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Private School vs Public School in the USA
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    Private School vs Public School in USA


    Update: This article was last updated on 27th October 2023 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

    Parents have a plethora of options in the United States, with over 13,000 public school districts and over 30,000 private schools. It can be difficult for parents to decide whether to send their child to a private or public school. It can be a challenging task to understand the relative merits and demerits of these schools. 

    If one solely goes by numbers then as per the NCES data, as many as 49.4 million students had enrolled in public schools in 2019 across the USA. On the other hand, about 4.7 million kids joined private schools in the same year.  

    Table of Content
    Public vs Private Schools
    1. Cost
    2. Diversity of the institution
    3. Tutor qualification
    4. Size of class
    5. Graduation and college enrollment rates
    Private School vs Public School

    It requires much more insight than just mere numbers to make a sound decision for your child’s future. Thus this blog has been tailored to give parents a clear and comprehensive explanation of the differences between private and public schools so they can make the best choice for their children.

    Private Schools VS Public Schools

    Private Schools Public Schools
    Enrollment Fees Enrollment is free of charge Financially supported by tuition, grants, alumni contributions, and the community
    Funding May lack strict regulatory requirements Subject to regulatory compliance
    Teacher Certification Certification of teachers may not be mandatory Teachers are mandated to possess state certification or be in the process of obtaining it
    Curriculum Flexibility Limited room for flexibility in the curriculum Curriculum flexibility
    Class Sizes Smaller class sizes Larger class sizes
    Special Education Programs Possibly lacks specialized education programs Incorporation of special education programs

    For starters what are the pointers that parents may find significant when choosing between the two, then? As per the experts and education researchers, below five are a few of the pointers a parent can consider:

    • Cost
    • Diversity of the institution
    • Tutor qualification
    • Size of class
    • Graduation and college enrollment rates

    We’ll ponder over each one and try highlighting key differences in all the above five points. 

    Recommended Reading: Is Private School Tuition Tax Deductible? 

    1) How heavy will it be for your pocket?

    Parents are responsible for paying for private schools, while public schools are funded by taxpayers. Private schools can be financed through direct payments or financial aid. 

    The type of private school significantly impacts tuition costs. According to NAIS, in September 2022, the independent day schools had a median tuition of $27,408. Private boarding schools for K-12 students were all the more expensive, with an average cost of $63,650.

    Another fact to consider is that the cost of tuition for religious institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups is typically less than that of independent, secular schools. Private Catholic schooling as of 2023 costs $4,840 for elementary students and $11,240 for senior students, as opposed to $16,645.

    2) How Diverse is the institution? 


    Diversity in Students

    In comparison to public schools, private schools have a greater racial diversity. In the 2019–2020 school year, 66% of students attending private schools were White, while 12% of the population was Hispanic, 9% was Black, 7% was Asian, and the remaining students were from biracial, Pacific Islander, or Native American backgrounds. 

    By contrast, in the fall of 2021, 45% of kids enrolled in public schools were white, with the remaining 28% being Hispanic, 15% being Black, 5% being Asian, and 7% being mixed, Native American, or Pacific Islander.

    Recommended Reading: Is Private School Worth It?

    3) Tutor Qualification

    Many private school teachers are not as certified as teachers in public schools. Attending training sessions and implementing the most recent curriculum modifications are mandatory for public school teachers.

    4) Size of class


    Class Size

    Private schools have smaller class sizes with 10-15 students, allowing for a more personalized experience. In contrast, public schools have larger class sizes and higher student-teacher ratios, an elementary school may have up to thirty students. This is often due to funding shortages or budget constraints.

    5) College and exam performance

    Exam Performance

    The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has found that on standardized tests, students attending private schools routinely perform better than those attending public schools. Private school students outperformed public school students in nearly every subject, according to the report, with private school kids in the eighth grade scoring 20 points higher on the NAEP reading test in 2022 on average. 

    Additionally, on college admission exams like the SAT, students from private schools consistently outperform their counterparts from public schools. This demonstrates how important private schools are in boosting the success of children.


    These are not the only aspects to weigh while choosing between private and public school. Choosing the right school for your child needs careful consideration. The ongoing debate over private vs public schools seems to have been going on for a long time, perhaps because people have been weighing the advantages and disadvantages for a while now. It is not realistic to state that one type of school is fundamentally better than the other, despite the fact that both offer their own advantages.

    Moonpreneur understands the needs and demands this rapidly changing technological world is bringing with it for our kids, and thus we are on a mission to educate and ignite the flames of entrepreneurship through our holistically created online STEM programs, which will help kids master the futuristic sciences such as Robotics, Game Development, App Development, Advanced Math and much more!! 

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    Moonpreneur is an ed-tech company that imparts tech entrepreneurship to children aged 7 to 16. Its flagship offering, the Innovator Program, offers students a holistic learning experience that blends Technical Skills, Power Skills, and Entrepreneurial Skills with streams such as Robotics, Game Development, App Development, Advanced Math, and Book Writing & Publishing.
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    10 months ago

    I want to ask the parents if anyone could share their experience like, what factors did you consider when choosing between public and private schools for your child?

    7 months ago
    Reply to  Oliver

    I weighed class sizes, extracurriculars, and the school’s approach to individualized learning. Additionally, the community and values of the institution played a vital role. Finally, financial considerations were significant, but ultimately, I chose the option that aligned best with our child’s needs and values.

    9 months ago

    Do you feel more personalized attention was offered in one type of school over the other?

    Anshika Kanwar
    8 months ago
    Reply to  Chloe

    Yes, the private school provided noticeably more personalized attention. With smaller class sizes, teachers could focus on individual strengths and areas needing improvement. This tailored approach positively impacted our child’s learning experience and academic progress.



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