The AESA Design

AESA Prep Academy

Academic Excellence for the Scholar, Athlete & Artist (AESA) Prep Academy is a k-12th grade college prep school in Austin, TX.

AESA is designed to allow our students to have a completely individualized academic plan. AESA’s philosophy and design creates an environment that is engaging, motivating, and truly enjoyable. We believe students cannot learn and develop the important skills and values needed for today’s competitive landscape if they are not enjoying and having fun with their education and school’s community/culture.

About  AESA Prep Academy


Flexible and traditional schedules

AESA works with each student individually to create an academic program that will accommodate their unique needs. Examples include an accelerated path for advanced scholars, an intensive training program for athletes, or fine art studio time.

Small class sizes

AESA keeps class sizes small to ensure that every student is engaged directly and given the opportunity to participate in their learning. Class sizes vary from 2-8 students.

Cognia accreditation

AESA's curriculum is Cognia accredited (formerly AdvancEd & SACS) and is based on National Standards, the PSAT, the SAT and the ACT.

NCAA approved courses

AESA is NCAA approved to ensure students’ eligibility with Division I, II, and III colleges and universities.

Wide Range of Dual Credits

Our students distinguish themselves academically by taking dual credit courses through AESA’s partnership with the University of Texas at Austin and UC Berkeley. AESA’s dual credit program gives our students a chance to experience university-level coursework, prove competency to college admissions, and a head start in the pursuit of graduating college.

SAT/ACT Prep Program

AESA understands a quality SAT/ACT score is critical to attending a top-level university. That’s why AESA provides SAT/ACT Prep courses, purely designed to help prepare our students to earn a great score. AESA students begin SAT/ACT prep years in advance and coursework is individualized for each student.

The AESA Design

Smaller by Design 
When Bigger Isn’t Better

A pivotal reason why AESA students are so successful is because AESA is a small school. Every school year, AESA roughly has an entire student body population of 130 students. This smallness is part of our philosophy, is by design, and allows us to do things other public and private schools simply cannot.

Smaller by Design  When Bigger Isn’t Better



Everyone within a school contributes to the culture either positively or negatively. Positive students and teachers strengthen culture while negative students or teachers break culture down. The smaller the school is, the easier it is to manage and maintain a positive culture. Schools that are too large are simply incapable of managing negative influences. 

Culture Control
The AESA Design

No Hiding

Getting Lost in the Cracks

AESA class sizes and classroom design do not allow our students to passively sit back and/or literally hide behind other students. Students sit together at a round table with their teacher and in combination with the AESA teaching philosophy, students are strongly compelled to be engaged and actively learn. AESA believes a quality learning environment is a critical component for student success.

Flexible and Individualized 


With our Small-by-Design philosophy, we are able to meaningfully cater to your child’s specific needs and preferences. Whether your child is an accelerated student, needs more attention in certain areas, or engages in time consuming extra-curricular activities such as being an athlete; we can design a specific academic plan and school schedule to meet your child’s specific needs. 

Where Everyone 

Knows Your Name

AESA is small enough that virtually every student, teacher, and staff member knows each other’s name. This phenomenon may seem insignificant but it has an incredibly positive psychological effect upon your child. Studies show when the people around you know your name, you have a greater sense of belonging, importance, and value; key components to building confidence. Knowing each other’s names builds stronger relationships between peers and their teachers. And it actually creates a physically and psychologically safer environment too. Studies show that students are five times less likely to verbally bully one another and ten times less likely to physically harm one another simply by knowing each other’s name.

More Leadership Opportunities

More Leadership


Whether it’s through model UN, student government, student-led clubs, or our mentor program, AESA students have more opportunities to take on leadership roles. In schools with thousands, even hundreds of students, leadership roles are limited to just a handful of students. The majority of students will never get to have those experiences. That is not the case here at AESA. All of our students have plenty of voluntary and mandatory leadership roles to partake in.

The AESA Community and Culture

Why Culture is So Important?

As humans, we are evolutionarily deigned to be social. We have an innate sense and desire to ‘fit in’ and get along with the other people in our social constructs. To achieve this desire, we as humans will alter our behavior, even our thoughts and opinions to align with the socially accepted norms within a community.

Adolescents are just beginning to form their views and are extremely impressionable. Studies have shown that your child’s peers have an incredibly strong influence on his or her behavior and outlook on life. In fact, it is believed his or her peers may even have a stronger influence than his or her parents do in certain areas.

This phenomenon is incredibly important to recognize and manage properly. That is why here at AESA, we focus on maintaining a positive culture and one that allows our members to reach their full potential. We have zero tolerance for anyone who contributes to our culture negatively.

The AESA Community and Culture Why Culture is So Important?
Some of the Values and Behaviors Our Culture Embraces

Some of the Values and Behaviors

Our Culture Embraces

  • A strong drive and pursuit of academic excellence.
  • We are goal-oriented, gritty, and motivate ourselves and our peers to do their best in all aspects of life.
  • We are one big family. We are helpful, giving, and build each other and our community up.
  • We are welcoming, inclusive, and respect others.
  • We are kind, friendly, and always positive with one another.
  • We value physical and mental health as well as increasing emotional intelligence and social skills.

We Love

Our Teachers

Many of us recognize that many teachers are underpaid, overworked, and simply lack the respect they deserve. Here at AESA however, we understand the importance of teachers and how their role is fundamental to student success. We also recognize the difference between good teachers and GREAT teachers. Good teachers ensure students are learning the material and are graduating on to the next grade level. Great teachers go a step further than simply ensuring the material is being learned. A great teacher fundamentally changes a young person’s life. Great teachers not only produce better results from their students but they instill the values and characteristics in our children that lead to happier and more fulfilling lives.

Here at AESA, we attract GREAT teachers because we treat them how they ought to be treated! Our teachers are properly compensated with above average salaries and benefits. Teachers at AESA have less students to manage which means less time grading and more time focusing on what they love doing, teaching! Teachers at AESA have 23 more days off than public and some other private schools in Austin (our students too). We believe happy teachers and students equals a better and more successful learning experience.

Our Philosophy on Teachers
Empowering Learning Experiences


Empowering Learning Experiences

Every student at AESA is a member of our Student Government and Model UN, and participates in debates, performances and speeches designed to deliver memorable, empowering learning experiences.

AESA’s educational programming is based on principles of respect for family, education, and morality. Our students are scholars, artists, and athletes who put their hearts into pursuing their passions – it is the mission of AESA Prep Academy to help them succeed by providing academic, cultural, and social programming within the framework of a positive, nurturing, and stimulating academic environment.



AESA Prep Academy is located in the beautiful hill country of Dripping Springs, just west of Austin TX.

Our campus, surrounded by peaceful oak and cedar trees, is designed to be welcoming and inspiring for our students. Our classrooms are organized around large tables with group seating for a variety of room arrangements. Our main building displays grand columns and hill country modern decor for a professional, collegiate atmosphere.

Beautiful Campus
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