Photo by Gilman School

Private Schools

Many city families take advantage of Baltimore’s outstanding private and independent schools. And lucky for parents interested in these options, there are numerous choices within Baltimore City limits. Families looking at private schools for the first time are likely to have questions! We’ve collected answers to many FAQs here.

Can our family afford private school?

Don’t be turned off by rumors: Not only are many private schools more affordable than you think (less than or equal to the cost of daycare!), nearly all offer financial aid options. That said, it is important that families inform schools of their financial need during the application process. In many cases, it is not possible to retroactively apply for financial aid after a student has been admitted.

Many Baltimore City private schools use a common financial aid application, available from the National Association of Independent Schools. Consider starting your financial aid investigation here, but be sure to check with each school for its specific application requirements.

When should we begin looking at private schools?

Most experts suggest families begin considering private schools two years prior to their anticipated entry date. This not only allows time for parents to research schools and determine the best fit for their child, it also allows for the completion of schools’ (sometimes lengthy) application processes. Keep in mind that many schools admit students only (or primarily) at “entry point” years—typically kindergarten, pre-first, first, sixth, and ninth grades

How does the application process work?

Because private schools are independent, their application processes vary. Many schools require students to undergo academic assessments to ensure school-readiness. A typical admissions process for a private school includes filling out an application, releasing student records, submitting letters of recommendation, testing, and school visits. Be sure to read carefully over all requirements and due dates on the website of each school to which you plan to apply.

How do I choose a school for my child?

Selecting a private school for your child is a personal decision. Parents should consider the school’s mission and education philosophy, its school culture, its accommodations for special needs, its location, and its cost, among other factors. Most Baltimore City private schools offer tours and school visits in the early fall, typically during October and November. Learn about Baltimore’s private schools through the links on our Schools map.

How will my kids get to school?

When private schools in the city’s North region noticed increased enrollment from Southern regions, many schools (including Gilman, Bryn Mawr, and Friends) began a shuttle service from downtown. As you explore private options, ask admissions officials about Kangaroo Coach—an easy way for parents to get their kids around the city.

Have more questions about schools in Baltimore City?

Our school navigator can help! Email or call Kim Wiggins at 410-637-3750 x115.

Learn About Other Baltimore City School Types