How to Transfer From a Public to Private High School

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There is an on-going debate about the benefits of private education over public education, but whatever the reasons you choose a private high school over a public one, there are a few obstacles you may need to overcome. Public high schools receive government funding and have to accept everyone, where many private schools pick and choose people from certain demographics for their student population. The process may seem overwhelming, but staying organized can make a huge difference.

  • Decide which private school you want to transfer to from your high school. There are independent schools, parochial schools and proprietary schools. There might be constraints based on previous test scores, grade point average or tuition affordability. Independent schools tend to be the most expensive, whether they board or not, and parochial schools tend to be the least expensive.

  • Obtain admission materials from the private high school. This is something you want to do early in the school year, so you can apply for the following year. Some places require even earlier application. Keep a day-planner or a list so you do not miss any deadlines.

  • Send in your application forms to the private high school and take any admissions tests or standardized testing required by the private high school.

  • Apply for any scholarships, grants or financial aid you may need to cover your tuition and other costs or fees for the private school. Admissions Quest and the National Association of Independent Schools both have lists of scholarship and grant programs to help people who might need financial aid. Your new private school also might have financial aid available for students in certain circumstances.

  • Make sure the credits you already have can transfer over. If some do not, you have to take extra classes or may be able to "test out" of those credits.

  • Ensure the public high school sends your transcripts and records to the private high school. The schools may work this out on their own, but following up helps you get the peace of mind of knowing it is taken care of. It also makes you look professional and mature to the private school.

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