Private School Rankings
“My child deserves to go the best private school, that’s why we need a detailed list of private school rankings in the country”. Sounds’s crazy? You’ll be surprised how many parents assume there is a list out there ranking private schools. As if a true and accurate ranking system for schools exist. The truth is, most of the data offered to us on schools is skewed in some ways. For example, you can visit a number of sites that offer some generic information about a particular school, but it won’t match your gut or intuition.
Taking the time to visit the school is essential. It’s really the only way to get a real feel if the school you’re giving serious consideration to is a good fit for your child. Nobody knows your child better than you, so how do you expect to get any truthful information from online lists? Private schools are all unique in their own way. Sure we can analyze data and charesterictics such as tuition costs, grades offered, number of atendees, and their motto but the results can be misleading as most statistical data is.
If you’re looking for statistical data the National Center For Education Statistics is a good place to start. The NCES has complete data for about 30,000 private schools and you can visit their extensive database here. Other sites such as Private School Review and Boarding School Review also have complete listings of schools, some even include testimonials from parents to aid you on your private school decisions. The search functions are simple enough to use by entering your zip code and type of school you’re looking for.
Other schools, like the popular Montessori group are all individually owned and operated. Therefore visiting these shools is extremely important to get a feel for the way things are run and to review their individual educational standards. While visiting your desired school, the most important question to ask is one that deals with the numbers of students accepted vs the number of applicants. A school with a higher ratio of applicants to students accepted will be a favorite on many lists of concerned and eager parents.
How many private schools should I visit and how to rank them?
Although your list can vary in size, it’s recommended to list at least 10 private schools you’re interested in. While many of us will ignore the cost of tuition, it’s important to assess your budget. Once you crunch the numbers, a few will inevitably drop off the list so you’re left with < 10.
Take the remaining schools and visit them, while giving them your own numerical score using 1-10. Be very thorough in your critique and take as many notes with photos (if allowed) as possible. Go home and review you findings to eventually narrow down your search to at least five schools that fit your child and financial budget. Once your top five is complete, revisit those schools to ask any additional questions that remain.
After this final audit, you may find yourself crossing a few more off the list. If this happens don’t fret, but rather celebrate your preparation. Once all that is complete, take the final steps to prepare your child for the very crucial ISEE and SSAT admission tests. You may do this by hiring a private tutor or purchase some online practice questions for your child to take in the comfort of your home. While many parents mainly get a private tutor, some also get the online tutorials to further strengthen their child’s test taking ability.
In short, don’t complicate the process by worrying too much about online private school rankings, instead simplify it with the steps above.