Debating whether or not private high school is worth it? Private schools are worth consideration because they open many doors for your child’s future, not only for college, but career and life opportunities as well. In fact, statistics reinforce and call out many of the reasons why parents choose a private school and see it as a good return-on-investment.
Find out some of the reasons why private schools are worth the cost and how they deliver high outcomes. Also, get answers to some of your top questions.
12 Reasons Why it is Worth Going to a Private High School
- Improve grades and grade point average (GPA) – Private schools understand that one of the key outcomes that high school students and parents expect is academic achievement. Private schools typically offer small classes, highly qualified faculty, and personalized support to help students improve their GPA, pass rigorous classes, and take advantage of AP and Honors classes.
- Improve study habits and time management – Due to the high standards at most private schools, students benefit from a structured daily schedule. Students receive tips for studying and time management and they develop good habits. Some boarding schools offer both day or boarding options and may include: a tutorial period after school, mandatory study time, and office hours with faculty.
- Receive support from academic counselors – When there is a smaller student body, the counseling load is typically much smaller. This allows academic counselors to assist students with academic schedules, as well as offer college planning services. “The ASCA reports that “across all schools, the average student-to-school-counselor ratio is 464 to 1.” By comparison, many private school academic counselors handle loads well under 100 students per counselor.
- College planning services are included in the cost – Most private schools include a full range of college planning services in their cost. This may include workshops, individualized sessions, and parent resources. If services are purchased outside of a private school they can cost thousands of dollars. According to Edmit, “pricing for private college counselors varies greatly, with the average hourly cost of a private college consultant at approximately $200/hour. Cost is generally structured either hourly or arranged as a package deal. Some packages can cost upward of $6,000.”
- Gain an edge getting into a college of choice – Attending a private school is not a guarantee for admission to The Ivy League or a service academy, but typically private schools boast matriculation to top public and private universities. If your child is college bound, attending a private school may help improve a number of factors in the college admission process, including: academic records, test scores, athletics, and extracurricular participation.
- Attend graduate school at a higher rate and earn more. As noted in a US News Report, this statistic is often cited by private schools. It is an important consideration when you think about quality of life issues for your child and the impact of secondary education on their career and lifetime earnings.
- Receive individualized support and mentorship – Students at private schools have opportunities to engage and receive support from top-notch professionals. Many faculty members hold graduate degrees and may have impressive credentials in their specific field of study. In addition, there are other mentors on campus, including administrators, coaches, and staff. There are also many schools with learning strategies programs to support students with learning differences.
- Increase chances for scholarships – As part of college planning, private school students may have increased opportunities to apply for college scholarships and grants. They also might stand out from other applicants due to engagement in various extracurricular activities, athletics, trips, and leadership roles. In some cases, academic and athletic scholarships will even offset the cost of college tuition!
- Gain life skills and a growth mindset to prepare for college – Through lessons, workshops, presentations, and guidance, private school students often adopt a growth mindset. They develop a real passion for learning, as well as gain important life skills. Private schools often provide various programs on campus to ward off stress, improve communication skills, and assist students with their personal development and growth.
- Benefit from unique extracurricular programs – Even though private schools may have fewer students, there are many private schools with over 20 different clubs, leadership programs, and even some with a JROTC option. At private boarding/day schools, it is also fairly common to see a wide range of trips in the U.S. and abroad, as well as weekend activities.
- Stimulate creativity through visual and performing arts – While public schools experienced cutbacks over the past years, private schools continue to offer stellar visual and performing arts programs. In some cases, classes are taught by working professionals in music, art, and theater.
- Enjoy specialized career-related electives – Private schools are able to create a curriculum aligned with student interests. Programs may include dynamic classes in areas such as: media, communications, aviation, computer science, cyber security, and more.
How Much Does Private School Cost?
When you weigh the pros and cons, families often find the outcomes were well worth the investment. When you consider college, graduate school, career, friendships, and the social/emotional development your child will receive, it makes a private education one of the wisest investments out there.
To find the cost of private schools in your area, Private School Review provides ranges based on your town. Also, please note that many boarding schools offer boarding and day options. This can be a real benefit if families decide to switch from day to boarding.
Why Private School Education Produces Better Outcomes
There are so many compelling reasons why parents enroll their child or teen in private schools and find it worthwhile.
These are just some questions to stimulate your thinking about educational choices, and whether your child could benefit from private school outcomes:
- Is your child falling through the cracks in large classes?
- Does your child need more academic support outside of class to succeed in high school?
- Are you looking for a more rigorous and challenging academic environment?
- Does your child have a specialized area of interest that could lead to a college choice, college major, or career direction (e.g. STEM, Aviation)?
- Does your child have a learning difference?
- Does your child need assistance learning English through an ESL or ESOL program?
- Do you want your child to have greater access to leadership training, character development, community service, internships, or other specialized programs?
- Do you want your child to participate or stand out more in sports, leadership, or extracurriculars?
- Would your child benefit from a different circle of friends or from more social/emotional guidance and mentorship?
- Is your child experiencing stress or anxiety in school?
- Do you want your child to learn time management, set goals, and learn life skills?
- Do you want your child to be in a school that shares your family’s values or religious beliefs?
As you can see, there are many reasons why families find private schools to be the best choice and well worth the cost. To determine if a private school is right for your teen in high school, it is important to reach out to admission offices and schedule a campus visit. Put together a short list of private high schools, make contact calls, and then narrow it down to 1-3 schools to visit and apply.