Attending a private high school helps your child succeed academically and helps them get into an excellent college. The reason why private schools excel in this area is the fact that they're well-funded by the parents of students – private schools can be quite expensive! This means private schools have smaller class sizes, better facilities, and high-quality teachers, but it also means that sending your child to private school is a big financial decision that's not to be taken lightly. It's important to choose the private high school that best helps your child to succeed. To help you choose the right one, here's what you need to keep in mind when searching for private high schools.
Ask for the School's College Admission Rate and Information About Their College Preparation Program
The most important factor in selecting a private high school is the amount of college preparation and admissions guidance that they provide their students. Getting into a good college helps your child enter into a high-paying career after college due to the education and networking opportunities that high-tier colleges provide.
Private schools, in general, are better at college admissions guidance than public schools due to the better ratio of counselors to students. A public high school may only have one college adviser for the entire school, which doesn't let your child get the one-on-one attention he or she needs to make the big decision of which colleges to apply to. When you're choosing between private schools, look for a school that has a high college admission rate and that provides a large number of college advisers to students of all grade levels.
Choose a School With a Strong Focus on Your Student's Interests
Many private schools focus their curriculum around a particular subject area or have strong programs that provide an excellent education in a certain subject. For example, you'll find schools that specialize in art, music, engineering, and computer programming. Keep your child's interests in mind when deciding which private school to select. A school with a nationally-recognized art or music program may be impressive, but it will have little impact on your child's education if he or she is entirely uninterested in these areas.
Matching the focus of the school with the subject area that your child is most interested in will aid in academic success – it's also more likely that your child will form friendships with peers who are attending the school due to the shared love of the subject area, which is an excellent networking opportunity.
Ask Current Students and Parents for Their Opinions About the School
One of the best ways to determine the quality of a private school is to get the opinions of students who are currently enrolled, as well as their parents. When your family tours prospective schools, you or your child may have the chance to ask students about what they think of the school directly. Another avenue is to find student and parent groups online and send them messages asking for their opinions. A good private school should be well-loved by its students. Similarly, you should also check for statistics on how many incoming ninth graders to the school study there for all four years and graduate. While some loss is inevitable due to families moving, a large number of students dropping out and switching schools is a bad sign.
Since sending your child to private school is such a big investment, it's important to do as much research as you can to find the perfect fit for your child. Use every resource available, including online directories and social media, to find as much information as you can about potential schools. If you need help, contact a private school consultant – they're trained in navigating the private school admissions process and matching your child to the best-fitting school.