What is a Prep School?

You may have heard the term, “preparatory school,” or “prep school” before. What is this unique kind of school all about, and who does it serve? In this piece, we’ll tackle these questions and more in giving you a clear concept of what this type of school actually is. Let’s get straight to it.

The Basic Concept

You’ve probably heard it before. Those who go to college are far more likely to live a successful, comfortable, and financially stable lifestyle than those who do no not. In fact, data shows that the difference in earnings between these two parties amounts to hundreds, and often, even thousands of dollars per week.

This, in fact, is the basic premise behind prep schools. A prep, or preparatory school is actually a school designed to prepare high school-level students for an approaching future in college. Typically, such schools are private and cater to the 14 to 18 year-old age group.

Such schools function much like a traditional high school, providing all of the basic education found therein. Prep schools, however, add an additional element of preparatory application to the student’s daily routine. Here, classes may be more advanced and accelerated, materials may be much more in-depth, and additionally, students are often able to earn actual college credits for these classes. The entire premise here is to provide a high school experience that is also conducive to upcoming, collegiate level, educational endeavors.

Best Candidates

As one might realize from the above description, such schools are ideal for those that will most likely be attending college directly after finishing the high school academic level. Such schools are not advised for those that are likely not attending college just after high school or those that are doing so not out of their own personal desire. Such schools are also highly advised for those that are first-generation college attendees. Although anyone may apply to attend these schools, those that are the very best candidates for success here are those that fit these specific qualities.

Common Q&A

To provide some more insight on the parameters of today’s preparatory school, here are some commonly asked questions as well as their corresponding answers on the matter.

How are honors, AP, and IB classes handled?

This all depends on the school. Generally, every prep school is going to carry college-attractive, advanced placement, honors, and international baccalaureate classes. Which is carried where is a question best asked of individual schools.

Is there additional support for students?

Again, all prep schools are slightly different, but many do offer extensive, additional supports to help encourage students onward to the college transition. Such supports often include professional and academic counseling, family involvement, intro courses, and more.

Is Common Core used in these schools?

As it is in much of the academic system today, Common Core is included in some prep schools’ methodology. If this is a concern, this information can easily be gleaned through simple inquiries of the school in question.

Prep schools are a great transitional step for those at the high school level who will soon be off to college. Such schools are not necessarily ideal for everyone, though, and ample consideration should take place before the time of enrollment. Although not essential, these are the basics of the very helpful college prep school of today.

Recommended Resource: 50 Great Schools Where High School Students Can Get College Credit