What Is The Difference Between Private School Vs Public School?

Growing up I always wondered about those rich kids that attended private schools. They got to wear the cute uniforms and seemed more privileged than myself. But the truth is I really had no idea what made their school students so cool. Was it all about money, and if so what was the cost? What was better about their school than mine?

Pros & Cons

According to Council for American Private Education, the average tuition for private school (from 2007-2008) was estimated between $13-15,000 for K-12. Interestingly enough, there are a little over 33,000 private schools in the US but only 11% of the population is attending them. More than 80% of the wealthy kids (with parents making $100,000 or more) attend public schools! Here are the pros and cons which might shed some light on why this is the case:

Private School Pros:

  • Attract tend to hire better teachers.
  • They are selective of students they admit, which can mean higher quality friends for your kids
  • Students that are admitted must have a proven academic record
  • The school grounds and facilities are higher quality and school lunch is more nutritious
  • Colleges tend to accept students faster if they’ve had private school education and training


  • Cost: you will spending anywhere from 10,000-17,000 per year
  • No public transit
  • The state government is not involved with private schooling so the highest official you can address your concerns to is the Board of Trustees.
  • Hiring of teachers is not regulated by any teaching degree
  • Richer students can sometimes get more privileges than others

Public School Pros

  • Public transportation
  • Great social clubs like band and chorus, PTA programs, etc., after school programs
  • Teaching degree is required
  • There is always a higher official to address your concerns to


  • Administrators can be much more difficult to work with
  • State testing can be outdated
  • Innovative thinking is less appreciated
  • Full classrooms
  • Grading system can be demeaning
  • Wide range of students from different backgrounds can result in higher influence of drugs and other dangers

Despite this list of pros and cons, gathered from various sources, I would take this information with a grain of salt. Children with rich parents have as much influence of drugs and alcohol as children with middle class or poor parents. In fact, it can be said that because both substances can be extremely costly, the rich may have better access. Also, administrators at private schools can tend to be a bit snottier than those at public schools.

When it comes to making a decision on which school your child should attend its best to do some research. Google the top private schools in your area and then investigate their services and reputation. If you find a great private school in Utah or anywhere else the cost may be well worth the experience and education your child will receive.