Private schools can often provide students with a caliber of academic rigor, support, and community that many public schools struggle to offer with consistency. Public high schools, by nature, are set up to educate large numbers of students, which means classes are often large and individual students sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Strong college prep academics may be available for a smaller subset of their enrollees, and your student may or may not get access to these offerings. The strong reputation that many private college prep high schools garner amongst families and colleges are due to their strategic and unwavering focus on providing outstanding academics, leadership development, and individualized support to all students in their smaller campus communities. Following are some misconceptions that may be preventing you from considering a life-changing private school education for your child.
1. Myth One: Private schools are unaffordable.
Private schools charge tuition because they are not funded by the government. That said, many of them also provide generous financial assistance to families who need it. It is important to apply for financial aid in a timely manner, so that your child can be awarded any and all funding for which s/he is eligible. You may be quite surprised by how affordable this investment in your child’s future can be!
2. Myth Two: My student would not fit in at a private school.
People who are unfamiliar with private schools may have a preconceived idea that their communities are wealthy, elitist, and exclusive. Though some independent schools can have an air that makes newcomers feel excluded, a great number of private schools do not. In fact, many are extremely intentional about cultivating eclectic and welcoming environments where all students feel a sense of belonging in and outside of the classroom regardless of how long they have been there, their background, or where they come from.
3. Myth Three: Nothing but studying happens at private school.
Though academics are king at many private schools and students will often be challenged in their rigorous courses, private school leaders know that learning and growth happens as much outside the classroom as it does inside of it. There are often many electives and extracurricular activities that elevate the fun of student life and learning at private schools and allow students to pursue their unique passions!
4. Myth Four: Private schools are not diverse.
This is a major misconception. Public and private schools can both have homogenous student bodies, but many private schools often strive to recruit and enroll a student body that represents diversity in all of its facets. Beyond that, inclusivity is equally important, and private schools can do an excellent job in ensuring their students of a wide variety of backgrounds feel welcome and learn to communicate, work, and play well together across their vibrant differences.
5. Myth Five: Private schools are too rigid.
When you think of private school, images of itchy uniforms, ultra-strict schedules, and a standard, inflexible curriculum may come to mind. Once again, private schools vary greatly in their policies, structures, and curricula. Some have strict dress codes, others allow students to wear appropriate casual or business casual attire. Some have a standard classical curriculum and schedule, whereas others may allow students to craft their own academic journey and schedule. Some even allow your student to receive an excellent college prep education remotely from home or while traveling. There are so many private schools to choose from, and it is possible to find the right one to meet the particular needs of your student and family.
6. Myth Six: Private school is not worth it.
Whether or not your family would need financial assistance to attend private school, this type of academic pathway requires consideration of more than just finances. Might there be an economic investment? Probably. More importantly, the all-in rigor and experience of some private schools will stretch your student and require the important resources of your time and encouragement. And, the returns on these investments can be exponential! Your student will receive and succeed in a high-quality, well-regarded private school education that can open doors to college and life opportunities beyond measure!
Gravitas is a global extension of The Stony Brook School (SBS), a renowned 100-year-old Christian day and boarding school on Long Island, New York. Gravitas offers SBS’s extraordinary college prep academics and character education to students around the U.S. and the world in a virtual environment with live instruction and excellent wrap-around support, including live advising, college counseling, and more! Inquire here to learn more about how Gravitas is preparing students with the intellect, integrity, and purpose to change the world!