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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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Does TCA provide a legitimate high school education?

The Climbing Academy follows the same or greater scholastic guidelines used by most college preparatory high schools, yet our courses are enriched with unique experiences gained only through traveling the world. Students graduating from TCA have an advantage because their education is backed by real life experiences, greater independence and immersion in diverse cultures.

How much is tuition?

Each semester at TCA costs $18,750 and our annual tuition rate is $37,500. Tuition includes academic credits, travel expenses within the semester (not including airfare), and room & board. Travel to and from TCA is not included. Scholarships are available for all programs and more information can be found on our Financial Aid page. If you would like to receive information on the current year’s scholarship application process, please contact us below.

Is there financial aid or scholarship available?

The Climbing Academy offers a variety of scholarships and aid to families with financial need and a clear dedication to TCAs mission. A family may apply for scholarship at the same time they apply for acceptance to TCA. All scholarship awards are funded through partnerships with industry sponsors, fundraisers, and private donors who provide assistance for TCA students. For more information view our Financial Aid page, or contact us personally to discuss what level of support may be available.

How do I apply/enroll?

Following acceptance to (Apply Now) the academy a family may secure enrollment by submitting a deposit and returning signed copies of TCA’s required paperwork. This includes a waiver and medical form, Honor Contract, Financial Commitment form and other acceptance materials.

Do you offer AP classes?

The value of AP coursework is well recognized for academically motivated students and our faculty work to facilitate students on this track in two ways. The first option, typically chosen by students who attend for a single semester, is for TCA faculty to facilitate AP curriculum from the student’s school of origin. The second is for a student to study the AP course of his or her choice as an independent study (whereby the student is paired with a mentor faculty member in the given subject area). Both options allow students at TCA to pursue their desired AP classes, while providing a smooth transition back to their school of origin or on to the college level. TCA\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s traveling schedule also accommodates AP testing in early May. For specific questions about coursework, AP classes, counseling, or to speak with the parent of a student who has successfully pursued AP coursework at TCA/WCA in the past, please contact us.

What are Mentor Groups?

Teachers work with a small group of students to mentor their progress at TCA. Students learn life skills by working directly with their mentors to share in the duties of running the program. Once a week, mentor groups are responsible for planning the day’s logistics, preparing meals, and keeping the school on schedule.

Will attending TCA give me an advantage on college applications?

The Climbing Academy offers a unique educational environment that combines foreign immersion, academic and athletic challenge, and lifelong lessons. Our graduates are better prepared for the rigors of college life because we have given them the skills and confidence to succeed on their own. These experiences and skills set TCA students apart from other college applicants and help our students attend the colleges and universities of their choice. Our academics also provides students access to their teachers that is unmatched in traditional academic settings. The history and success of our graduates is testament to the preparation and experience provided by The Climbing Academy.

Where do we take classes/study?

The Climbing Academy doesn\\\\\\\\\'t rely on a traditional "brick & mortar" classroom. Classes are taught in small groups wherever the climbing has taken us. This might be at a picnic table at a campground, or a common area in a rental house. During the warmer months of the school year, we\\\\\\\\\'ll be camping. When the days are shorter and the nights are colder, we\\\\\\\\\'ll be in rental accommodations to ensure our students have a comfortable studying environment.

Will I be able to communicate with my family?

While in the US, we\\\\\\\\'ll always be a short drive from cell signal. We will go to libraries, coffee shops, or other areas for wifi. While traveling internationally, we\\\\\\\\'ll be staying in rental houses that have wifi. Yes, you\\\\\\\\'ll be able to communicate with home on a regular basis.

Athletic FAQs

Will I still be able to participate in the USA Climbing Bouldering and Sport/Speed championship events?

Yes. TCA plans each semester’s itinerary with USAC comp dates in mind. For the 2 prerequisite “locals” that are needed to pre-qualify attendance for Regionals, we will plan on attending at least 1 event. The 2nd will need to be attended while you are on the 2-week mid semester break. In the case that this isn’t a possibility, we can make arrangements for you to travel home during the semester to attend a comp., but at the loss of days on rock, and on your own finances. Travel to the Bouldering Youth National Championship will also come at a loss to days on rock, but not missed class. Unfortunately, we cannot make allowances for the Open National Championships.

What will the climbing be like?

We will be focusing on two disciplines of rock climbing: 1) single pitch bolted sport climbing and, 2) bouldering. The characteristics of the climbing is very dependent on each area attended. Please refer to Semester Itineraries for more information on the areas that will be visited during each semester.

How hard do I need to be climbing at the beginning of the semester?

Athletes should be trained to project 5.12- within the first week of the semester. Bouldering V-grades should be, at a minimum, V4. Furthermore, you must be able to climb and train 4-5 days per week. Although we won’t be on the rock all of these days, we will be fingerboard training, practicing yoga, and other forms of cross-training.

How do we cross-train?

4-5 days per week, we’ll spend 30-60 minutes practicing yoga, running, or doing other forms of cross training. We’ll focus on core strength and aerobic fitness; two training elements that benefit all climbers, but that we tend to avoid.

Will I be required to lead?

Yes. There will be very little top roping available. The primary function of the guides will be to encourage and provide for your success. You must be prepared to put your projects up on lead. Having significant leading experience and success on rock pis very important for us to determine if you are a good candidate for TCA.

Do I need to be on a competitive team prior to acceptance in The Climbing Academy?

Not necessarily, but we do want to see that you have the ability to train and climb 4-5 days per week. Participation with a competitive gym team informs us that you have a conditioning base that allows for the physical strain of style of climbing that this program offers. Your ability to recover, problem solve, stay motivated and focused, is learned from previous training.

How should I train/prepare prior to the semester?

You must be climbing/training 3-5 days per week for at least 4 months leading up to the semester. Additionally, during the year prior to your first semester, you should be involved in a consistent combination of training and climbing. Your training program should have 1 hangboard workout per week that targets the strengthening of your tendons. You should not be training/climbing with full intensity more that 2-3 days per week. Finally, taking 1-2 Ashtanga-style yoga classes per week is strongly recommended. Ideally, this begins 6 months prior to your first semester.

What climbing specific equipment do I need?

Each student will need a basic kit of climbing equipment consisting of the following: 1-45L or greater backpack, preferably one designed for cragging; 12-15 quickdraws; 1-Petzl Grigri belay device; 1-70m rope (9.2-9.8mm); 1-helmet; belay glasses; 2-3 pair of climbing shoes, each of varying fit and performance usage; 1-skin repair/maintenance kit; and, 1-sport harness in new to excellent condition. A complete list of equipment needed will be provided upon acceptance of your application.




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