For school administrators considering partnering with HMI

Each year we build new relationships with independent and public schools interested in sending students to HMI. Any school administrator or teacher can initiate a partnership between their school and ours. Use the information below or reach out to the HMI Admissions Office for guidance. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Independent schools

About 70% of HMI Semester students attend independent schools. The top consideration for an independent school deciding whether to start sending students to HMI is their policy around tuition remission. HMI, along with our partner schools in the Semester Schools Network, asks that a sending school remit at least 40% of annual tuition for a student who studies away (this is to say, they charge no more than 60% of annual tuition). Ideally, the sending school remits a full 50% of annual tuition. Independent schools will also need to consider whether or not to place a cap on the number of students allowed to study away each year. We recommend that policies around tuition remission and study away caps be clearly communicated to students and parents and published on the school website or in the student and parent handbooks. For an in depth look at tuition remission and semester away caps, we recommend the following two articles recently published in NBOA’s Net Assets magazine. 

"Save Me a Seat: Tuition Remission Policies for Student Leave" published in NBOA's Net Assets in 2017
"Semester Schools: Supporting Student Leave without Sacrificing Revenue" published in NBOA's Net Assets in 2014

Once the questions of tuition remission and semester away caps have been resolved, a school must next decide how to introduce HMI to its students. Our preference is that we visit the sending school each fall and make a brief presentation to the sophomore class during a grade meeting. This is how we introduce HMI at the majority of the approximately 90 independent schools we work with regularly. We prefer this format since it presents the concept of HMI (and high school semesters away generally) to students who otherwise might never have considered it–particularly students who do not currently self-identify as “outdoorsy.” If a grade meeting presentation is not an option, however, we sometimes set up other types of promotional visits such as an optional info session or an evening session for parents. 

Administrator testimonial

In the spring of 2000, I agreed to let an insistent student try a "semester school." When I saw the degree to which he had matured in his 4 months away from us, I was hooked. Since then, 125 Newark Academy students have attended semester schools. I am a huge proponent. Though I love my own school, I am well aware that transformative educational experiences more often occur in semester schools. With their size, location and agility, they are able to emphasize community, trust, face-to-face relationships, problem-solving, healthy risk-taking and authentic learning.

We have systems in place that support our commitment to sending our students to semester schools. We prorate tuition for families of semester school students. For example, the family of a student who attends only (e.g.) 57% of our school days before heading to a semester school is only responsible for 57% of our tuition. In addition, we limit the number of students who can go away each year. In 2002, our Board of Trustees agreed to 'forgive' up to six half-tuitions per year. In some years, we've been able to send seven or eight students. We have internal protocols in place and we work with our (six) approved semester schools to make sure our number of students who are admitted work out each year.
Dr. Richard DiBianca
Upper School Principal, Newark Academy

Public schools

In many ways building a relationship with HMI is easier for public school administrators/teachers than independent school ones. Without questions around tuition remission and spot-saving, it is often a much simpler process for public school students to study away at HMI. The most important considerations are around credit and graduation requirements. 


HMI is fully-accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools, a subsidiary of the National Association of Independent Schools. As such, almost all public schools will accept our credit towards graduation requirements as if a student had transferred in from a local private school.

Graduation requirements

We recommend that interested students view our Curriculum Guide online and work with their counselor to ensure that the courses they take at HMI allow them to meet their graduate requirements.

Once the questions of credit transfer and graduation requirements have been resolved, partner public schools must decide how best to introduce HMI to their students. For smaller public schools that have regular grade meetings, an HMI presentation during a sophomore class meeting is ideal. For larger public schools where whole grades do not convene in one location, we often organize optional info sessions in the counseling office, or at a club meeting such as an outdoors or ski club. 

For more information contact the admissions office

By email:

By phone:  (719) 486-8200 x 1

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