Cathedral High School Blog

Helping your student succeed in high school

Is private high school really worth the money?

“The public schools are fine. Why would we want to pay for private high school?”

That’s what many parents might think, especially those whose children have attended good public grade schools. However, paying for private high school just may be the smarter financial decision.

A private high school education is truly an investment. Parents considering public vs. private high school might even want to think of the investment in terms of a “Return on Investment,” or ROI, just as they would when considering any important financial decision.

Here are four ways to measure return-on-investment for private high schools:

●      Smaller class sizes.

Most private schools offer smaller class sizes than their public counterparts. But why does this matter? Put simply, teachers have a much better chance of knowing–and caring about–your child when they interact with fewer children. Plus, students in smaller classes can ask questions more easily, can get help from teachers more frequently, and can be challenged more consistently. Teachers in small classes know when students have not done homework, just like they are much more likely to know when something–perhaps illness, arguments with best friends, or family dynamics–might be impacting performance. And they will be more likely to do something about it. The result can be higher-performing students and higher grade point averages which ultimately can affect the kind of colleges interested in these students.

●      Strong counseling programs.

While the typical number of students per counselor at a large public high school might approach 400 or 500, at private schools this number is often much smaller–may be even half or less. Like in the smaller classroom, counselors with fewer students to serve get to know individual students better and can help with academic needs like organization or study habits, with social needs, and with college and scholarship processes. Plus, personalized interaction with counselors may mean getting information about additional scholarship opportunities.

Counselors make a difference at private high schools

One-to-one interaction with counselors provide greater ROI for private high school students.


●      Your voice is heard.

Some traditionalists don’t like to hear the word “customer” associated with school parents, but the reality is that you are much more likely to feel like you can share your opinions–and it is much more likely they will be heard and acted upon–in a private school setting. Schools realize that parents are paying tuition and other fees. As such, both sides of the conversation–the parents and the school–know that there is an obligation for constant improvement, much of which comes from parent input and feedback. Both sides are equally invested in improving outcomes for the individual student.

●      College scholarships might pay you back, with interest.

Take a look at college scholarship dollars offered to graduating seniors from private high schools. The results are impressive. That strong counseling program mentioned earlier, combined with the strong reputation of private schools, often lead to the average amount of scholarship money earned per student being much greater than that of public school counterparts. Ask each high school you are considering for their total number of scholarship dollars offered to students. Many parents have children who earn much more college scholarship money than those parents ever paid for that private high school experience. And that doesn’t even count those dual and advance credits that can further defray the cost of attendance of college!

This list could be much longer and could include additional things like leadership development programs, faith formation, greater access to clubs and activities, and more.

All in all, more and more parents know that paying for that private school experience might be the best investment they’ll ever make–and that they can benefit financially while also reaping all of the other benefits to their students.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact your schools of choice to ask them why you should invest in their school experience for your child.

1 Comment

  1. Couldn’t agree more. So very grateful for the Shamrock Scholarship program! Generous minds, generous hearts, generous souls; Generous persons all ’round —

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