Choosing a School: Comparing Schools

Updated September 28, 2017 |
Choosing a School: Comparing Schools
Use a spreadsheet to develop your initial list of schools. Here's how.
At some point in the process of choosing schools for your child, you will have to engage in the exercise of comparing certain criteria. As much as private schools can be compared – for they really can't be compared – you still need to keep track of basic information which matters to you and to your consultant.
This video explains how to use Google Spreadsheets.

Basics like tuition costs, acceptance rate, dress code which matter to you should be part of the spreadsheet you set up to compare schools. We are using three schools for purposes of this illustration. But you probably will want to have as many as 10-15 schools in your first group. Once that is done you can begin to eliminate the schools which don't suit your requirements as you begin to develop a short list of schools to visit and examine more closely.



Where do you get the data? It's very easy to find on this site. On the splash page near the top is a drop-down menu titled Comparisons. Choose any criterion you like. Then click on schools which interest you. All the data you need is listed for you in each school's profile.

Here's an example of what your spreadsheet could look like. We have chosen basic data but you can list whatever criteria matter to you in the first column of the spreadsheet.



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Updated July 17, 2017 |
Boarding Schools: True or False
The media loves to focus on things like elitism and how boarding schools are just for troubled kids. Let's look at the truth.
The media loves to focus on things like elitism and how boarding schools are just for troubled kids. Let's look at the truth. Boarding schools....
Are just for rich kids.
False. Since about 2000 private schools have been very proactive in seeking out qualified applicants, regardless of their economic circumstances. Basically, if you qualify academically and have good recommendations, you can get in. Furthermore, most schools offer financial aid packages. These vary from school to school, as each school is a standalone corporate entity with its own policies and procedures regarding financial aid. Several schools now offer a tuition-free education where family incomes fall below a specific threshold, typically $75,000 to $100,000.
Here is an overview of The Kiski School.
Don't let you have a life.
False. While it is true that boarding schools will supervise your whereabouts at all times, the idea that you won't have a life is simply false. In fact there will be so much to do at boarding school that there will be times when you will wonder how you will be able to fit it all in. Sports two days a week and extracurricular activities of every conceivable kind provide a nice counterpoint to your academic studies. Field trips and social activities are also part of the package. Yes, there is time for yourself too so you can chill, listen to your music and chat with your friends. The rhythm of boarding school life provides a solid
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Updated February 26, 2018 |
10 Facts About Boarding Schools
Here are 10 facts about boarding schools which the schools want you to know. If you are considering sending your child to boarding school, this data and information will address some of your concerns.
There are over 300 boarding schools in the U.S.
Most boarding schools prepare their students for college level work. Hence the name, "college prep" or "prep" which you will see in many school names. Most boarding schools are coeducational. But there are  about a hundred schools which are single sex schools. They accept and teach only boys or girls.
There are several types of boarding schools. Alternative and therapeutic schools serve specific needs such as emotional and disciplinary issues. Still other schools offer programs for students with special needs such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and other learning differences. They have the skilled, highly credentialed staff to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. They focus on college preparation as well. Military schools combine academics and the military training many young people and their parents demand. As you will see when you review the boarding school profiles on this site, there literally is a school for every need and requirement.
Some schools are purely residential.
Other schools are a mix of boarding and day students. A true boarding school has most of its students resident on campus. But if a school happens to be located in a town or other major population area, it could have a significant percentage of day students. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but it does change the complexion of the school and its life. Why? Because day students leave at the end of the academic day. While they will come back for sports and extracurricular activities, they are
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Updated June 21, 2016 |
Schools for Students with Learning Disabilities
How to deal with a child who has a learning disability.
Every parent deals with learning issues as their children progress through school. Not understanding math concepts is one thing, but what if you suddenly realize that your child can't read. He just cannot process the characters on the page in order to make sense of them. That's a whole different thing. You need to deal with this issue as it will not disappear. Read the information on All Kinds of Minds. Understand that there is much research on learning differences and disabilities. Realize that processing information, developing good study habits, and much more, are important aspects of what you are dealing with. The National Center for Learning Disabilities  lays out a road map for you.
If you let this go on without remediating it, he's going to have bigger issues as he heads into adolescence. You cannot allow him to become discouraged. It makes so much more sense to begin helping him right now. To delay merely postpones the inevitable.
The first thing you need to do is have him assessed professionally. You must find out the parameters of his learning disability. An in depth assessment will look at every aspect of how he processes information. Once that's done then you can begin to plot a course of action.
Choosing a Day or Boarding School
Which is better? Keeping him at home or sending him to a residential school? You can always keep him at home. You can probably find tutors locally. But there's much more to his remediation
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Updated December 02, 2017 |
Choosing a School: DO's and DON'TS
Here are some considerations to ponder whilst choosing schools and when your child is actually away at school.
DO: Visit schools.
Visiting schools takes a lot of time and effort. It is, however, one of the most important parts of the school selection process.  Use the search tools on this site to develop a preliminary list of schools which interest you and your child. If you are located overseas,  be sure to research flights to major ports of entry such as Seattle and Los Angeles on the west coast and Boston, New York, Atlanta and Miami on the east coast and Denver and Chicago in the western and mid-western parts of the country. If you ever have to make an emergency trip to your child's school, you will understand why this step is so important.
Once you have developed your preliminary list, refine it to a short list of 3-5 schools. Then visit these schools to determine if they are indeed a good fit for your child's needs and your requirements.

Many schools have open houses. These offer you a wonderful opportunity to visit the school, see classrooms, listen to the school's 'story' and meet admissions staff. How do you figure out which schools have open houses in your area? You can look on the school's website. And, you can do a search on this site. Here's how:

Go to find private schools. Choose your state and click on the link for open houses in that state. The number of open houses will vary according to the time of year and the

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