What to Look for When Choosing Private Education

By: Christie Burger, Admissions

As part two of private vs. public education series, we want to look more deeply at what parents should look for when choosing private education.  Private education is an increasingly popular option for many families and one that may be the right fit for yours.

Here are a few questions to ask as you begin the process of choosing a school. 

  1. What is the philosophy of the school? It is important to make sure the philosophy of the school matches what your family is looking for in educational goals, as well as values. 
  1. Is the faculty of high quality and committed to challenging students to reach their potential? When looking at the quality of education, you have to start with a strong faculty. Dedicated, well-trained teachers are the key to a strong high-quality education. Ask the levels of education, years of experience, and certifications held by the faculty.
  1. How involved can I be as a parent? Independent schools have many opportunities for parent involvement.  Ask about parent organizations, policies for volunteering, and ability to visit on campus with your student. Partnership in your child’s education can go along way in their educational development.
  1. What extracurricular opportunities are available for students? Education is the main focus of schools, but the extracurricular opportunities can truly shape the student’s experience during their school years. See what clubs, sports, and organizations are available for your child’s age group. 
  1. What is the success rate of the school’s graduates regarding progressions to secondary education, as well as, awarded scholarships? For high school students, progressing to the college level, and college acceptance rates should be a priority of most independent schools.  Ask the guidance office, what the rate is for college acceptances for the graduating classes, ACT/SAT score averages, and scholarship amounts awarded each year. 
  1. What is the student profile and admission requirements? Ask yourself, does your child fit the type of student that each school’s student body represents? Ask each school what their requirements are for admissions and see if those characteristics are also important to your family’s goals. 
  1. How happy are the students and faculty? Happy students say so much about a school. They are generally more enthusiastic, eager to learn, and ultimately become successful. A teacher that is happy and content is one that will form a partnership with each family and provide a solid educational experience.

As you begin your search, make a list of these things and the qualities you most want in a school. Keep in mind that no one school is perfect, or will meet all of the criteria on your list. However, you want to select the school that best fits your student, family values, and educational goals. 

Is Private or Public Education Right For Your Family?

By: Amy Burchett, Director of Admissions

As parents, we are faced with the weight of making many difficult decisions about what would be best for our children in a variety of different scenarios. Regardless of the nature of the decision at hand, we ultimately have to approach every topic by looking through the lens of “How would this affect MY child”. There is no blanket response to many of these scenarios that would apply equally to all children. Choosing the educational path that would be best for your student and family is no different.


When families begin to choose whether a private or public school option is the right fit for their family, there are many factors to consider. Typically, the first and most notable difference when comparing private and public education is the financial commitment related to private education. The seemingly out of reach tuition for a private school education can eliminate this avenue as a possibility to some families; however, many private schools offer either scholarships or tuition assistance to students who apply and qualify. This can help to bridge the financial gap for some.


For others, a driving factor in selecting a school for their child’s educational journey may revolve around smaller class sizes and the ability for individualized instruction. Any child, in any state, can attend public school. This could, depending on location and demographics, increase student population and thus increase class size. Private schools typically highlight smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios in their classrooms due to their selective admissions processes.


It is also common that a family would desire that their children attend a parochial school. Many families value their religious affiliation and would like for their children to attend a private school that reinforces this through a religious-based curriculum. When considering public education, this would not traditionally be a part of the classroom curriculum.


A few additional considerations could be special education classes and services that may not be offered at a private school, proximity to home, and college preparation and counseling services for high school students.


Remember as with all things, it is important to do your due diligence in completing your research. When touring schools, be sure to bring a list of questions that you want to have answered. Sit down as a family, include your students in the discussions, and weigh the pros and cons of both. Keep in mind, you are choosing the educational setting that would benefit YOUR child most! Be sure to choose the school that you feel would best help your child reach their full potential.

Begin Your Journey.