Hampshire Country School students are of high ability, but most succeed personally and educationally only when they have extra attention, structure, and direction both in and out of class. Many could be described as overactive and impulsive youngsters who have difficulty settling down in school or at home. Others might be quiet youngsters whose intellectual or recreational interests have isolated them from their peers. Many have had trouble fitting into the structure of larger schools and developing stable interests or lasting friendships. Many are more comfortable with adults than with age mates. For some, matters have reached the point of severe family crisis or major difficulties at school, and yet their need is for a school, environment, and peer group that fit their high ability and particular idiosyncrasies rather than for a therapy program.

The best candidates for Hampshire Country School are those who will respond to the attention of its faculty, will enjoy being part of a small school community, enjoy outdoor activities, and like to learn. Most like to read. Despite such good qualities, most HCS students have not had success elsewhere, and many parents are quite discouraged by the time they inquire about the school.

Most students enter Hampshire Country School between the ages of 8 and 12 and stay for three to five years. Students who wish to may remain through high school graduation.

Hampshire Country School is not for students who have ever used or experimented with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.