Entrance Requirements

Students are expected to read and write English fluently. All classes are taught in English, and homework and exams are submitted in English.

All international applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam in their home country and submit their scores as part of the admissions process.

Students are expected to enroll until 12th grade in order to receive the optimum benefit of a Merit Academy education. Merit Academy is authorized by the United States Government to issue an I-20 VISA after the student has been admitted for admission.

Required Documents

 All documents must be received before the application will be reviewed. All documents must be written in English or accompanied by an official signed English translation.

checkbox [ PDF ] International Student Application Form
checkbox [ PDF ] Parent Application Form
checkbox [ PDF ] Student Personal Statement
checkbox [ PDF ] Teacher Recommendation Letters (Merit form completed by teachers and sealed in an envelope)
checkbox [ PDF ] Immunization and TB Records (signed by medical doctor)
checkbox Affidavit of Financial Support
checkbox Teacher-Graded English Writing Sample (1-2 pages)
checkbox TOEFL Official Reports (Merit Academy School Code: 053269)
checkbox Student Transcripts from 3 prior academic years
checkbox Certificate of Balance (Bank Statement)
checkbox Color copy of passport with Photo
checkbox $200 (US dollars) Application Fee (Wire Transfer)

star Processing Protocol for I-20 and F-1 Visa:
If an international student applicant is admitted to Merit Academy, the parent or guardian will receive an I-20 within 4 weeks of the application submission date.  It is the student's family's responsibility to take the I-20 to a local United States Consulate or Embassy Office to obtain the F-1 Visa.  The F-1 Visa is necessary to enter the US. This process may take as long as 2 months, so make sure you take care of this in a timely manner.

Arrival & Orientation

 United States rules and regulations requires a specific protocol for international students when they enter the U.S.  Merit Academy also requires that all documentation and fees be received and paid prior to the start of school.

checkbox Contact us after you have received your F-1 Visa from your country's embassy or consulate.
checkbox Send proof of insurance for your medical insurance policy.
checkbox [ PDF ] Send your flight information so Merit can anticipate your arrival date. Arrive one week before the first day of school.
checkbox If you arrive earlier than one week, contact us.
checkbox All tuition, homestay fees, and other school fees must be paid in full prior to your arrival.
checkbox Meet with your college advisor to receive your class schedule for Fall Semester and to set up your 4-year plan.

Immunization Requirements

 The State of California and Merit Academy require the following immunizations.  All immunizations need to received by the student and documented on an Immunization Record [ PDF ] prior to applying to Merit.  The Immunization Record must be translated into English.  Students can start classes and move in with families after the Immunization Records have been received and processed by Merit Academy.

Type Dosage
Polio 3 doses for 7-17 years if first dose given after second birthday. If given prior to second birthday, 4 doses.
(Td, DT, or DEP, DTaP) 
3 doses for 7-17 years if first dose given after second birthday. If given prior to second birthday, 4 doses. The fourth dose must be Tdap.
MMR 1 dose after first birthday for grades 1-6 and 8-12.  If given prior to first birthday, 2 doses.
Hepatitis B 3 doses
Varicella (Chickenpox)   2 doses if not admitted to a California school before July 1, 2001, or Physical documented varicella history meets the varicella requirements
TB test   Negative TB test or normal chest x-ray within 5 years of enrollment at Merit Academy


Tuition & Fees

 Application Fee: $200 (non-refundable)

This fee is due with due with the Merit Academy application.  This can be paid by electronic wire transfer or by check from a US bank. Credit card payments are not allowed.

2016-2017 Annual Tuition: [Contact Us ]
9th-12th grades:
Modern Language
College Advisory

Additional Fees:

bullet Textbooks, workbooks, laptops, school supplies, meals, or housing is not included in the tuition.  Textbooks can be purchased from the school or directly from the publisher.  Costs are approximately $200-$500 per year.
bullet SEVIS I-901 or I-20 fees for international students are $200 and payable through Western Union Quick Pay.  International students are responsible for paying all I.N.S. fees.
bullet Tutorial support is available and billed at $60 per hour.  Students are also encouraged to start preparing for SAT/ACT and TOEFL college entrance exams. Merit Academy's counselors will set up tutoring sessions for subject areas as needed. 
bullet Students meet with the College Advisor once per week to ensure that the students are doing well both academically and socially. This is the ideal time to improve time management skills, do internships, start a project, and set up a plan for college admissions. If students need additional time with their College Advisor, sessions are billed at $160 per hour. 
bullet Field trips and week-long excursions are billed on a trip-by-trip basis.  Day trips cost approximately $50 and week-long excursions cost approximately $3,000.

Payment Information:

Tuition and fees are due after acceptance.  Payments can be paid by electronic wire transfer or by check from a US bank.  Credit card payments are not allowed. The I-20 will be issued after all forms, tuition, and fees are received.  The tuition is non-refundable unless the student's consulate could not issue the F-1 Visa. Withdrawing from Merit Academy during the school year does not cancel the tuition obligation.  After the first day of classes, the student (family or guardian) is responsible for the tuition for the entire school year. Late fees of $30 will be incurred for payments received 3 calendar days after the due date plus a $10-per-calendar day fee for every day the payment is late. 

Tuition Payment Plans:

Non-refundable Enrollment Fee: $1250
Payment Plans are available - contact us for details.