Is Paying for Private School Worth It?


You want your child to have the best education possible because a quality, inspiring and well-rounded education will give her the tools to be a lifelong learner. A good education will enrich her mind with facts and figures, challenge her skills and broaden her perspective of the world and her place in it. A high-quality education leads to opportunities, connections and access to even more impressive schools like Ivy League colleges. Oftentimes, a high-quality education is associated with private schools.

But who’s to say your child can’t get a good education, acquire the skills to be a stellar student and still reach for top-level colleges if she attends a public school? Is private school worth the investment?

Pros

Some public school districts are better or worse than others due to factors like socioeconomic conditions and government funding. Private school might be the best choice for your young learner if you live in a district lacking what you consider a thoughtful curriculum, or one whose schools are overpopulated, fail to produce high graduation rates or fail to send a high percentage of its students on to college.

Often private schools are focused both on your child’s present-day education and on their future, specifically their hopes and dreams concerning college. Most public schools don’t have the capacity to prep students for college admission tests or help them navigate scholarship opportunities and financial aid options, reports Investopedia.com writer Donna Fuscaldo.

“That hand-holding and the connections from private school can put them at an advantage when applying for top colleges, stacking the odds in his or her favor that they will come out of school and land a high paying job,” explains Fuscaldo.

Cons

Private school comes at a price, and often that price is quite high and varies depending on where you’ve planted roots, according to U.S. News & World Report Contributor Geoff Williams.

School tuition is typically not the end of your financial investment, either. You have to factor in the cost of books, uniforms or clothes to fit the school’s dress code, student and activity fees that are associated with extra-curricular programs, sports and class field trips. Plus, if your kid is college-bound and has his sights set on a private institute of higher learning, your financial investment can reach astronomical heights, especially without available financial aid and scholarships.

Furthermore, private schools are not known for their diverse student body population, according to Fuscaldo.

“In a public school, there is usually a lot more diversity in terms of culture, religion, class and race. That diversity can give students an opportunity to learn different things about parts of the world they may not be exposed to in a private school setting,” Fuscaldo writes.

The decision to send your child to a private or public school should be based on more than just a financial tally sheet. Some benefits and drawbacks cannot be measured monetarily. Since every public and private school is as unique as your child, you must examine every option as carefully and as thoroughly as possible to determine your child’s best educational fit.

 

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