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    Private Schools in Virginia

    Small Classes, Big Dreams: Virginia’s Private Schools Nurture Academic Excellence

    Virginia boasts a rich landscape of private schools, offering a compelling alternative to public education for some students and families. The Collegiate Schools in Richmond, founded in 1915, is one of the state’s oldest private preK-12 schools. Norfolk Academy, founded in 1728, also serves preK-12 students. The state has several all-boys schools (St. Christopher’s School, Woodberry Forest School) and all-girls schools (St. Catherine’s School, The Madeira School).

    Reasons to Consider Private Schools in VA:

    • Smaller class sizes and individualized attention: Many Virginia private schools have lower student-teacher ratios than public schools, enabling more focused instruction and catering to individual learning styles and needs.
    • Strong academic focus: The state’s top private schools have rigorous curricula that push students academically—ideal for students who thrive in challenging environments and seek acceptance in competitive colleges.
    • Specialized programs: Many of the state’s private schools offer unique programs like international baccalaureate (IB) or advanced placement (AP) courses that provide a well-rounded and enriching education. Some schools offer an arts or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) approach.
    • Faith-based education: Virginia has many private religious schools, including St. Christopher’s School and St. Catherine’s School, offering a faith-based curriculum alongside academics. These schools can be a good option for families seeking a specific religious environment for their children.
    • Strong school community: Private schools often foster a close-knit community feel, with more parental involvement and opportunities for extracurricular activities, for a supportive environment for students’ social and emotional growth.

    How VA Private Schools Stand Out

    Top private schools can be selective, attracting high-achieving students and creating a more competitive, stimulating learning environment for motivated students. These schools typically have highly qualified, experienced teachers with advanced degrees in their fields. The top-tier schools have a proven track record of college acceptances, with their dedicated college counseling resources guiding students through the application process and gaining admission to prestigious universities.

    The schools also feature state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced science labs, performance centers, and athletic fields. Many of these schools may offer unique programs or resources not found elsewhere, like international exchange programs, guest speaker series, or innovative teaching methods.

    The state’s private high schools also recognize that preparing graduates for life’s next steps goes beyond academics. Through comprehensive college counseling services, students receive guidance on mapping requirements for admission to their dream schools, crafting compelling applications and essays, interview prep, standardized test strategies, and more. These counselors become trusted sources of advice throughout the daunting and sometimes overwhelming college admissions process.

    Important Considerations

    Private school tuition requires a significant financial commitment. Most schools offer financial aid options — but do factor in the cost before deciding. Also, not all private schools are created equal. Research individual schools to find one aligned with your child’s personality, learning style, and family values.

    Ultimately, whether to send your student to a private school depends on your child’s individual needs and family’s priorities. Virginia’s private school system offers a diverse range of options.


      Virginia’s private schools offer a compelling alternative to public education with smaller class sizes, strong academic focus, and specialized programs. These schools can be a good fit for students who thrive in challenging environments and those seeking a faith-based education.

      The state’s private schools foster a close-knit community and a stimulating learning environment with experienced teachers, with its top-tier schools boasting a history of college success and offer unique programs and resources. Consider your child’s needs and family priorities when deciding if a Virginia private school is the right fit.