When searching for the best educational opportunities, including those that provide college preparatory programs, private schools are considered to be an excellent choice. Currently, there are 30.861 private schools operating in the United States, and they enroll 10% of the country’s pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students.
There are a number of advantages to private schools versus their public counterparts. In addition to having smaller campuses, 86% have less than 300 students enrolled. The classes are also smaller, with 12.5 students for every teacher. Public school classes usually have 15.4 students for every teacher. In some public schools, there may be an even higher student-to-teacher ratio.
When campuses and classes are smaller, students have more opportunities for quality, meaningful interactions with their peers, teachers, and other staff. Furthermore, they are also able to develop a greater sense of community and a respect for and sense of belonging to that community.
The academic standards are also higher at private schools, and parents tend to hold these schools to a higher standard. A recent survey showed that 80% of the parents whose children were enrolled in private schools were pleased with the level of academic instruction their children were receiving.
Many parents will examine national SAT scores and compare them with their children’s schools. Recent data indicates that these are the average national SAT scores for the public school system:
- Reading: 497
- Math: 514
- Writing: 489
The SAT scores were higher for students attending top private high schools, however. Consider these recent SAT scores from the nation’s top private schools:
- Reading: 541
- Math: 579
- Writing: 550
The Fraser Institute completed an educational study in 2007. It was shown that 91% of the parents chose to have their children attend private rather than public schools because they believed the teachers were more dedicated. Approximately 72% of the parents strongly agreed that their children’s private school was safe, which is also of extreme importance when considering the advantages of private over public schools.
Since many parents want their children to participate in religious instruction, private schools tend to be preferred for this reason. During the 2011 to 2012 school year, for example, 80% of the parents whose children were enrolled in private religious school were “very satisfied” with the program and theirr choice of school.
By the fall of 2011, 98% of the private school 12th-graders that had been previously enrolled during October 2010 graduated from high school. Approximately 64% of these high school graduates attended 4-year colleges during that fall.
Overall, data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that 88% of students that attend private high schools apply to college. This is compared to the 57% of students that attend public high schools.
Top private schools have demonstrated that they provide a higher level of academic standards. When this is combined with their college preparatory and honors programs, they are an excellent choice for parents whose children are planning to attend college and pursue advanced degrees.
Top private schools also have summer camps, which provide enriching activities. When parents plan to have their children attend private schools in the fall, these summer camps are an excellent way to become acclimated to that schools. Furthermore, they will also benefit from meeting their classmates prior to the school year beginning.