You may be considering local private schools for your child’s education. With options like smaller class sizes, highly qualified teachers, and top-notch resources, private schools, particularly Catholic schools, can offer major advantages. According to US News, over 1.69 million students are enrolled in Catholic schools. Here are three things to know about the academic, social, and long-term benefits of private schools to help inform your decision.
1. Specialized Attention and Resources
One major draw of local private schools is the ability to provide more personalized attention for your child. With smaller class sizes, teachers can better cater to each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. The student-to-teacher ratio in private schools is often under 10:1, compared to over 15:1 in public schools. This allows more one-on-one instruction time. Private schools also have more flexibility over curriculums and programs offered. Many emphasize STEM, arts, or other areas based on the school’s specialties. Extracurricular activities, sports, and clubs are also more varied and abundant due to greater access to facilities and funding.
2. Development of Social Skills and Networks
The smaller community environment of local private schools enables students to get to know each other better than at larger public schools. This allows your child to build deeper relationships and feel a greater sense of belonging. It also facilitates personal growth and leadership skills by providing more opportunities to participate in group projects, clubs, teams, and events. In addition to tight-knit peer groups, private school networks create connections that can benefit your child during and after school. Getting to know students from various backgrounds can expand perspectives.
3. Long-Term Payoffs
While the tuition for local private schools may seem high upfront, studies show it pays dividends later through higher earning potential. One study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that private school graduates earn nearly $7,500 more annually nine years after high school graduation than public school graduates. This boost is largely thanks to better academic preparation, with higher SAT scores, college admission, and graduation rates. Attending an elite private school can open up access to top colleges specifically.
When considering local private schools, reflect on your child’s needs and goals to decide if the additional costs will be justified through potential benefits. However, the perks of smaller classes, rigorous academics, special activities, and networks can give your student a meaningful head start by attending private school.