Enrolling your child in a private school can be a little hard on the wallet, especially if you live in New England. Pennsylvania’s cost of living is lower than the national average, but their private schools are more expensive.
The average cost of a private K-12 school in Pennsylvania is about $12,000 per year. Private elementary schools in the state have slightly less expensive tuition costs, with the cost averaging about $10,500 per year, while a private high school charges an average of about $16,000.
Private school costs a bit more than public ones, which causes many parents to wonder about the pricing and quality of different schools where they live. Whether you are new to private schools or just looking to transfer to one in Pennsylvania, this article has you covered with what experiences you can expect from different private schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
Like many other private schools around the country, private schools in Pennsylvania generally don’t just cover the normal elementary school ages of K-6. Although they do not make up the majority of private schools, some schools contain students of elementary or junior high age or from the ages of five to thirteen. Let’s discuss three schools that cater to these age groups.
St John the Evangelist Catholic School
St. John the Evangelist Catholic School has a very strong, interconnected Christian community. Along with receiving a secular education, students that attend St. John the Evangelist Catholic School are educated and uplifted spiritually through the teachings of the Catholic faith.
The school has a rich history and is one of the oldest schools in the area, as it was founded in 1830. The tuition is very inexpensive compared to others in the state, costing $1,975 per year.
Bradford Area Christian Academy
The Bradford Area Christian Academy heavily emphasizes religion, stating that one of its goals is to give students such a good understanding of the Bible that they are able to apply it to all aspects of their lives.
Bradford Area Christian Academy offers extracurriculars such as Yearbook Club and art and music classes, but has few clubs related to sports. Their tuition costs $4,500 per year. Class sizes are very small at the academy with most classes having eight students tops.
Providence Hybrid Academy
The Providence Hybrid Academy is located in Coopersburg, PA. What is unique about this school is that it is a hybrid academy, with students spending two days on campus and three days at home every week.
This offers parents who homeschool extra support and structure, while still giving them the ability to tailor the educational experience to their children’s specific needs. Because students are only in class twice a week, PHA charges only $2,375 per year.
Private high schools are a little difficult to find as well because many private schools offer classes to K-12 students. We’ll give you a little more information on a few private high schools in Pennsylvania so you don’t have to go any farther to do your research.
Germantown Friends School
The Germantown Friends School is located in Philadelphia, PA. As a Quaker school founded in 1845, this school has a history of excellence that it continues to build on today.
It is known as the best private high school in Pennsylvania and the best high school for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in Pennsylvania. The tuition for high school-age students is $41,500 per year.
At Mercersburg Academy, the goal of the staff is to really transform their students into even better students and citizens so that they will be able to be positive forces in society after graduation.
They offer boarding as well so that students can truly embrace a transformative experience. The price for tuition with boarding is obviously more expensive, costing around $67,000 per year. However, if you live close by, you can pay a daytime tuition of $39,650.
Is the Extra Cost of Private Schooling Worth It?
Many parents find themselves in the all too common debate of public schools versus private ones. Is it worth spending all that extra money? Is the quality of education really better?
Personally, I would say private schools are worth it if you can comfortably afford to send your children to one and you live in an area where the public schools are subpar. There are many aspects that make public schools a great option for you or your student.
Smaller Class Sizes
Since private schools can be more selective and limit class sizes, they generally opt to have smaller class sizes. This greatly enhances students learning. Not only does it allow for more personal relationships between classmates, but it also fosters student engagement and interaction as they may be less embarrassed to participate in a smaller group setting.
Having a smaller class also means that teachers aren’t spread as thin as they are in public schools where they are trying to wrangle in 25-35 students. Teachers can better focus on the one in smaller classrooms, as well as enjoy a less stress-filled work environment.
Philosophy and Emphasis
The philosophy and emphasis of a private school will affect what type of education you or your child will receive. It is important to see what teaching requirements and philosophies are followed including their views on disciplining students. This way, all parties involved will be aware of expectations and the consequences of failing those expectations.
Although because of stereotypes you may think that all private schools are Catholic or religious, there is actually a wide variety of types of private schools. Some are focused on the theatre and the arts while others have an emphasis on science, math, or technology. There are even private schools dedicated to certain sports or disciplines such as dance and ballet.
Another pro to private schools is that some specialize in teaching students with various disabilities, learning related or otherwise. One of those schools located in Media, PA is Benchmark School. They are a special education school with programs supporting students with dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, language-based learning differences, and more. Along with these specialized programs, it is one of the schools in Pennsylvania with the highest percentage of faculty members having advanced degrees.
Overall, there are many great private schools in Pennsylvania that cost quite a lot of money every year.