Reopened
1968 Enrolled first two African-American students
1991 Began transition to coeducation

Building a Legacy of Excellence

Episcopal High School’s modern academic curriculum caters to a wide range of interests, with an array of course offerings spanning various subjects.

In addition to a strong focus on traditional subjects like mathematics, science, and the humanities, the school offers a wealth of art courses in areas such as instrumental music, vocal music, acting, dance, ceramics, photography, videography, drawing, painting, music theory, and music recording.

Housed in the state-of-the-art Ainslie Arts Center, these programs benefit from top-notch facilities, including a 540-seat auditorium, a 100-seat black box theater, and a 24-channel digital recording studio.

Episcopal High School also boasts a robust athletics program, with 43 boys’ and girls’ interscholastic teams across 16 sports and non-interscholastic sports like kayaking, dance, cross-training, and strength training.

The school’s athletic achievements include 32 Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) Championships since 1979 and 21 Independent School League (ISL) Championships since 1993. Students are encouraged to participate in sports throughout their time at Episcopal.

However, first-year students are expected to complete three seasons, sophomores and juniors at least two, and seniors at least one.

A Strong Sense of Community

At the heart of Episcopal High School is a strong sense of community and a commitment to fostering a sense of belonging among its diverse student body. The school’s Honor Code, one of the oldest among secondary schools, is a foundation for the EHS community, promoting integrity and accountability among students and faculty.

Students at Episcopal are encouraged to participate in various clubs, organizations, and activities that cater to their interests and passions. From student government and community service initiatives to cultural clubs and affinity groups, the school offers ample opportunities for students to forge connections, develop leadership skills, and make lasting memories.

Nurturing Spirituality

Despite its affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Episcopal High School welcomes students of all religions and strives to include traditions from all faith backgrounds in its services. Students are required to attend chapel services twice a week, with optional services available on Sundays.

The school’s chaplain’s office works closely with students to accommodate their spiritual needs, organizing trips to local houses of worship and welcoming distinguished spiritual leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Most Rev. Michael Curry to campus.

An Investment in the Future

For the 2020-2021 school year, Episcopal High School’s comprehensive tuition fee is $63,200, which includes tuition, room and board, and other expenses. Recognizing that an Episcopal education is a significant investment, the school is committed to ensuring accessibility for students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

The school awards approximately $7.5 million in financial aid annually, with the average grant amounting to about $49,000. In the 2020-2021 school year, around 34 percent of the student body received financial assistance, helping to create a more inclusive and diverse learning environment. By offering various financial aid options,

Episcopal High School remains committed to providing access to its exceptional educational experience for students of all backgrounds.

Tuition and Financial Aid Overview

Item Amount
Tuition Fee (2020-2021) $63,200
Financial Aid Awarded Annually $7.5 million
Average Financial Aid Grant $49,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 34%
Episcopal High School
Penguino2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Preparing Students for Success

Episcopal High School’s rigorous college-preparatory curriculum and commitment to fostering well-rounded individuals prepare students for success beyond the classroom.

With a low student-to-teacher ratio of 8.6, students benefit from personalized attention and guidance, ensuring they have the support they need to excel academically and personally.

Graduates of Episcopal High School have gone on to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.

Equipped with a solid foundation in academics, the arts, athletics, and community engagement, EHS alums are well-prepared to make their mark in various fields, from business and science to the arts and public service.


Episcopal High School has a rich history and an unwavering commitment to excellence in education. From its diverse and inclusive student body to its exceptional academic, arts, and athletic programs, the school stands out as an exemplary institution that prepares students for a successful future.

With its strong sense of community, emphasis on spiritual growth, and dedication to fostering well-rounded individuals, Episcopal High School is an exceptional choice for families seeking a top-notch boarding school experience.

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