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Why Choose an Independent School?*

What are independent schools?

According to the National Association of Independent Schools, there are approximately 2,000 independent schools in the United States. As part of the private school community, these schools provide more than 700,000 students from preschool through high school with a unique and high-quality education. Independent schools have distinct missions and are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue. Each school meets high accreditation standards and is held accountable by its Board of Trustees.

Why attend an independent school?

The reasons cited over and over again by the 400,000 families who send their children to independent schools include individual attention, small classes, teacher excellence, and high academic standards. But the main motive for families looking into independent private schools can be summarized in one word: Quality. They want, quite simply, the best for their sons and daughters.

The National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, confirms what independent school families have known for years: larger percentages of students in independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.


Independent school students:

  • Do twice as much homework as their counterparts;
  • Watch only two-thirds as much television;
  • Are significantly more likely to participate in varsity or intramural sports; and
  • Are more likely to agree that students and teachers get along well, discipline is fair, and teaching is good.

Why are independent schools successful?

Research suggests that independent schools offer:

  • Close-knit communities
  • Individualized attention for students
  • High-quality and committed teachers
  • Hands-on learning opportunities
  • Educational experiences beyond the classroom
  • Actively engaged parents
  • Supportive learning environments

 *Adapted from the NAIS web site

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