Currently, there are approximately 30,861 private schools in the United States. These schools provide an education to 5.3 million students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Are you considering a private high school for your teenager? If so, you are probably already aware of the many benefits to attending a private, rather than a public, high school.
The Benefits of Private School
First of all, most private schools have less than 300 students. These schools also tend to be less than half the size of an average public school.
Secondly, the classes are smaller with a lower student-teacher ratio. Private schools usually have 12.5 students for every teacher, while public schools usually have 15.4 students per teacher. Since there is a smaller student-to-teacher ratio, your child will receive more quality attention.
Thirdly, in 2011-to-2012, most private schools were coeducational. During that time period, however, two percent had an all-girl enrollment and two percent had an all-boy enrollment. If it’s important to you that your child attends a coeducational private school, then you should have no trouble locating one.
Fourthly, SAT scores tend to be higher for students attending private high school. If your child already excels academically and is interested in an honors program, then a private preparatory academy makes sense.
The average national SAT scores for private high schools are as follows:
- Reading: 541
- Math: 579
- Writing: 550
The average national SAT scores for public schools are as follows:
- Reading: 497
- Math: 514
- Writing: 489
Fifthly, students that attend private high school graduate more often. Given the 12th-grade students that were enrolled in October, 2010, 98% of them graduated by the fall of 2011.
Sixthly, private high school graduates also tend to apply to four-year colleges and universities more often. The National Center for Education Statistics states that 57% of public high school students apply to college, while 89% of private high school students do so.
In 2010-to-2011, for example, there were 305,842 students that graduated from high school. By the fall of 2011, 64% of these students were attending college.
A Private School Parent Survey
A 2007 Fraser Institute study surveyed parents whose children were in the private school system. In addition to academic standards, teacher dedication, and safety, parents with children in religious-based schools responded positively.
In terms of academic standards, 80% of the parents surveyed reported that they were happy with their child’s educational experience. When considering the number of private high school students that score high on the SATs, graduate, and then attend college, this is not surprising.
For 91% of the parents, the main reason they had chosen private over pubic school was due to the teachers being more dedicated. Since private schools have smaller classrooms, a lower student-to-teacher ratio, and other benefits, teachers are able to spend more time getting to know their students so that they are able to guide them to succeed.
Safety is, of course, a major concern for parents no matter what grade their child is attending. When surveyed, 72% strongly agreed that their child was safe at school. Since private school grounds are smaller, they tend to have more personnel monitoring students as well as the grounds.
When parents choose to enroll their child in a private religious school for the 2011-to-2012 school year, 80% reported that they were “very satisfied” with the education their child received.
During the same school year, 82% of parents that had their child enrolled in another type of private school were also “very satisfied.”
If you’re still undecided as to whether a private or a public high school would be best for your child, contact the schools that appeal to you directly and ask to have a tour. There are top ranked private high schools that can provide your college-bound student with the skills they need to succeed.