As a quality education is typically considered a cornerstone of a fulfilling and successful life, American parents have traditionally sought the best possible schooling for their children. Going back to the 19th century, this quest has led countless families to consider placing their children in independent school programs.
Unlike public education, however, private school attendance places financial demands-often quite significant in nature-upon students’ families. Is an independent school education within reach of middle-class Americans? How have private schools worked to achieve affordability over the years? Is a private school education a mere pipe dream for families of modest means?
Porter Sargent Handbooks, a division of Carnegie Communications, is in a unique position among American publishers to examine these important issues. Established in 1914, Porter Sargent has published its annual guide to American nonpublic elementary and secondary education, The Handbook of Private Schools, since 1915. Renowned for its meticulously edited and researched data, the Handbook has provided readers with a wealth of information about private schools for nearly a hundred years.
Porter Sargent Handbooks’ longtime senior editor, Daniel P. McKeever, helmed an assessment of tuition and financial-aid data from a cross-section of boarding schools between 1935 through 2010, in the process gaining valuable insights into the American private school affordability. His staff’s findings are now available in the newly released paper, “A Historical Examination of Financial Aid Trends in American Boarding Schools: 1935-2010.”
For those who view American private education as a privilege reserved only for the wealthy, the results may be a surprise. “My two-plus decades of experience in the field of private education has proved to me that ‘conventional wisdom’ can sometimes be off the mark,” said McKeever. “Private schools-particularly boarding programs-are often labeled as elitist and unaffordable. Over the years, however, I have seen the great lengths to which many schools have gone to ensure that their fine educational programs are open to all students who have the intelligence and work ethic to thrive in a competitive academic environment-regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnicity. I was pleased to find that our extensive research has confirmed my belief in the accessibility of a private school education.”
We invite you to see how private schools have responded to significant fluctuations in the American economy-and, in many instances, the great challenges that have resulted-over the course of three quarters of a century. Visit www.portersargent.com/FinancialAidTrends.pdf to download a copy of the paper.
For more information, contact Dan McKeever, Editor, 978-842-2812, Fax: 978-692-2304, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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