Deep Springs College (Bishop, CA)

Outside the Bay Area, CA

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


Oct 2011

Does anyone have experience with Deep Springs College? My son has his heart set on going there, but we don't know anyone with personal experience. I read a Vanity Fair article (posted on the Deep Springs website so they must not totally disagree) which made it sound a little quirkier than may work for my son. mom of high school senior


I have an acquaintance who attended Deep Springs, though I didn't know him then. Email me and I'll put you in touch with him. Lisa


My brother is a DS alum from the '80's, I visited the ranch/campus while he was there, and I know several younger DS alumni as well.

It is an incredible school, where young men are trained for lives of leadership in whatever field they choose to pursue. Yes, it is quirky, in that there are only 24 (male) students, it is a non-degree-granting two-year institution, the students must participate in physical labor, and the students run the school. There are demanding academics coupled with strict, student-chosen and sanctioned rules of behavior, including no alcohol or drugs on campus (which basically means the entire high-desert valley). There are no interscholastic athletics. It is certainly not for every teen.

This said, if the life of the mind and of the rugged outdoors appeals to your son, if he has explored the DS website, read the Fiske and other college guides and feels that DS is calling to him, by all means, he should apply. I imagine that the folks at DS can put him (and you) in touch with alums and parents of alums to answer any questions he/you might have. If it is too quirky for him to continue with the application process, he will discover this in his conversations.

DS alums end up leading interesting lives--they go from DS to the Ivies, to Stanford and other top schools, they pursue lives of service and exploration. My brother's classmates and the other alums I have met are admirable men. I would have liked to have gone to DS myself, but I am female. The possibility of DS going coed is an ongoing discussion amongst the students and Board of Trustees, and it may happen in the near future.

Good luck with the college search! DS sister


My son's college advisor encouraged him to apply to Deep Springs College. She raved about it and stated that it's so highly respected, that boys who graduate from the school (only a 2 year program), pretty much are accepted to any four year college of their choice. I hear it's very hard to get into. Unfortunately, my son didn't like the idea of being way out in the desert with no urban life or females around. Good luck