This season, I have increased my annual tour of schools to include a wider variety of private schools. I have had the opportunity to speak with heads of schools, directors of admissions, admissions and development office personnel, administrative and support staff, faculty members, students, alumni and especially parents. Having had this opportunity, I have developed list of reasons why parents are sending their children to private schools.
(1) Small class size. Private schools assign on average about 9.8 students to each teacher, thus guaranteeing the individual attention each child needs to thrive intellectually, socially and emotionally.
(2) Excellent educators. Private school teachers teach as well as educate. They passionately nurture and motive young minds. They provide a truly bespoke education for your child. Personal development intellectually, socially and emotionally and academic achievement are par for the course.
(3) Personalized education. Private school education is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Independent schools come in all shapes and sizes.
(4) Diversity. Private schools are multicultural and embrace diversity. They are committed to creating and fostering a welcoming community that is inclusive for all its members (faculty and students) regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, socio-economic status, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or any other attribute that does not define a person’s character.
(5) College counseling. Private schools have college counselors whose job is to specifically help students in the college admissions process. The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2014 State of College Admissions reported that on average, public high school guidance counselors spend only 24 percent of their time on college admissions counseling, while their private school counterparts spent 52 percent of their time on college admissions counseling.
(6) Sense of community. In private schools, the atmosphere is cooperative and collaborative. Private schools are like large families, with every member eager to contribute their individual characteristics to the good of every other member and the good of the whole school community.
(7) Building Relationships. Many parents stated that in addition to receiving a superior education, their children would be building meaningful and long-lasting relationships with peers from well-connected families that would prove invaluable in the future.
There is truly a private school for every child. I have found that each school has a different atmosphere and chemistry. The independent sector gives parents the opportunity to CHOOSE a school that is right for their child. However, because of the increase in numbers of domestic as well as international applicants, the private school admissions process has become extremely competitive!
Though the cost of private school is not inexpensive, (the average tuition for day schools is $30,000 and for seven-day boarding is approximately $55,000 per year) the true value and dividends for educating your child, watching them happily learn and successfully thrive, is priceless!
Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors. Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international families and students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools. Dr. Lowe also helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into their top choice private schools after they have been wait-listed and rejected.