There are a number of myths, doubts and questions associated with private schools - many families are unsure when to apply, how to afford it and if the benefits are real. Should a family consider independent schools for elementary-aged children, or should they wait until high school? What is each school looking for in its students, and what do institutions offer in return? When parents decide to consider private schools, how can they navigate the admissions process?
The fact is, it is never too early to give children the tools to reach their fullest potential and no age is too young to consider going private, as study after study confirms the benefits.
Private school students tend to receive more one-on-one specialized attention, leading to better test scores. Studies show the average private school mean reading score is 14.7 points higher than in its public counterpart, while the mean math score is 7.8 points higher. These benefits carry through to the college admissions process –the top 20 institutions from Forbes’ 2010 America’s Best Prep Schools sent nearly one third of their graduates to Ivy League colleges, MIT or Stanford. This track record shows that private education provides the structure, motivation and resources necessary to produce in-demand college applicants.
Although many families feel affording a private school’s tuition is an obstacle, the idea that a private education is out of reach is a myth. A growing number of institutions offer scholarships, financial aid and grants to help parents bridge the tuition gap. Thanks to these opportunities, parents don’t need to let cost be a deciding factor when planning their child’s education.
Unfortunately, private schools’ sometimes confusing and laborious admissions process is not a myth. Unlike college admissions, a common app is not regularly used by private schools, and one-on-one interaction with a school is hard to come by. To help simplify the process, we created Private School Innovator (PSI), a Student-to-School digital platform that connects prospective students and their families with independent K-12 institutions. PSI helps families research and compare programs for over 500 schools in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Members can even use PSI to interact with “favorited” schools through secure private profiles and receive in-person guidance from PSI Admissions Advisors.
For families considering private school, PSI will host a free Private School Forum at the Sheraton in Needham, Mass. on Sunday, September 29th from 1-3 p.m. The Forum will bring together more than 60 leading independent schools and feature an admissions panel discussion and Q&A session, an exhibition where students and parents can engage directly with admissions representatives, and a keynote speech from Dr. David Shim, a clinical psychologist and prominent Boston University professor. Registration is free on our website.
Finding the right fit for your child isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Explore your options and think outside the box, and you can open doors for your child at every stage of their education.
Ed Frowley is the founder of Private School Innovator and an educational entrepreneur with years of experience in private schools in Massachusetts. A graduate of Boston University, he has worked with teachers, academics, and administrators at the high school and university level. He lives in Brookline, Mass.