It’s not always straightforward choosing what to study, and the same can is true for where to study. The reassuring news is that it’s really common to not be sure about either–so you’re far from alone if this is you.
Once you have figured out what you want to study, there are a few things you can do to make finding the right school easier. You’ll find some tips below. For example, how to choose the right school, and insight into whether private is better than public school. You can also try finding your perfect school via our matchmaking quiz. It’s a great way to discover more about what the learning experience looks like for you.
Is private school really better than public school?
It’s often thought that private school is better than public school, but is that really the case? It often comes down to opinion. That and the fact that many parents think they are ‘purchasing’ a better education for their children.
Yet, The Public School Review claims that private schools are no better than public schools, following a 2018 study. The Public School Review article reads, ‘After reviewing data from over 1,000 students, researchers from the University of Virginia found no evidence to suggest that students from low-income families and children enrolled in urban schools benefited more from private than from public school education.’
Ultimately, every school is different. It’s not black and white whether private school is better or not than public school. One way of looking at it is that the level of effort you put in, as the student, really makes a difference.
If you’d like to dig further into private versus public school have a look at achievement test scores. Also, Compare things like class size, teacher certifications and experience, and admission requirements. Have a chat with your parent or guardian(s) to see if private school is an option for you–the cost can sometimes rule it out.
How do I choose the right school?
Working out how to find the right school can be a tricky decision. There’s plenty to consider. Things like if you’ll stay close to home, or study abroad? Will you choose to stick with your friends? Or will you forge a new path on your own?
One thing you can do is to apply a tried-and-tested approach to help you make your decision. It’s a model developed by renowned educator and adventurer, Karl Rohnke. His theory is that every decision and action we take can sit in one of three zones: comfort, stretch, or panic. Try it out using these simple tips.
Another thing you can do to help you make your decision is to compile a list of pros and cons. You can do this on a spreadsheet to do if it’s helpful–it doesn’t need to be complex, in fact, the simpler the better. Add a column for location, exam results, facilities… anything you feel is key to making your decision. The idea to capture all the information you need and make it easy to compare schools at a glance. You can then use this to cross-reference and narrow down schools. This should help you feel more confident in making a decision.
How do I choose an independent school?
First of all, you might need clarification on what a private school is, and what an independent school is. So, what is the difference?
A private school refers to any learning institution that does not receive public funding from its state government. Independent schools are private schools that are overseen by a board of governors or trustees. The essential distinction between independent schools and other private schools is self-governance and financial independence. For example, independent schools own, govern, and finance themselves. Hult is an independent private school.
How to choose the right school doesn’t have to be difficult. You can narrow it down by looking into the following things:
Think about whether you’re likely to be a day pupil. If you will be, what will your commute be like? How long will it take? What method of travel will you use? Do also consider evening or weekend activities, which schools might run. A school would need to be at a reasonable distance if you plan to commute. If it’s not, living on campus might be a better option.
- The school’s ethos
Every independent school has its own philosophy. And this may well have evolved. Look into what the school stands for and consider if you share the same values as you do. A good idea is to make an appointment to meet the head professor. You then get to see the school and meet someone who will give you a good sense of what the school is all about.
- Available facilities
Don’t make any assumptions or decisions based on photographs of impressive campuses–you need to look into what is inside, and around. What facilities are available? Are there plenty of classrooms? And how are they equipped? Go to the school if you can and take a tour. Be sure to explore outdoor grounds too. Are there playing fields? And a variety of sports and clubs, which use these? Ask as many questions as you can (there are no stupid ones). The information you gather will help solidify your decision about where to study.
- Exam results
It’s easy to feel wowed by independent schools due to their excellent academic track record. Yet, do check their results. Also, ask about their alumni and what they are doing now. While a strong set of exam results is impressive, the careers of former pupils are more so.
- Co-curricular activities
What happens at schools outside of the classroom is just as important to consider. Look into whether there are things like sports clubs, special interest clubs, or if you can start your own. Often schools have clubs for all kinds of hobbies and interests. They’re a great way to socialize, push your comfort zones, and have fun!