US High Schools

Most High schools in the USA are in the public sector but here we will be dealing with the private sector High schools as they offer the best support to international students.

The best high schools in America are private but that doesn’t mean that all private high schools are better than all public high schools. There are many thousands of private high schools in the USA so it is often difficult to know for sure which are the good ones. GetSet’s experienced counsellors can help.

Are there any difference between private and public highs schools in the USA?

There are some differences but these are generalizations

In a report it was found that;

  • Private high school graduates are more likely to have taken advanced maths and sciences
  • Private high schools have better academic support and health related services
  • Average class size is larger in public schools
  • Public schools are much larger than private schools, on average twice as many students. It is thought students at smaller schools develop a keener sense of community than those at big schools.
  • Public school teachers receive higher salaries although private school teachers report more satisfaction with their working conditions.

What kinds of private high schools are there?

Private schools differ from public schools in that they rely totally on tuition fees and private donations for their income whereas public schools are funded by the state. Basically they can be split into day school and boarding school

Private Boarding Schools

Students at these schools will live in the school dormitories sharing with one or two other students. The dormitories are supervised by at least one live-in member of staff. All meals are eaten at the school cafeteria.

As boarders, students are expected to play an important part of the school community and are encouraged to join clubs and play sports.

International students will have additional English classes until they are fully able to attend regular academic classes.

Private Day Schools

Students at private day schools will live with a local American family and go home every night. This is a great way to improve English ability and quickly learn about American life and culture. While lunch is eaten at the school cafeteria, breakfast and evening meals are provided by the Homestay family.

Some private day schools also provide extra English language tuition for international students

Co-ed or single sex?

Co-ed means boys and girls studying together though if at a co-ed boarding school, the boys and girls are housed in separate boarding houses.

Most schools are now co-ed but a few boys schools and girls schools remain. There are many pros and cons for both co-ed and single sex education but the decision is ultimately that of the parents.

GetSet can help bring to your attention many of the different issues surrounding this question.

How difficult is it to gain admission to a private high school in the USA?

Admissions standards can vary depending on the school from moderately difficult to extremely selective. Therefore grades obtained by your son or daughter at their current or previous school can be very important if applying for a very selective as competition for places can be intense.