Sober School Costs: Understanding Fees and Financial Aid at Archway Academy

sober school

Making the decision to attend a sober high school instead of a traditional high school can be a scary yet life-changing experience. Archway Academy is considered a public school (as well as a sober school and a credit recovery school) underneath the umbrella of Southwest Public Schools — meaning while we don’t charge actual tuition, we do have monthly fees that cover the recovery support services and clinical care offered by the staff at Archway, a hallmark of sober schools.

We feel very strongly that students in need of a sober high school shouldn’t be turned away simply because their family’s income might not allow them to attend. To that end, we offer generous need-based financial aid packages for students who need them.


Program Fees

Read more about our fees for both Archway and Passageway here.

Archway Academy

  • Program fees: $1250 per month.
  • Program fees are due prior to enrollment, on the first day of school, or on the first of each month. 
  • A late fee of $50 will be applied to any payment not received by the end of the first week of the month. If the payment is not received within 15 days of the due date, the student may be suspended from attending classes until the account is current.


Passageway Program

  • Passageway is prorated by the week of admission.
  • Program fees: $1250 per month.
  • The first month’s fee is due prior to enrollment.
  • Program fees are due by the 20th of each month.
  • A $25 late fee will be charged to the student’s account if fees are not paid by the 20th of each month. 


What’s Included in Archway Academy’s Program Fees

Archway Academy’s program fees for both the Archway and Passageway programs allow us to fund both programs as well as cover extras that are necessary to run a sober school. The $1250 per month fee schedule includes:

  • Drug testing and other high accountability measures
  • Recovery coaching, which is a unique and effective behavior management system including:
    • Morning check-ins
    • Additional guidance for newcomers
    • Thoughtful Friday Fill-ups
    • Other recovery-oriented activities
  • Quarterly field trips


In addition, our program fees assure that class sizes at a sober school like Archway remain small, allowing our teachers to give individualized attention to our students in an educational setting.


sober school


Financial Aid 

Because we never want to turn away a student who needs help from a sober school, we offer generous financial aid packages and scholarships to anyone eligible to attend Archway Academy. In order to apply for financial aid, you’ll fill out the forms on FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) by Independent School Management. These forms will include applicant info, household info, dependent info, real estate/vehicle ownership info, assets and liabilities, income, expenses, and specific school questions.  

You can apply for financial aid here.


By the Numbers

Did you know that only 27% of Archway Academy’s income comes from school fees? We rely on the generosity of our donors for the remaining 73%. Approximately half of the students attending Archway at any given time are receiving either full or partial scholarships. To date, no student has been turned away due to lack of funds, but the need for financial aid has grown steadily. 

$12,500: cost of one year of program fees at Archway Academy

$6,250: cost of one semester of program fees at Archway Academy

$1,250: cost of one month of program fees at Archway Academy

$250: cost of a field trip

Whether paying program fees to a sober school is worth it depends on your specific situation and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Here’s a breakdown of some pros and cons to consider:


  • Structured program: Sober schools offer a structured program with clear goals and milestones, which can be helpful for people who need guidance and support in their recovery journey.
  • Expert guidance: You’ll be working with people who are experienced in helping individuals achieve sobriety. They can provide tools and techniques to manage cravings, develop coping mechanisms, and identify triggers.
  • Community support: Sober schools often have a strong sense of community, which can be invaluable for people who are feeling isolated or alone in their struggles. Being around others who understand what you’re going through can be a great source of motivation and encouragement.
  • Develop coping skills: Sober schools can teach you how to identify and manage triggers, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and build a strong foundation for long-term sobriety.


  • Cost: Sober schools can be expensive. Be sure to compare costs with other treatment options like therapy, support groups, or other private and specialty schools.
  • Effectiveness: The effectiveness of any program can vary depending on the individual. Some people may find a sober school very helpful, while others may not.
  • Not a replacement for medical help: Sober schools are not a replacement for medical detox or professional therapy if needed for severe dependence.

Here are some additional things to consider:

  • The specific program: Research the curriculum and approach of the school to make sure it aligns with your needs. Archway Academy’s curriculum comes from Southwest Public Schools, which uses the TEKS guidelines from the Texas Education Agency.
  • Your level of dependence: For severe dependence, a sober school might not be the most appropriate first step. Consider medical detox or inpatient treatment first.
  • Alternatives: Explore other evidence-based options like therapy groups (SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous), or outpatient treatment centers.


Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to attend a sober school is a personal one. If you’re considering it, do your research and talk to your doctor or a therapist to see if it’s the right fit for your child. 

You can also call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for free and confidential information on treatment options.



Archway opened its doors in 2003 to offer students and worried families in the throes of teenage substance use a viable option and support system for restoring their child’s physical, mental, emotional, and academic health. We’re located in the heart of Houston, Texas, and are focused on meeting the individual educational needs of teens recovering from substance use disorder with care, compassion, respect, and rigor. Instead of returning students to the same environments in which they’re most at risk for relapse or might have trouble catching up academically, Archway provides a structured place for teens to continue both their recovery and their education without compromising either. 


We offer a continuum of care from probation officers to private counselors, residential treatment clinicians to Alternative Peer Groups. Archway keeps in constant contact with every student’s unique personal network — triaging tasks and arming our students (and each other) with shared information to ensure that no important details slip through the cracks; to address behaviors and remove barriers; and to remain consistent and aligned in our approach to getting each student well. Today, we are the largest recovery school in the country, and currently mentoring new recovery schools throughout the nation.

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