The Cattle Ranch That Doubles As a School for Doers

Punching cows and hitting the books go together at Deep Springs, a feisty college that acts like it’s run by the students — and it is

Hitting books and punching cattle go together at this feisty little college situated in a high-desert valley of eastern California. The two dozen or so male students (average combined SAT scores: 1400-plus) do not pay tuition or other fees but are required to work at jobs essential to the school's survival. They are also responsible for running the place, from hiring and firing staff and selecting incoming students to setting and enforcing policy. They also study into the wee hours of the morning. Deep Springs is an academic boot camp for future leaders of the nation. The aim here is not merely to educate minds but to build character.

Old-fashioned? You bet — but also outrageously innovative.

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