1. Does it get the results you want?
2. Does what the school teaches jibe with your requirements?
3. Will your child be happy there?
4. Is the school financially stable?
5. How will you pay for it?
There is a bit more to the process, of course, but asking these five questions will get you started on the extensive due diligence which you must do before you spend approximately $150,000 for four years of private day school or approximately $200,000 for four years of boarding school. Tuitions vary. Some are much less. Some a great deal more. We are
discussing high school and middle school too. The primary grades will run you $8,000 - $15,000 depending on the school.
Remember: private schools in the United States are not subsidized by government funding. So they will charge whatever the market forces and their budgets determine can and needs to be charged. Having said that, be aware that most private schools offer financial aid programs, some of which will pay for everything provided you are able to meet their family income thresholds. Always ask about financial aid.
Scoping out private schools is very much like buying a house or renting an apartment. There are many emotional factors which most certainly influence your final choice of a home.
Here's what a state association of private schools has to say about rankings. I quote it verbatim.
|ADVIS Position Statement on School Rankings
The Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) is implacably opposed to the rating or ranking of schools in any shape or form. Therefore, we do not cooperate, and advise our member schools not to cooperate, with any publication that seeks to rate or rank schools. A school, or an education, is not a consumer product comparable to a toaster. A great education depends on three key factors: the quality of the faculty, the quality of the student body, and the quality of teaching. These qualities are not quantifiable.
Source: ADVIS Statement of School Rankings
ADVIS goes on to reference the Statement on Ranking Schools by The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Once again I quote this document verbatim.
|ADVIS strongly advocates the following statement from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as the fundamental position to which we adhere.|
NAIS Statement: On Ranking Schools
By: NAIS Board of Directors
Published: June 25, 2004