We all assume we know what private and independent schools are like. Haven’t we all seen movies like The Dead Poets Society and read books such as the Catcher in the Rye? While each book and movie depicts a stereotype, the reality of modern independent educational institutions is very different.
Private Schools are only for WASPS
One of the most pervasive myths about private schools is the lack of diversity. Nothing could be further through the truth. According to the Independent Schools Association of the Central States about twenty percent of the independent school human population is comprised of students of colour. The majority of these schools actively seek students from different backgrounds and attract a diverse faculty.
Many independent schools were once carefully based. Most now accept learners of all faiths, although they may still require some forms of religious manifestation from students such as taking philosophy of religion courses or attending faith-based activities. Independent schools that will still adhere to one faith generally state that fact clearly in their literature and require students and their parents to sign a profession associated with faith and adherence to the religious practices and beliefs.
Personal Schools are too expensive
There is no getting around it, boarding and day institutions do charge tuition and charges. But the cost ranges from very reasonable to very expensive. Some institutions are usually tuition and expense free with regard to accepted students thanks to endowments founded by alumni or benefactors. Others, like many Catholic schools, are usually financially sponsored by the community reducing the tuition paid by family members. Some institutions are expensive but offer generous financial aid packages. So find a school you like and then apply for financial aid.
Private Schools are only for smart kids
Sometimes it seems as though simply smart kids go to private college. But the fact is that students of ability levels attend such organizations. The one thing students have in common will be they attend private school because they want to learn. They and their mom and dad have decided education is important. They want smaller class sizes and a closer connection with their teachers.
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Private Schools are harder than public schools
Several are harder, some aren’t. It depends on the school you choose. Some institutions emphasize academics while others focus on the Arts or other programs. What exactly is true, is that private schools have smaller class sizes, so it is harder for a student to slip between the cracks. The majority of independent schools are designed to help college students learn and grow. So learners at an independent school can expect to work hard.
Private Schools focus on classical studies like Latin
Independent universities used to provide students with a classic liberal arts education which did focus on subjects such as English, math, history and Latin. Today that is no longer true. There are still some classically-based schools but most seek to provide college students with a well-rounded modern education. Independent schools want their graduates to get involved with college, start a career and succeed in the world and subjects like Latin aren’t as important for that as they were in the past.
Private Schools are segregated by sex
Almost all boarding schools plus day schools were once one sex. Today that has changed. The majority are now co-educational although some single sex schools remain for those who want that have.
Private Schools require uniforms
Plaid skirts and white blouses; candy striped ties and dark pants-everyone’s idea of what students wear at indie schools. Most modern independent school college students must follow a dress code like khaki pants and dress tshirts or navy skirts and sweatshirts. Some religious schools still need uniforms.