Thinking About Private School? 4 Things You Should Consider

Private school is a $54 billion industry, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. Each year, millions of parents of elementary, middle, and high school students evaluate the various educational options for their children. With the overall goal of promoting our children’s success, coupled with the desire to send our kids to a place where they will be happy and thrive, we make a decision based on the information we have available.

Sometimes, we hear about a friend or neighbor whose child flourished at specific private school. Other times, a private school in our community has a reputation for excellence. Whatever the reasons for considering private school, it is never a decision to make lightly.

School choice impacts our day-to-day lives. In addition to the money spent on private school tuition, a change in school may also involve a move to a different location, children growing up around different peers, and learning a different curriculum. Given the importance of such a decision, it’s essential to evaluate any and all relevant data available. Here is a breakdown of some of the statistical information you may want to consider.

1. Tuition cost

According to Private School Review, the national average cost of private school tuition for the 2013-2014 school year is $9,237 annually, with elementary school tuition averaging $8,221 and high school tuition averaging $11,820. Your private school tuition costs depend largely on your location. Maine has the highest overall average tuition costs at $22,588. For elementary school tuition, the highest costs are in the District of Columbia, where they average $16,156. Massachusetts, Delaware, and New Hampshire also have higher-than-average elementary school tuition — you’ll pay an average cost of between $10,000 and $12,500 in those states.

As for high school tuition, Vermont has by far the highest average cost in this category at $38,082, comparable to many private colleges. Maine ($29,428), Connecticut ($28,618), and Massachusetts ($28,414) have expensive average high school tuition costs, as well. Private school tuition is at its lowest in all categories in North Dakota, where it averages $2,525 overall: $2,100 for elementary school and $2,950 for high school.