Does public versus private high school attendance make a difference when it comes getting into the college of your choice?
Both public high schools and private high schools have their pros and cons — so when it comes to getting into college, it often depends less on the school and more on the student.
Let’s take a look …
• What are the main differences between public and private high schools? One of the main differences is money. Private high schools can be costly; public high school is free. So depending on the student’s needs, this expense may or may not be necessary.
Private schools charge per student, so tuition and financial endowments often translate into better facilities, smaller class sizes (more educational attention paid to each student), better paid teachers, more educational programs and often the ability to offer certain classes that a public high school can’t.
How does all this translate into college acceptance? Attending a private high school could mean better overall grades and better ACT and SAT test scores, and some private high schools also offer college prep courses and programs to help students prepare for college. At the same time, however, some public high schools work with local and community colleges to give qualifying students the opportunity to take college courses.
• Does the high school attended impact the review process for college admission? In reality, many public schools rate very high while some private schools rate very low. Most college officials won’t use the school as a rating tool to decide whom to accept and whom to reject.
• So what is the college administration looking for when reviewing applications? They’re looking at the student’s high school grades, the level and difficulty of the classes taken and other factors regarding the ability of the student to learn. Students who take more difficult courses — whether in public or private high school — have an advantage over students who take the easy way out. Colleges are more likely to accept students who challenge themselves academically and take advantage of opportunities available to them, regardless of the school attended.
• How do we choose a high school for our child? Tailor your search to the high school student rather than the high school itself. Consider factors such as the distance from your home, your child’s needs, which schools offer courses that will challenge your child academically, the extracurricular activities offered in regard to what your child is interested in and the cost of the school.