From preschool on, all levels of school are important for your child's success. However, one of the most important is the school they attend just before they should be going off to college. Prep schools, short for preparatory schools, are designed to get students ready for college and to succeed there. To sort out the best prep schools from the more average ones and get your child the best education possible, be sure to ask these important questions when you're looking at schools.
How Do Students Perform On The SAT and ACT?
These standardized tests are used across the country as barometers for who universities will and won't accept. Students will take the ACT in their junior year and the SAT in their senior year. Both measure their knowledge in math, reading, and writing, and the ACT tests for proficiency in science as well. When you ask about the performance of the students at the school, you'll have to know the score averages for the tests to properly gauge if those scores are good enough. Across all schools in the United States, the average SAT score is 1060 and in private schools across the country it is about 1235.
What Universities Have Graduates Attended?
As the entire purpose of scoping out the best prep schools is to ensure that your child gets into a good college, this question is essential. The administration will likely have a list of four-year colleges attended by graduates at the ready, and you'll want to take a look at that so that you know the kind of schools your child could be a candidate for. With this question, you should also ask how many students have graduated from college after attending the prep school, to ensure that the school not only gets students into college but gives them the skills to succeed there.
What Support Does The School Provide For Moving Onto College?
Making sure the students succeed in college comes from a certain kind of support. The best prep schools will strike a good balance of providing a plethora of programs to support students, but not so many that they are holding the hands of the students the entire time. Students going into college will have to make many decisions on their own, but they'll be ill-equipped for that if they've had their prep school to do that for them.
Searching for your child's perfect school can be intimidating, but just remember that you always know what's best for them. Be prepared with questions, know what you want, and let your parental instinct lead in the end.