Middle school is finally over, and your child has just graduated! While students are getting ready for the summer, they also have the daunting task of choosing where to go to high school. Numerous students simply attend their local high school as it is close by and free to attend. However, many parents question whether a private school education gives their student an advantage when applying to colleges. There are an extensive amount of factors that parents must consider when helping their child decide between a private and public education. It is no easy choice, however in the end a student will always succeed if they put their best foot forward.
The biggest factor that many parents have to take into consideration is tuition costs. Private schools can cost upwards of $15,000 and go up to $40,000. The tuition varies from school to school, however financial aid is available for students from low-income families. While the tuition may be a hefty amount to pay initially, students do gain a great amount from attending these private school academic wise and extracurricular wise.
Another major factor is looking at the coursework offered at private schools versus public schools. Most private and public schools offer similar classes for students to take. However, one issue that students in public schools face is getting classes they want. Because of the large population of students, public high schools have difficulty getting seatings for students in the AP classes. This leads to a lottery system, where students are randomly selected to have a seat in the class. In private schools however, students are always accommodated to get into these classes and get the learning experience they desire.
Location is a small factor, yet it affects many parents’ decisions to send their kids to private schools. For a lot of students, private schools tend to be at least a 15 minute drive away from their home. However, every neighborhood has a local public school which students can walk or bike to daily. The drive can also get tedious as there tends to be a lot of traffic to and from private schools. The downside however is that a student’s local public school may not be as great as other public schools in nearby areas.
Lastly, extracurriculars play a huge part in the decision of private versus public high school. Students need time away from academics and to enjoy different activities available at their school. While all private and public high schools have different activities available to students, students are always encouraged to create their own clubs on campus.
No matter which school a student picks, private or public, they can thrive as long as they put in effort and do their best. There are pros and cons to both options, and therefore it depends solely on what is best for each parent and student. But fear not, neither is a poor choice as long as a student has the means and the will to succeed.
Keep in mind, middle school and the first year of high school are a great time to start your work with a college counselor. While college may seem like a long way off, there are always ways that you and your student can start building up long-lasting habits and extracurriculars now. Meet with one of our enrollment team members to discuss what that might look like for your family, and when it makes sense to start.