Merit Academy - Merit Educational Consultants

Merit graduates have been accepted and matriculated to Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Claremont McKenna College, Columbia, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and other prestigious colleges. The level of preparation exceeds that of college-prep courses at public high schools. Throughout their high school experience, students not only build a robust academic foundation that spans the academic disciplines, but they strive for excellence as they do projects and professional internships.

At Merit, we build the educational experience around the student. Students who need time to adjust to the high standards can opt to take general education courses until they are ready to excel in Merit’s honors courses or courses offered through local colleges and universities. If students have special interests or want to learn about subjects not offered, we design courses to inspire and innovate them. Students read unabridged classic novels; write dozens of research papers, essays, and analyses; take 4 years of mathematics; explore science and STEM electives; and master a foreign language.

Merit Academy; Education for Excellence, is a comprehensive private school that features one-on-one classes for all students. Merit Academy provides a rigorous curriculum that incorporates a solid college-preparatory foundation with individual cutting-edge electives to embrace each student’s interests and personal goals. With one-on-one classes, each student works with passionate teachers who personalize each class for the student. When classes are customize for each student, Merit Academy students thoroughly enjoy lectures and discussions. Students are more engaged and work harder when they are the only student in the class. Without the distractions of other students in larger classes, many students advance up to three-years academic growth in just one year.

Merit's one-on-one classes start in kindergarten and go up to 12th grade. Students can attend full time to appreciate the overall benefits of a truly customized academic experience, or they can attend part time by taking just one or two classes. Part-time students often take courses in which they need extra guidance to ensure better grades, or they retake courses in which they received any grade below a C-. By retaking a Merit Academy (one-on-one) class, the student’s original grade is replaced by Merit Academy’s new grade, which often substantially improves their GPA.

To learn more about Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy, the founder and director, and to learn more about Merit’s educational philosophy, read Merit’s Story

Request a FREE consultation to find out how your child can get a custom one-on-one education!

At Merit Academy, each student explores their interests and begins to define their future career options. Students create a four-year plan that includes academic courses, ProjectMERIT, professional internships, and extracurricular activities. If students have special interests or want to learn about subjects that aren't normally taught in high school, we can design courses just for them. Students read unabridged classic and contemporary novels; write dozens of comprehensive research papers, essays, and analyses; take four years of mathematics; explore foundation sciences and STEM electives; and master a foreign language.

When students engage in each subject they study at Merit, they apply their knowledge and learn at a deeper level than students in overcrowded classrooms. Our teachers tailor our one-on-one classes based on the student's interests and learning styles. That's why students thrive at Merit. We prepare students with the best academic preparation to ensure college admission at the top universities and a successful career.

Merit Academy -- customized classes because your child is worth it!

Link to High School Courses Offered

Merit Academy challenges middle schoolers to push the limits of their abilities. From 6th to 8th grades, students write comprehensive research papers, analytical essays, and articles for our newspaper. They read classic and contemporary literature and engage in lively discussions with their teachers. By reading and writing daily, students develop strong critical thinking skills, learn to express their ideas well, and think about solutions to difficult problems.

Every student takes math courses and advances as quickly as they can to ensure that they complete Merit's AP calculus or college math courses in high school. Our comprehensive science program prepares them for university-level classes that they will take in Merit’s High School Program.

Middle schoolers also start their own businesses, write and publish books, or start ProjectMERIT. They're encouraged to explore new fields to expand career options. When students engage in individual projects as they enter puberty, Merit Academy helps them develop strong and positive self esteem as they begin to define themselves as unique and successful young people.

The Merit Academy curriculum offers students the highest level of academic instruction — instruction that not only helps students succeed in middle school but that also prepares them to excel in high school and beyond.

Link to Middle School Courses Offered

Merit Academy's elementary school offers the foundation essential to success throughout each student’s academic career. It is in elementary school that students develop an appetite for reading, a skill for math, and a curiosity for science that will propel them through middle school, high school, and beyond. During elementary school, students build confidence and develop their disposition for learning.

If students do not feel confident about their abilities and comfortable in an academic setting, they will struggle in upper grades. But students who succeed and show confidence will be motivated to strive to their full potential.

Merit Academy students master essay writing, reading comprehension, mathematics, introductory science, and foreign language. With one-on-one classes, every student develops the strong academic foundation they need to become a successful student in middle and high school. Customized classes ensure that students excel in all academic areas.

Link to Elementary School Courses Offered

Merit’s preschool program gives preschoolers the head start needed to be successful in elementary school. Toddlers and preschoolers love to learn and Merit offers exciting and interesting activities that engage each child as they develop their academic foundation.

By learning how to read books, write stories, do math, and experiment with science, the children build confidence and come to enjoy learning. With one-on-one classes, the program is customized just for each student. Merit teachers engage students in hands-on activities that make learning fun. Art projects, gymnastics and dance, and physical sports and games are interspersed with academics. With a balance between readiness skills and small and large motor skill development, the children love their Merit preschool program. Every child feels like a superstar, which opens doors to a successful academic future.

Merit's preschool program provides a strong foundation for students as they enter kindergarten.

Link to Preschool Courses Offered

Merit Academy offers a comprehensive summer school program for kindergarten to 12th grade students. Our summer program gives students the opportunity to build stronger foundations in areas in which they need more support, at a time when they are more relaxed and not feeling overwhelmed like they do during the school year. We also provide classes for students who want to get ahead and enjoy a challenge. By taking math or science classes, or focusing on essay or research writing, students who take classes at Merit during the summer start school ready to learn.

Our summer program is open to the public and does not require any testing. Like all Merit courses, each class is taught one-on-one to ensure that each student receives the highest level of academic instruction. Classes are offered on our campus or in the convenience of your home. One of the benefits of Merit’s summer school is that you get to set the schedule: your child’s classes can accommodate family vacations, special programs, and other activities.

PLUS: This year we've added a lot of exciting new summer school electives, like Aquaponics, Beginning Arduino, Marine Biology and more!

Link to Summer School Courses Offered

Merit’s Boot Camp offers one-on-one intensive guidance to break bad habits and to develop organizational skills to meet deadlines, learn how to study for tests, and to get caught up with late work, make-up tests, and projects.

With our 24-hour programs, students work with our Director, College Advisory Specialists, and Tutors to get on board and establish healthy routines that be the start of a new way to live.

With a Merit Academy education, students receive a comprehensive academic program that prepares them for success in highly selective colleges and exciting careers.

All of Merit Academy’s curriculum can be yours for use with your small private school or your individual home school for your own children. You can order any grade level of the Merit Academy curriculum from preschool to high school. These packages include the complete course descriptions and weekly curriculum framework that lays out a weekly guide for lectures, readings, homework, essays, articles, projects, guest speakers, field trips, and movies (when appropriate). With each course, you’ll receive a list of suggested novels, textbooks, workbooks, and other teacher resources, which are not included, but can be easily purchased from local educational supply stores or on the internet.

Merit Academy’s curriculum gives parents the opportunity to blend their personal educational philosophies with Merit’s rigorous, stimulating, and comprehensive framework – creating the ideal school for their children.

High School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Elementary School Curriculum

Preschool Curriculum

Merit Academy offers international high school students the unique opportunity to prepare for university-level educational success by teaching all academic classes one-to-one and personalizing each student’s four-year plan.

International students benefit by having a teacher dedicated to ensuring that they completely understand the concepts and introduce material at a pace that is conducive to them. With our one-on-one classes, our international students don’t compete with our American students. Instead, they spend four years building a strong academic foundation with inspiring teachers whose goal is to teach each student so they develop the skills they will need in college and in their future careers.

Merit welcomes international students for grades 9-12, but prefers students who start in the 9th grade. Students can enter in 10-12 grades on a space available basis. Merit Academy students have matriculated to elite colleges such as Stanford, University of California, Claremont McKenna College, Columbia, University of Southern California, and many other prestigious colleges.

Visit our Merit International site!

Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy, M.A., director, founded Merit Academy in 1994. Over the past 40 years, she founded and directed numerous organizations including Professional Tutoring Programs, R.E.C. Day Camp and Ski Club, the Enrichment Program, Merit Educational Consultants, and Merit Professional Organizers.

Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy shares her passion for innovation with Merit Academy students. She has guided students through the college admission process and helped hundreds of students get into their top colleges.

She has published over a dozen books on education, parenting, organization, and college advisory and blogs at Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University, and a California Teaching Credential. Her vivacious energy and vision make Merit Academy one of the top university-preparatory schools in the country.

Tatsui-D'Arcy's most recent books are available here:

Beat the College Admissions Game With ProjectMerit

The Millennial's Guide to Free Childcare in Your Home

The 21st Century Mother's Guide to Managing Time and Taking Control of Your Life!

Merit Planner

Merit teachers bring their academic expertise in the subjects they teach, and most importantly... their ability to inspire, challenge, and guide students to reach academic excellence.

Course preparation at Merit Academy is quite extensive, requiring that lessons are tailored for each individual student. Teachers actively develop each course they teach with the director to target specific skills and to develop the pedagogy to build those skills. Each class is tailored to the student's learning style, interests, and academic goals. When teachers are involved and committed at every stage of student learning, the student excels and succeeds.


"I went to Merit Academy from kindergarten to 12th grade. I thrived in one-on-one classes and was able to hone in on my passions by doing many projects (ProjectMerit) once I got to high school. I loved my teachers and was able to focus on academics without any distractions. The best part for me was that if I didn't understand a concept, instead of missing it and never learning it, my teachers retaught the concepts to me until I comprehended and mastered it. I learned how to study, how to apply myself, and how to ace my classes at a young age; skills that I used to succeed in every college class and professional environment post-college.

Merit hand-picked teachers that accommodated my learning style throughout my entire education at Merit. Not only was I prepared to enter college by taking honors courses and rigorous SAT prep courses, Merit college advisors helped me select the perfect college for me based on my interests and my personality. I wouldn't have even applied to the college I attended if it hadn't been for the Merit college advisors. Merit guided me as I set up a 4-year plan that gave me a solid academic foundation with research, jobs, and internships. Furthermore, they helped me get tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships because my project made me stand out! ProjectMerit made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to. I learned how to set goals and create a plan to make a difference.

I can wholeheartedly say that I am where I am today because of Merit Educational Consultants and the Merit Academy curriculum. I have cherished Merit's core values and culture, and I continue to apply them in just about every academic or professional environment today!"

- Jaclyn D.