The Differences Between Public Private Prep and Charter High Schools



Long gone are the days of only brick-and-mortar schools. While there are currently 49 million students are enrolled in public school, there are six million enrolled in private schools.

In addition, there are also a lot homeschooling options. So, with so many choices, how do you know which school is right for your child?

Continue reading to learn the differences between public, private, prep and charter schools.

Public Schools

All public schools get all their finances from the state, government and local funds. Most of the time, public schools are obligated to admit all students who live within the district. The reason why public schools are considered better than the other types is because of the number of benefits that come with it.

These benefits include:

  • Low costs
  • Availability
  • The opportunities in extracurricular activities
  • The opportunities in academics
  • Access to qualified teachers
  • They can be held accountable
  • They provide various services to students like giving computers and school books

Charter Schools

Charter schools are somewhat of a new type of public school. These schools made their first appearance during the early 1990s. They are operated by teachers, parents and for-profit companies. Charter schools may receive tax dollars, however, the sponsors may have private funding.

Private Schools

Private schools work a bit differently than public and charter schools. To start, private schools don’t rely on government funding. Instead, they rely on tuition payments and funding from non-public sources. These sources may include grants, endowments and religious organizations. Private schools select their students from a pool who have applied for their admission. Admission may be based on exam scores and previous schooling history. These schools may be single-sex or coed.

Prep Schools

A College Prep High School is a type of private school that helps prepare students for college. They are extremely similar to public schools except for the type of funding. Being a private school, prep schools don’t rely on funding from the government or the state. Instead, a college prep school relies solely on tuition payments. Each school differs in the way they handle financial aid, scholarships, and funding for great students who can’t afford tuition. Even with finances available, most of these school require an admissions test and application.

With a different school comes a different education. It’s important that you understand that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to education. What school you decide to enroll your child in is ultimately up to you.

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