Elaborate University High

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Ah, finally! A high school that includes equestrianism in the curriculum.

A school—often a Boarding School—typically housing students of high school age or lower, but of a size and structure resembling a college or university. Although a story may only follow a few characters, backgrounds and wide angle shots clearly show that the student body is quite large. In Anime and Manga, this often goes hand in hand with being an all girls or all boys school.

Often an Elevator School and One-Gender School. If magical, it's a Wizarding School. May or may not have an Absurdly Powerful Student Council.

Not necessarily related to the many University High Schools in Real Life, or high schools that are attached to and part of universities for that matter.

Examples of Elaborate University High include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Fuuka Gakuen in My-HiME.
  • Cross Academy in Vampire Knight
  • Ohtori Academy from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • Mahora Academy in Mahou Sensei Negima is this trope taken Up to Eleven, generally being presented as the size of a small city.
    • The library building takes up a whole island and is so large that a school club is dedicated to exploring it. It should then be noted that standard equipment for this club includes rock-climbing harnesses and cables. This makes sense (*ahem*) considering the library features shelves hundreds of feet high, secret crawlspaces (lined with books, no less), and waterfalls, which miraculously don't cause water damage to the books hidden behind them.
      • It is also noted that no one person knows every part of it.
        • It is also mentioned (and shown) to have enough booby traps to fill another trilogy of Indiana Jones movies and still have plenty left over.
          • And, at the very least, one dragon.
    • The annual School Festival is comparable in scope only to an amusement park (by which we mean Disneyland/Universal Studios level) with elements of a mardi gras, and has such features as a Ferris wheel, parades complete with giant balloons, giraffes, and elephants, a fighting tournament, several hot air balloons, a few blimps, parades, fireworks, concerts, Humongous Mecha, and a full-scale replica of l'Arc de Triomphe which wasn't there the week before and isn't there the week after.
    • The World Tree is on campus, and is referred to as such.
    • The previous designs for the school went even further, with one of them being a massive, Tower of Babylon-style school building.
    • The Academy contains an elementary, middle and high school, each split by gender, along with a university. If one assumes 12 grades along with Word of God's confirmation of 18 classes per grade with an average of 30 students each, then doubles this amount to account for the gender split, that makes for roughly 12,960 students...not counting the preschool, university, and staff.
    • It's mentioned in one of the anime that Mahora has about 30 THOUSAND students. Talk about size.
  • Seiren Gakuen in Oniisama e....
  • The Lillian Girls' School in Mariasama ga Miteru.
    • Except that Lillian's doesn't appear to have high school dorms, and also has a University.
  • Marmalade Boy (also an example of an Elevator School).
  • Ouran High School is so over the top that it's played for laughs.
  • Duel Academia in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, which is located on a private island large enough for one student to become lost in the woods within school grounds for several weeks. There is also a volcano.
  • Rikkyoin High School in Kujibiki Unbalance (both versions).
  • Nagi's school in Hayate the Combat Butler is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to Nagi's school. At one point, she says it's even larger than Vana'diel. The school even has a train service running through it which Nagi explicity states is because it so incredibly large.
  • The city-like CLAMP academy in the Shared Universe of a few of their manga.
  • Horitsuba Gakuen in the Tsubasa/xxxHolic Omake and drama CDs.
  • Kamizono Academy (an Elevator School) in Hyakko. To emphasize the point, the main cast spent the entire first episode wandering around the campus, lost. Even Tatsuki, who has been a student there for ten whole years.
  • Eyeshield 21's Ojou High School is practically a cathedral. In fact, the school's primarily there to shuttle its students into Ojou University, on the same grounds.
  • Academy City in To Aru Majutsu no Index. About 80% of the occupants are students, some with powers. Could be an aversion in that there are actually many different schools in the city, but life within the city seems to center on either schooling or research.
  • Strawberry Panic whose schools, as pictured above, boast helicopters, horse ranches, and their own church. The presence of the church not being ironic at all given the context...
  • Hakureiryou High in Ladies versus Butlers!, which not only caters to rich girls but even has its own hot spring that no one used or mentioned until the psuedo-Hot Springs Episode.
  • Freezing has several schools all over the world under the name Genetics, in which their purpose is to train Battle Couples to defend humanity from monsters from another dimension. Though it's been explicetly stated that all Genetics are military bases, it's still set up as a high school boarding school, complete with top-quality dorms, cafeterias, classrooms, and so on. (The only things missing are the counselors).
  • There are freaking catacombs in Tenchi Academy
  • The Alice Academy in Gakuen Alice.
  • Constantin Magical Academy in Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou has its own catacombs, and (according to the manga) the student council president has her own mansion.
  • St. Marguerite Academy in Gosick. Only its library is a tower. With a garden on its rooftop!
  • Seiyo Elementary Academy from Shugo Chara. Complete with a Absurdly Powerful Student Council whose members have a garden/tearoom to themselves where normal students need to be invited and are excluded from the dress code.
  • True Cross Academy from Blue Exorcist is collossal. The center of the academy is either one giant building, or a small mountain repurposed as the location for most of the academy's buildings. and then it has a city spread around it. And the academy isn't even full. The main character and his brother have a dorm to themselves, and there are thousand yard long hallways leading to classrooms meant to hold some 30 students easy that barely have 10, if 10, students. That's the special classes. The regular classes are full, but the place is still huge. It isn't clear if the school has more than just highschool in it.
  • Ashford Academy in Code Geass, which educates both middle and high school students.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Dead Poets Society, filmed at an actual example of such an institution.
  • Rushmore, the eponymous school of Wes Andersen's film.
  • The public, non-boarding high school from 10 Things I Hate About You. Also applies to Real Life, because they used a legitimate public school in Washington that happens to look like a castle for the fictional school's exterior.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. It helps that it's apparently the only wizarding school in all of Great Britain.
  • A plot point in Lemonade Mouth, where the principal's focus is on funding elaborate new facilities.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Elite Way School in Rebelde, a Mexican telenovela. Rebelde, in turn, was based on Argentinian telenovela Rebelde Way. The Elite Way School didn't make much sense there, either. The real location of the Mexican version is actually a Golf club!!!
  • Despite the episode always taking place in the school during school hours, the students of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide spend a disproportionately large amount of time in extracurricular clubs, the cafeteria, the outside lunch area, the janitor's closet, the hallways... anywhere but class, giving the impression of having as much free time as most college students. (Subverted to some extent by the occasional teacher asking to see hall passes, which are produced as though from Hammerspace, with an appropriate sound effect.)
  • Pacific Coast Academy in Zoey 101 takes this to a literal extreme—exterior scenes are shot on location at Pepperdyne University.
  • Tower Prep in "Tower Prep".
  • Chilton, the alma mater of Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls is a co-ed, day school example. Somewhat averted in that it's based on the real Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT. Played straight in that Greystone Mansion, where the school is shot, is significantly larger than the grounds of Choate.
  • Xavier Academy in Mr. D, and by extension Citadel High School in Halifax, NS where it's filmed.
  • Dalton Academy in Glee, the all boys school and home of the Warblers, certainly has a grand interior, although the exterior has not yet been seen.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • GURPS Illuminati University is a large, sprawling campus, which includes nine separate colleges, a large library, a museum, two separate power plants (one of which is a gigantic sunflower), a stadium, multiple dorms, a Frat/Sorority Row, and a Botany building placed within a giant tree. Due to numerous reasons ranging from restructurization to shifts in reality, the exact layout and number of buildings on the campus is susceptible to change, to the annoyance of the faculty and student body.


Video Games[edit | hide]


Western Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters in X-Men and various spin-offs has been this from time to time, depending on whether or not the writers have bothered to remember the "private school" cover story.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Gunnerkrigg Court, to the point where wide angle shots of the student body (or anyone outside Annie's class) are noticeably absent, though other students do apparently exist... somewhere. Notable facilities include animal cages big enough for dragons and a full monorail system, and at least two "Holodecks".

Tom: My school had one of these. No wait, they had a bike rack.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Super-Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Seven dorms, a physical education building with a large annex, three swimming pools, two full-sized indoor gymnasiums, a cafeteria that's inside a geodesic dome big enough to seat maybe six hundred, several large school buildings, an astronomy tower, a university-sized library that has really restricted sections, a church, a massive campus store, and miles and miles of underground areas, including: a power plant, three combat arenas and a holographic simulation center, dozens and dozens of public and private labs for the devisers and gadgeteers, you name it. It's so big it has its own building for the security teams.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Fillmore! did this with a middle school, with X Middle School being a sprawling institution that functions very much like a small city. Also not a boarding school. One episode identifies it as "one of the largest middle schools in the United States".
  • Whether or not Kadic Academy of Code Lyoko is this is debatable. It has a pretty small student body, but it does have a whole lot of buildings and land...
  • Beverly High in Totally Spies!, mildly justified as it is set Beverly Hills.
  • Acme Looniversity, from Tiny Toon Adventures.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In Adelaide, Golden Grove High School, Gleeson Christian College, and Pedare Christian College all back on to one another at a central point. That central point happens to be Golden Grove performing Arts and Recreation Centre. In the foreseeable future, these three schools might, with a few boundary changes(the local shopping centre and a nearby apartment complex), become an Elaborate University High.
  • Rostrevor used to be one of these. Apparently it used to own part of national park.
  • Oundle School is rather like this, most likely along with many other private English schools. Its various buildings take up much of the town centre, and it has at least one 'outpost' in a nearby village. And it has its own radio station.
  • Nearby Uppingham and Oakham schools are similar in amount of students and number of boarding houses.
  • Eton, easily one of the most prestigious, expensive and exclusive of British private boarding schools, is fairly private about its extensive and ancient facilities, but this troper distinctly remembers an interview in which a pair of leavers expressed surprise at how limited the facilities at Oxford University were.
  • Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas took over a community college campus when the college moved to new grounds.
  • Some highschools share their campus with actual universities, meaning they also share buildings and occasionally teachers.
  • The Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, Connecticut, consists of seven different buildings in which classes are typically held (Tirrel, Cranston, Shattuck, Bradlaw, Frank, Converse, and parts of Latham), most of which have three floors, as well as a very large library (Latham), a building reserved for administrative offices (Alice House), Alumni House, and a museum (The Slater Museum), which holds one of the finest collections of Classical statue-casts in the US. The school is state funded but not controlled by the local school district, and provides education for over 2500 students.
  • Davis Senior High in Davis, California, has barns, restaurants, and a fully-equipped auto shop on campus, among other things, and can proudly boast classes and experiences most people don't even get even in college.
  • Similarly, Plymouth-Canton Educational Park in Canton, Michigan, consisting of three high schools on one campus, has a restaurant, an auto-shop, a radio station, a forest containing an artesian well, and a stream running crossing the entire campus. It formerly had a barn as well, before it was moved off-campus.
  • Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts just completed a $200 million (yes, you read that right) renovation.
  • Even though the page picture's caption is a joke, Madeira actually does keep horses on its ludicrously huge campus and offer horseback riding as part of its curriculum.
  • Phillips Academy, in Andover, MA, is situated on roughly 500 acres (2 sq km). In addition to a host of academic, athletic, and dormitory facilities, the school has several lakes, two museums, and a large wooded area.
  • Many private prep schools are like this.
  • Victoria College, Alexandria (in Egypt) was intended to be a sort of Middle Eastern Eton, and as such has about as elaborate a campus as a high school can have in the middle of a major city.