School FAQ

What is Perpich Arts High School?

Perpich Arts High School is a statewide, comprehensive public school for grades 11 and 12 offering a rigorous academic program with intensive coursework focused in six arts areas: dance, literary arts, media arts (photography/video), music, theater and visual arts. The school’s enrollment is limited to 310 students.

The arts high school is one component of Perpich Center for Arts Education, a state agency that also provides professional development, outreach services and library resources in arts education to all K-12 students, teachers, schools and districts in Minnesota.

Is Perpich a public school?

Yes. There is no tuition, although there are school fees just as at other public schools.

How is the arts high school funded?

Funding comes from the Minnesota state legislature. In addition to that funding, students who live in the dormitory pay residential fees, currently $3,600. Cafeteria meals are available to students at a cost per meal that is currently $2.50 for breakfast, $3.50 for lunch and $3.50 for dinner. All students currently pay a $400 activity fee that covers field trips, speakers, visiting artists and other curriculum-related costs. Students who drive to campus currently pay an annual $200 parking fee. All students accepted to Perpich who decide to attend must pay a non-refundable acceptance fee, currently $100. Families receive invoices for all fees paid.

Is the high school accredited?

Yes, it is accredited through the North Central Association of Secondary Schools.

Where do the students come from?

Arts high school students come from around the entire state of Minnesota—70% are from the metro area and 30% are from greater Minnesota. Those who live more than a few miles from the Golden Valley campus have the option of staying in the residence hall on campus.

What arts areas are offered at Perpich?

Dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater and visual arts

May students study several or all six arts areas?

Students focus on only one arts area. The arts are infused throughout our academic classes and lessons are structured to engage students in hands-on experiential learning that offers many avenues to success for students with varied learning styles. Some electives are available to give students access to other art areas. In addition, there are sometime collaborative projects among art areas.

How is the school day structured?

Students attend academic classes in the morning and their specific arts areas in the afternoon. The school day is 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Perpich uses block scheduling, meaning classes last for 80 minutes and a semester class equals a year-long class in other schools.

May students open-enroll?

No. The arts high school is not covered under the school district law that dictates the open enrollment process. By law, the Perpich board of directors is authorized to devise distinct rules for admission to Perpich Arts High School.

Who is eligible to apply?

Only students whose parents/guardians are Minnesota residents may apply and attend the arts high school. Applicants must also be currently enrolled in grade 10 or 11 to be eligible to apply.

Do applicants have to maintain a certain GPA (grade point average)?

Admitted students have average or higher grades. Seniors applying must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale (2.0 is equivalent to a “C” grade). All applicants must be on track to graduate under Minnesota state guidelines and have appropriate credits completed in core courses.

How are students admitted?

Students must submit an application during their sophomore or junior year for the following school year. Applicants are then scheduled for an admission review approximately one month later.

What is an admission review?

The admission review consists of an academic/arts evaluation, which includes performing or bringing example(s) of the applicant’s work; completing an arts assignment mailed two weeks prior to the review; participating in a spontaneous activity related to the arts area and an academic/arts interview.

What traits and abilities does the arts high school administration look for?

Students who attend the arts high school are willing to take risks, work hard and are open to discovery. They are interested in making connections between their artistic vision and their academic life. The faculty evaluate a student’s artistic talent or potential for growth, creativity and imagination, attitude and academic history.

Is it hard to get accepted?

About 2/3 of applicants applying for the two-year program, and about 1/4 of applicants applying for senior-year-only, are accepted. Some art areas have more space than others.

What is the cost for enrollment?

Like all public schools, the arts high school is tuition-free. However, as is the case in most public schools, there is a student fee. Ours is currently $400. Also, students who live on campus in the residence hall must pay a residence fee, currently $3,600, and maintain a balance in the meal plan. Students who are accepted and decide to attend Perpich must pay a non-refundable acceptance fee of $100. That fee is not applied to any other fees.

Is there a cafeteria?

The school cafeteria provides meals and a la carte choices paid for through individual student accounts in to which parents deposit funds (currently $2.50 per breakfast, $3.50 per lunch, $3.50 for dinner). For those who apply and qualify, the school participates in the federal free and reduced fee program in accordance with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program guidelines. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered Monday through Thursday; breakfast and lunch are available on Fridays.

Who is on the board of directors?

Board members are appointed by the governor of Minnesota. Board members represent each of the eight congressional districts in the state.

How many students live in the residence hall and who may live there?

The residence hall can hold up to 140 students. Residency is determined by distance from the campus. This mileage limit is reviewed annually based on space availability with priority given to applicants who live the farthest from campus.


Is there a cost to live in the residence hall?

The current residential cost for the school year is $3,600. This cost is reviewed annually. Families may apply for reduced fees and may make arrangements for payment schedules that fit their finances. This fee does not include meals in the cafeteria.

Does Perpich offer transportation for commuter students?

Perpich does not provide bus transportation. Commuter students may form car pools, use mass transit or are transported by family members or other trusted adults. Bus passes are available for purchase. Students who qualify for the federal free/reduced fee lunch program are eligible for reduced-fee bus passes.

Is there parking available on campus?

Yes. Students who wish to drive to school must register their cars with the school security office and pay an annual parking fee, currently $200.

What is the policy for student alcohol or drug use?

Perpich Arts High School has a zero tolerance approach to drug and alcohol use and/or possession or supply. Possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia and selling or supplying drugs (including prescription drugs) to others are a violation of criminal statute. Therefore, since chemical use is a serious legal and health issue, the possession, use and/or supplying of alcohol, other drugs and/or drug paraphernalia on campus or when returning to campus is prohibited under any circumstances.

How is Perpich different from my regular high school?

Perpich Arts High School is a place of education where each student has the right to learn and grow in a supportive environment among people who are caring and cooperative. Perpich is committed to working with our students to create a system of accountability that sets clear limits and supports a respectful, school-wide learning community. Our students often say that they appreciate the respect and acceptance they get from their teachers and other students. Cliques are rare if not nonexistent and we have a zero-tolerance bullying/harassment policy that is strictly enforced. 

Where do Perpich students go after they graduate?

On average 65% of Perpich graduates go on to postbaccalaureate education. About 30% choose to continue their studies in the arts; others choose different fields of study or career paths.

Does Perpich offer academically-challenging courses?

Many opportunities exist for enrolling in academically-challenging classes: honors classes, AP courses, College in the Schools classes and PSEO options, schedule allowing.

How can I get an application?

May I visit the school?

Yes! Please feel welcome to attend a scheduled information session during the coming school year. When dates for information sessions are determined they will be posted on the school calendar.

If you would like to shadow a current student, please go the Shadow section of the website for more information.

Does Perpich have sports?

Perpich partners with Groves Academy to provide opportunities for students to participate in sports. Currently, Perpich offers (through Groves): Cross Country, Basketball, and Soccer. Parks and athletic facilities are also available in the area. Students may enroll in yoga class, an elective that provides a .5 physical education credit.
Students involved in high school sports at their previous school may petition the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) to continue with those activities, either at their previous school, when possible, or a school near Perpich. Both Perpich and the cooperating school must sign an agreement to allow this. The MSHSL may or may not be able to make such an arrangement, depending on factors within the cooperating school.

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