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Fork Union Military Academy

4744 James Madison Hwy, Post Office Box 278, Fork Union, Virginia, 23055, United States

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
US $32,000 to 37,450/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
10 to 15
Day: 30 (Gr. 7 - 12), Boarding: 400 (Gr. 7 - 12)

School Address
4744 James Madison Hwy, Post Office Box 278, Fork Union, Virginia, 23055 , United States

About this school:


Fork Union Military Academy is one of the nation's leading college preparatory military schools for boys in grades 7 to 12 and postgraduate. Nationally known for its emphasis on Christian values, top quality academics and superior athletic programs, the school holds true to its motto of "Body, Mind and Spirit.". Educators have long recognized that the structure of a military-style environment can provide young men an essential grounding for success in the classroom, and in life.Success stories begin here.

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Our Take: Fork Union Military Academy

our takeMilitary schools are particularly good at imparting a sense of purpose, of participating in something larger than ourselves. And of those, FUMA is a particularly good example. It was founded in 1898 as Fork Union Academy, and initially was co-ed. It adopted a military model in 1902, and in 1913 it was formalized in the name and limiting enrolment to boys. That year it also began a relationship with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which continues today. The school has adopted the organizational model of the US military, though it doesn’t have a formal relationship with the military, which is telling. It’s more about citizens than soldiers. The model is used because of the values, and the structure, and the honor system rather than to provide the basis for ongoing military training. In keeping, FUMA graduates have entered all aspects of American life, from sports, to politics, to the arts. Alumni include congressmen, scores of NFL players, educators, and even Kevin Plank, the founder of Under Armour. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a very ordered environment, one where expectations are clear, and where physical activity is an important aspect of student life.


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs Religious-based
    Military Special needs Christian (Baptist)

    If you want to learn more about faith-based education, check out our comprehensive guide.
    If you want to learn more about Christian education, check out our comprehensive guide.

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • German • Latin • Spanish • ESL

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Curriculum Pace

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What FUMA says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities

    Primary Developmental Priority:

    What FUMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    FUMA does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What FUMA says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      School newspaper
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Boarding (Domestic)US $32,000
    Boarding (International)US $37,450
    What FUMA says: Tuition Covers: Academic instruction, residential facilities, meals, infirmary care, college counseling, library resources, athletic facilities and equipment, extra-curricular activities, special events, and more. Additional Fees Include: Full Supply of Uniforms (Estimated at $3,300 year one; $1800/year thereafter) Laundry Service Dry Cleaning Haircuts

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 430
    Average enrollment per grade72
    Average class size10 to 15
    Gender (grades)Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)93%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview7 - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    What FUMA says:

    We operate based on a unique one subject plan in which students in grades 9-12 and postgraduate (grade 13), study their classes one by one for 7-1/2 weeks each.  We offer admission entry points for term 1 (August) as well as term 2 (October) and term 3 (December)  for select applicants. 

    Students should complete an online application at and submit three character references and their transcript.  The interview can be accomplished in person on campus/at a fair or via Skype. 

    Contact our International Director for more information: Mrs. Katherine Giszack, 434-842-4202 or [email protected] 



    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Fork Union Military Academy is looking for: We are a college preparatory school looking for young men of character and integrity who are willing to work diligently to achieve success within the context of "body, mind, and spirit."

    Day Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Stories & Testimonials


    Parent Testimonial - Self pride and belonging

    I would also like to thank you for the wonderful influence you, your staff and student body have had on [my son]. The most important thing that I felt he needed was a sense of self pride and you have instilled that in him and in such a brief time. He is so proud of his grades (except the D) and his uniform. I have also enjoyed hearing the stories involving his room mates, of whom he is very fond, and his history and English professors especially. He tells everyone how much he loves it and that he is going to finish high school there as well. When he shared his ambitions regarding both grades and rank with me, I, for the first time, had a very real sense of happiness for him. I have struggled all of his school years trying to find an environment that would motivate him and where he felt that he fit in. Not only does he fit in, but he feels he belongs and now shares a mutual commitment with FUMA regarding his future. The transition is amazing so I was not surprised when he told me that he needed to work on his leadership skills next summer. He decided that he wanted to pursue a counselor-in-training position at a survival camp that focuses on rock climbing and kayaking. He filled out his application by himself, called and sought permission from three references, and got his interview. Seven weeks ago his idea of a good summer would have been to do nothing except hang around at the pool. You all have fueled a fire in him which I, and many, have tried unsuccessfully and I am so grateful. ...

    Reflections on Military School Education

    As a 30-year veteran teacher, I have encountered a number of myths and misconceptions about a military school education. The public often has an inaccurate image of military schools, in general, as being Spartan, reform schools for unruly adolescents. Nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to excellent academic preparation, spiritual nurturing, and physical conditioning – education in “body, mind, and spirit” - military schools offer training in skills which lead to a successful and productive adult life, including leadership, self-discipline, character, teamwork, and service. Whenever reflecting on the value of a military school education, my thoughts focus on leadership, character, and service. Leadership George C. Marshall often defined leadership as the ability to set a standard of behavior which instills trust and confidence in others, whether subordinates or superiors. Since we live in a society that emphasizes individuality and independence, sacrificing those principles requires faith, born of demonstrated authority, in our leaders. Leaders are made, not born. At military schools, leadership starts with the individual, where one learns to forego one’s immediate self-interest for a longer-term goal. Frequently, I ask of my students: “What do you want out of life?” As teenagers, they reply that they don’t want people telling them what to do. I remind them that if they don’t want other people telling them what to do, they have to tell themselves what to do; they have to learn self-discipline. It is all about self-control. The more positive discipline you exercise on yourself, the less discipline others will force on you. Instead of telling you what to do, they will be listening to what you have to say and following your example. Effective military leadership comes from inspiring men, adopting a standard of behavior that others want to follow, and pursuing a lifestyle based on setting and achieving goals. Character & Service Like the military depends on virtuous leadership, a democratic society cannot exist without virtuous citizenship. Along with leadership and self-discipline, military schools emphasize character and service. The military service calls upon an individual to sacrifice one’s immediate interest to serve the community. While military schools do not teach tactical skills, the principles of service and sacrifice for a cause greater than oneself are espoused in the classroom, in Chapel, in the barracks, on the courts and fields - all day, every day. Expectations for conduct and achievement are high. Everyone is expected to work toward a personal best and contribute to the success of the team. Everyone marches to drill or Chapel, wears the uniform, follows the same rules and regulations. Respect, consideration, and good manners become the norm, and positive peer pressure raises the standard for student behavior on- and off-campus. In my experience, the cadet-run Honor Council, like the Cadet Officer Corps itself, is a prime example of good leadership, character, and service. Members of the Honor Council are selected on the basis of their demonstrated leadership. In the decisions which they make on behalf of the entire academy, their character is tested. In the standard of ethical conduct which they establish among their peers, their service is measured. Over the years, I have been privileged to watch generations of young men flourish and grow in wisdom and stature within the military school environment. Students who are fortunate enough to receive a military-school education find that this type of safe, structured, and caring environment provides them an opportunity not only for academic achievement, but also for leadership training, character development, and civic responsibility. Military schools build a solid foundation for higher education and a better foundation for life. ...

    What! You're Sending Him to Military School?

    But he's such a good boy! These statements represent the typical response of our family, friends, and neighbors when we announced that our younger son would be attending a military boarding school for his high school education. Our son was a fine young man who was doing reasonably well in school and was never in trouble. However, after much soul searching, we reached the conclusion that he would not be able to achieve his personal or academic potential in the large, impersonal, and somewhat disjointed life of the typical American high school. Once thought of as the repair shop for young men in trouble, today's secondary military academies have a much different and more positive mission, namely the development of young people of character. Although each school has its own flavor and uniqueness, they all utilize a military structure to achieve this all-important goal. This central theme, when coupled with a strong college preparatory curriculum, a challenging athletic program, and unparalleled opportunities for leadership development, make the military boarding school the right choice for many families. Why are military schools so special? Why are military academies so special, one might ask? What makes their programs so different from those of a non-military boarding school? What makes an academy worth the personal and financial sacrifices needed to complete this type of education? Quite simply, a military academy offers an environment rich in those qualities and values missing in the daily lives of many young people. Cadets typically share a rather Spartan barracks room in which they study, relax, and sleep. For many this is the first time they have been away from home for an extended period or had to share a bedroom. The routine of class, physical activity, military training, and study varies little from day to day. Cadets are responsible for the cleanliness of their room, for shining their shoes, for taking care of their clothes. Again for many, these were alien activities prior to military school. Academies have an enforced study time each day in which all other activity on campus stops. This serves to implant in the cadets the extreme importance of scholarship, and helps them develop effective study behavior. The students all participate in military drill training that helps them learn teamwork and cooperation. In all military academies great emphasis is placed on visibly rewarding personal accomplishments. However, clear punishments (usually in the form of demerits and loss of privileges) follow if cadets do not do what is expected of them. All of these factors help a young person move beyond what has become the epidemic of entitlement that is so pervasive in our youth culture. Harvard psychologist Dr. Dan Kindlon speaks directly to the need to break our children away from this epidemic so they can learn individual responsibility and develop that self-motivation without which they cannot be successful. In his latest book, Too Much of a Good Thing, Dr. Kindlon argues that many young people are unable to delay gratification, to set high expectations for themselves and make the efforts needed to accomplishment them. Because of their structure, discipline, developmental student leadership, and the culture of accomplishment, military academies offer a very effective means of helping a student to succeed despite the culture around them. Core Values Of perhaps even greater importance, however, are the core values that lead directly to the mission of character development. Every day cadets learn what Honor means and come to appreciate the importance of personal integrity. They practice respect for superiors through the tradition of saluting and respect for each other by the manners and personal decorum demanded in class, at meals, and in all public settings. They gain appreciation for the thrill of success and learn to overcome the disappointments of failure. They develop pride and self-confidence. They relish the esprit de corps that surrounds a regimental parade or athletic victory. Cadets come to realize that they are responsible for their own future and are firm in their belief in themselves. ...

    And Never a Twain Shall Meet

    For many years there was great discussion in the educational community about the school achievement gap between girls and boys, particular in math and the natural sciences. A great deal of research effort was devoted towards identifying reasons for this gap and more importantly towards improving the achievement of female students. This very appropriate activity has been quite successful to the point where girls outnumber boys at almost every co-educational college in the U.S. and in many cases dominate even formerly "male" fields of study. In recent years, however, our attention has turned to the diminished educational progress of boys in our middle and secondary schools. One must ask if there could be a relationship between these two trends for we would hope that the emphasize on girl's achievement did not cause a drop in achievement for boys. Many factors have been analyzed and discussed over the past ten years to try to explain gender learning differences. Initially they focused on the "social" elements of schooling. Boys were more assertive in the classroom, occupied more of the teacher's attention and dominated group learning activities. Girls were thought to be more eager to please, to think faster, to concentrate more thoroughly on the task at hand. It was thought that once they entered puberty girls held deliberately held back in classroom activities so as not to appear too assertive to boys. Boys were thought to refrain from active participation least they make a mistake and loose face in front of the girls. These arguments and many others were used as initial justifications for single gender classrooms and/or schools. However, in themselves these social arguments hardly justify changing the entire educational structure. Today's research focuses on more solid areas of investigation that do posit very valid arguments for single sex educational programs. First of all, physiological research has demonstrated that boys are definitely more spatial than girls and that they think from the right side of their brain. Girls on the other hand think from the left. Girls' brains develop more rapidly and are proportioned differently than the brains of boys. In addition, girls hear better than boys and respond better in a room with less lighting than boys. The second major area of study is in learning styles. While this research is not always consistent, several instructional implications have emerged recently. Females overwhelmingly prefer a single mode learning style, most typically auditory or read-write. Boys on the other hand learn best in a mixed learning style environment. Boys are definitely more spatial and tactile learners than are girls and, as we all know, less motivated to study. Both public and private schools are filled with many examples of very successful coeducational learning. However, single sex schools represent a very clear method of meeting the diverse learning styles and development needs of girls and boys in middle and secondary school without shortchanging either gender. The trend toward single sex schools is growing, the success stories are increasing and the arguments are growing stronger. While perhaps not for every child, families who are not satisfied with their student's current progress would do well to investigate the many single sex schools in the Central Virginia area. ...


    • The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Associations
    • The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) Associations

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