As parents start their private school search, they aren’t always sure how to begin. When you aren’t familiar with the field, it’s easy to waste time and make mistakes. However, it’s crucial to find the right school for your children.
Below, we look at 5 mistakes everyone makes when they start their private school search. Whether you want to find a classical school or a Montessori academy, we want to offer some advice to guide you in the right direction.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls people encounter when they look at private schools.
#1 Focusing Solely on Ranks
Everyone wants their child to attend a school with a great rating. You want the best for your child, so how could that be a mistake? We understand completely.
While rankings are a great guide for certain standards, it doesn’t make every top school a good fit for your child. If you want to find the best school for your child, you have to find the right fit.
Look for a school where you and your child will feel happy. It should be a space they want to participate in that meets your standards as a parent.
#2 Thinking You Cannot Afford It
As you progress through your private school search, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the costs. Many private schools are quite expensive. In some cases, they are very expensive.
However, there are many options available that make private education more affordable. In fact, some private schools offer nominal tuition prices. On the other hand, others have generous financial aid options available.
#3 Submitting Applications at the Last Minute
In your private school search, be sure to make note of admissions deadlines as you build your list of options. So long as you don’t need to apply at the last minute due to a job relocation or some other mitigating circumstance, it’s a good idea to pay close attention.
Some schools offer rolling admissions. This means they keep the admissions process open so long as there is space in their programs.
Other schools have fixed deadlines. Typically, these deadlines are in January. Work backward from these deadlines to ensure you gather any and all relevant information and requirements.
#4 Thinking of Private Schools as Elitist
Today, most classical schools are far from the elitist environment portrayed in the media. In many cases, they actively shed the privileged aura that private schools held for so long. Over time, the student bodies of many schools grew increasingly diverse.
In fact, many schools seek students from an array of backgrounds. To ensure students from any socioeconomic sphere can afford it, they put together aid and assistance packages to help bring them in.
Oftentimes, all they require is that students meet their academic standards.
#5 Not Visiting the Campus
Whenever you have the option, visit any school that makes your shortlist. It’s important to see what the facilities on the campus are like. Moreover, it’s a good idea to prepare some questions ahead of time.
As the admissions staff answers your questions, it helps you evaluate the school. Additionally, they help you focus on what is essential for you and your child.
Remember, you want to find the best fit for your child. Often, this requires a balance to find mutual needs and requirements. That also means there will be some tradeoffs.
In your private school search, not every school that makes your shortlist will have exactly what you want. Even when you have to do a virtual visit, be sure to have questions ready and take notes.
Start Your Private School Search on the Right Foot
Whether you work with an education consultant or start your search on your own, your goal is always to find the right fit for your family. On your private school search, keep a flexible list of priorities. These are the mutual needs of you and your child.