Student-centric advice and objective recommendations
Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.
Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.
What is a Country Day School?
Day schools strive to create close-knit learning communities similar to college prep boarding schools, with one big difference. Country day schools allow students to return to their homes and families at the end of the day. Keep reading to learn more about what a country day school is and whether it could be right for you or your child.
The history of country day schools
The founding of country day schools (which evolved into the suburban day schools of today) was part of the progressive educational movement that occurred in the late 19th century. In order to avoid the crime and pollution in the early 1900s, certain schools were established in the “country” rather than in the heart of industrialized cities. The aim was to give children “fresh air and sunshine” while they were immersed in a rigorous academic learning environment.
What are country day schools today?
Day schools are private schools that offer a K-12 education. Day schools have a more rigorous academic curriculum, although some offer special education classes as well. Most day school campuses design their school buildings and landscaping to be both inspirational and aesthetic.
In order to foster the academic learning environment for students, most day schools offer programs to promote student development in a variety of extracurricular areas.
Some examples of country day school programs include:
- Athletic programs
- Religious studies
- Choir or other music focused programs
- Study time
What are some pros and cons of day school compared to boarding school?
Pros of day school
- Cost is less than boarding school
- Balanced social life
- Able to separate school and home
Cons of day school
- Transportation logistics
- More parental involvement is expected
- Offer fewer first-person global perspectives due to smaller international student populations
Don’t miss: How much does boarding school cost?
What are some of the main differences between a day school and a boarding school?
Day schools are educational institutions in which students attend classes at the school but return home at the end of every day. In contrast, boarding schools are residential schools where students live on campus when school is in session.
Benefits of day school vs boarding school
|Benefits of day school||Benefits of boarding school|
|Overall tuition tends to be significantly lower than the tuition of boarding school||Able to save money on normal child rearing expenses|
|Students have more freedom to vary their outside of school environment||Allows students to fully commit to school life|
|Students are able to spend a significant amount of time with their families during the school year||Family time might be of higher quality due to the separation during the school year|
|Allows parents to “be there” for the student||Allows students to become independent|
Frequently asked questions about day school
How much does day school cost?
Day school is typically a private school, which means there is a tuition fee for students to attend. The price of tuition differs based on the specific school. Therefore, reach out to the day school of interest to find out more information about cost. According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the median average tuition for all grades in US day schools was $27,950 for the 2020-2021 school year.
Don’t miss: Finding private K-12 scholarships
Do day schools offer financial aid?
Yes, day schools do offer financial aid to students who qualify. According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the median percentage of students receiving financial aid during the 2020-2021 school year was 26.7% The median financial aid grant per student was $19,240. Each school will have its own financial aid formula for awarding aid, so be sure to do your research.
Also see: All about charter schools