Private Schools


There are more than 33,000 private, or nonpublic, schools across America. These schools charge tuition to attend, and serve 5.4 million children. There are many different types of private schools, such as independent and non-religious schools, schools affiliated with different faiths and religions, schools that serve children with special needs, and boarding and military academies. 

More than half of US states have created scholarship programs to help make private and nonpublic schools more accessible to children and families. These types of programs include:

  • Opportunity scholarship programs, which allow parents to use all or part of the tax funding set aside for their children’s education to choose private education.
  • Tax credit scholarship programs, which allow individuals and corporations to receive state tax credits for donating to nonprofit organizations that provide tuition assistance for children.
  • Personal tax credits and deductions, which allow parents who send their children to private schools to receive state income tax credits, or deductions.
  • Education savings accounts, which allow parents to access the state and/or local funds set aside for their child for a variety of educational needs, including private education.

Some of these private school choice programs are relatively universal, meaning that all families can access scholarships, although most are limited to low-income families and to families with children who have special needs.