December, 4

Riverside Preparatory Academy

Riverside Preparatory Academy is a private, college preparatory, boarding, and day school for boys in grades 6 through 12 in Gainesville, Georgia, United States.

The Preparatory Academy was founded in 1907 by local Professors and Businessmen- Haywood Jefferson Pearce and Azor Warner Van Hoose, Jr, who shared a similar vision of preparing ethical young men for success in college and life.

It officially opened its doors in 1908 but did not gain prominence until 1913 when a young Professor, Edgar Dunlap “Sandy” Beaver (later General), became the Director of Riverside Military Academies’ Academics and Military Department.

Keep reading to learn more about this military academy in the United States.

History of Riverside Preparatory Academy

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Riverside Preparatory Academy 4

Riverside Military Academy, now Riverside Preparatory School, is a private boarding preparatory school in Gainesville, Georgia, near the beautiful northeast Georgia mountains and just an hour north of Atlanta. 

It serves young men through middle school in grades 6 through 8 and high school in grades 9 through 12. It was designed to identify the height and breadth of potential, unlock and maximize strengths, craft exemplary character, and prepare students for a lifetime of leadership, accomplishment, and fulfillment.

Riverside Prep is one of the few remaining institutions of its kind in the country. While many other military academies may have deviated from their original mission, Riverside, for more than a century, remains true to its founding principles in preparing ethical young men of character for success in college and life.

Founded in 1907, it began with the vision of two Gainesville, Georgia, businessmen and professors, Haywood Jefferson Pearce and Azor Warner Van Hoose, Jr.  

Pearce was president of the local women’s school, now Brenau University, and based upon his success there, these men gathered support from more than 30 local investors to charter an all-male military school. As a result, construction for Riverside Military Academy began in 1907, and the school doors opened in the fall of 1908.

By 1913, the 25-acre campus had two brick buildings and a small wooden cottage. That same year, Pearce needed to fill a vacancy in Riverside’s administration and discovered Sandy Beaver, a talented young educator in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Sandy Beaver’s resumption to Gainesville began a 56-year career at Riverside that can be said to be life-changing for many of the young men who came under his influence.

Sandy Beaver, born in Augusta, Georgia, was a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he studied the languages of English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Sanskrit, and Spanish to become an international lawyer. 

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He participated in Phi Kappa, the debating society, and played varsity baseball and football. However, Beaver’s plans to become an international lawyer changed when he accepted the position as an instructor at a boys’ preparatory school in Stone Mountain. In addition to putting aside his aspirations to become a lawyer, he also turned down the opportunity to be Georgia’s first Rhodes Scholar. 

Beaver knew that if Riverside Prep was to be successful, there was a need for an outstanding faculty. Resuming duty as the instructor, he spent his early years building a faculty of men whose names have become legendary among the cadets who had them as instructors. Many remained at Riverside for 20 or more years, and buildings and organizations at the Academy bear their names today. 

Now, the academy does much more than helping young men achieve academic excellence. Through tasks that test courage and resolve, an unwavering commitment to self-discipline and mutual accountability, the immersion in a culture of mentorship, teamwork, and leadership, and the building of brotherhood through shared, multi-dimensional learning opportunities, Riverside Prep teaches young men to gain a true and complete understanding of everything he’s capable of. 

Campus Life As a Cadet- Riverside Military Academy

campus life at riverside preparatory academy
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A military preparatory school education comes with several unique advantages and opportunities. Life at Riverside is a true adventure. 

Every day, students try side by side to meet multi-dimensional challenges, tackle difficult and rewarding tasks, and strive to build individual excellence—whether studying hard, practicing hard, or just playing hard.

Riverside Prep is designed to ensure students build more than friendships. They form life-long connections by embracing challenges while being inspired and motivated by each other’s strength, spirit, and resolve. 

Together, they share priceless experiences of loyalty, leadership, and accountability that go beyond the curriculum as a pillar of the unique student culture that can only be experienced at Riverside and that builds much more than academic capability.

Students at this U.S. military academy do more than just come to school. They become part of an all-around lived experience full of fun, excitement, camaraderie, tradition, and self-discovery, where every day is a new opportunity to grow, learn, and build.

Taking a walk through clubs and organizations at Riverside Prep.

Riverside Prep offers a robust variety of extracurricular clubs, organizations, and activities for cadets.

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Participation of students in groups provides opportunities for cadets to get to know each other while pursuing shared interests beyond the four walls of the classroom. 

Here are the clubs and organizations in Riverside Prep:

  • Airsoft Team
  • Aviation Program
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • JROTC teams
  • Peer tutoring volunteers
  • Raider training
  • Weight training
  • The Band
  • Bayonet yearbook staff
  • Eagle news production – Video production
  • Horton Society
  • Honor Council
  • National Honor Society
  • National Junior Honour Society
  • Science National Honour Society 

Athletics: The Teamwork Legacy

military students at riverside military academy
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Athletics in riverside prep are one of the most time-honored traditions and the purest representations of Riverside Prep’s spirit and mission. The values of teamwork and self-discipline are the DNA, and competitive sports play a crucial role in the building of not only physical strength but the strength of character.

Each year, roughly 80% of Riverside cadets participate in team sports. They are trained by distinguished coaches in the school’s world-class facilities, celebrating victories, cultivating brotherhood, and reinforcing the integrity and pride signatures of the Riverside philosophy and culture. Athletic events are split into middle school and high school categories. 

Some of the athletic activities of cadets at Riverside include;

  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Drill team
  • Wrestling
  • Lacrosse
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and field 

Admission Requirements to Riverside Military Academy

Put a young man in an environment designed to challenge him, inspire him, test and prove his strengths, and reveal his complete potential, and you will be amazed by what he will accomplish. 

This belief has been the force behind Riverside’s mission since its establishment, and it is this spirit that drives the Academy to continue to strengthen, modernize, and maximize the proven, time-honored military model to represent the absolute finest, independent all-boys education available.

In 2023, Riverside received college acceptances from 82 colleges and universities and earned up to $5.8 million in non-HOPE scholarships. 

All students intending to join the Riverside student community will receive support and guidance from the college admissions department.

Exploring the Academics World.

Riverside has an 8 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. Small class sizes are available for all classes, including general, honors, AP, and dual enrollment. 

Small class sizes. Immersive, hands-on education and an exciting spectrum of programs ranging from aerospace engineering to the arts are made available at Riverside Prep. And all these happen within a supportive community dedicated to each student’s success.

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The academic environment at Riverside is carefully structured to optimize academic achievement by focusing specifically on how boys learn best.

The uniquely motivating and rewarding experience of cadet life extends into the classroom, where dedicated faculty focus on excellence and engage students through dynamic learning opportunities that prepare them for college—and whatever comes next.

Riverside Prep greatly pushes students who graduate miles ahead of their peers regarding character and preparedness for college. 

As Riverside cadets learn the value of duty, respect, and responsibility, they also develop leadership and communication skills. The world needs more ethical young men, and our boarding l has produced them for over a hundred and fourteen years.

The teaching staff members are also specially qualified to teach their subject matter, with at least 75% holding advanced degrees.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Riverside Military Academy

The average tuition cost at Riverside Prep is:

  • $53,300 for U.S. Boarding students
  • $17,950 for Day cadets and
  • $61 650 for international cadets.

Riverside also offers a need-based and flexible financial assistance program to offset the full cost of tuition for students who want to be and are accepted to Riverside Prep.

However, the amount of aid to be distributed to students depend mainly on three factors:

  • Level of need
  • Availability of funds
  • The number of applicants.


2019 – Riverside Preparatory Academy won its 10th consecutive Atlanta Veterans Day “Presidents’ Trophy.”

The Riverside Preparatory Academy Track & Field team was crowned the 2018 GHSA state champions.

Notable Alumni of Riverside Prep

Among the notable alumni of Riverside Prep are:

The Riverside experience is a unique and exciting challenge. But what’s far more exciting are the rewards of accepting it.

The military education model focused on bringing out the absolute best in its young people is one of riverside preparatory academies’ strengths and core values.

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