Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about private schools in the Bay Area. If you have additional questions, them to us and we will periodically update this list.
Q. When should I start searching for private schools?
A. Since the admission cycle typically begins in the Fall, the Fall a year before your child starts school is an appropriate starting time. You can of course start gathering information on schools and identifying you and your child's needs prior to the Fall. If you are planning to hire an educational consultant, you would want to do so before September so he/she can assist you from the beginning of your search.
Q. Where can I find standardized test scores for California private schools?
A. Unlike public schools, private schools are not required to disclose their test scores. In fact, it is a San Jose diocesan policy that test scores are not published. Most schools however are willing to share their test results when asked by parents. In general, private schools in the Bay Area post scores higher than the national average.
Q. Is there ranking on California private schools?
A. There is no ranking on private elementary schools. Since the key to a rewarding private school education is finding a good match for your child's specific needs, parents should not make their decision solely based on test scores and reputation.
Q. What are the tuition rates for private schools in the Bay Area?
A. The tuition ranges from an average of $3,500 a year for parochial schools (in-parish student) to an average of $9,000 a year for independent elementary schools and $14,000 a year for private high schools. Here's more information on financing a private school education.
Q. How many schools should my child apply to?
A. There is no magic number, however, bear in mind that more schools translates to more time and effort from you and your child. (Do you really want to put your child through twenty interviews?) A list of five to seven schools that meet your criteria, including one or two "safe" school, is a good start. It is useful to find out the typical acceptance rate to the schools your child is applying so you can gauge how competitive the schools are. The actual acceptance rate however, will depend on the applicant pool that year. Don't forget that private schools give preference to continuing students from their preschool and siblings of current students. In addition, parochial schools give priority to children of active in-parish parents.
Q. Should I hire an educational consultant?
A. An experienced educational consultant (EC) can reduce the stress related to school search by helping you understand what you and your child need, providing information about the schools in your area, assisting with the application process, etc. The decision whether to hire an EC is solely a personal one. Check our our specialist section for a list of ECs in the Bay Area. You can also contact Independent Educational Consultants Association at (800)808-4322 for more information.
Q. Which Bay Area private schools offer boarding program?
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