Education

Private schools: Booming enrollment fuels big growth

Families drawn to private schools often rave about smaller class sizes, less testing and individualized instruction. Private schools have boomed in Mecklenburg, with 92 institutions enrolling a total of 18,524 students last year.

Private schools are free from many state regulations, giving them room to adopt their own curriculum and select their own textbooks. They do not have to be accredited -- although many are. The N.C. Division of Non-Public Education provides assistance, oversight and administrative support but does not “regulate the religious philosophy, educational philosophy or the operational policies of non-public schools.”

Tuition can range from a couple thousand to almost $25,000 a year. Some of that cost may be subsidized by state-funded vouchers, also known as Opportunity Scholarships. More information about vouchers can be found at the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, ncseaa.edu. Some private schools also offer reduced tuition or scholarships to eligible students.

Often private schools require testing and references prior to an admission decision.

Most private schools have upcoming open houses. If you don’t see an open house listed below, request a private tour. Visit the individual school websites for more detailed information.

For general questions about private schools in North Carolina visit http://ncadmin.nc.gov/citizens/private-school-information.

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