If you are considering sending your child to a private school in Denver, Colorado, you may wonder if the cost is worth the education your child receives. There are approximately 102 private schools in the Denver area, serving over 18,000 students. With the average tuition cost being $14,144—more expensive than the Colorado average of $12,981—research is needed to choose the best rich private school for your child.
Many believe the schools with the highest tuition rates offer their children the best education. While it is true that rich private schools may have smaller class sizes, better technology, and safer campuses than public schools, they vary widely in terms of what they offer.
We will examine some of the “richest” schools in Denver that are also highly rated. Furthermore, we will explore what is unique about each private school. We will also note any financial assistance these schools offer families looking at private school options.
The 6 Richest Schools in Denver: Elementary Schools
During the 2023-24 school year, there are approximately fifty-nine private elementary schools in Denver serving just over fourteen thousand students. We will examine two of the top three schools. Private elementary tuition in Denver is roughly $2,700 cheaper than the rest of the state, which is good news for the city's 14,000 elementary school students.
St. Elizabeth's School
Address: 1800 N Pontiac St, 80220
St. Elizabeth's School is an Episcopalian school serving students from K through 8. The school prides itself on its inclusivity and dedication to rigorous educational standards. St. Elizabeth's School has a competitive acceptance rate of 67 percent. Its average endowment of three million dollars enables the school to offer a robust financial assistance program. It also offers a sliding-scale tuition, which is unusual for a private school. Based on the family's adjusted gross income, the cost ranges from $500 to $18,750 per year.
Small class sizes of eighteen students per teacher are among the many perks the school offers its 128 students. The curriculum emphasizes art and music appreciation. Elementary students participate in music classes three times a week and art classes twice weekly. Older students must take a music, theater, and visual arts trimester. In addition to art programs, St. Elizabeth's School encourages sports and physical activity in its programs with students. It also has a Social Justice Studies program that includes classes such as Issues of Social Justice and Social Action.
International School of Denver
Address: 7701 E 1st Pl, Unit C, 80230
Tuition: $24,750 – $27,250
The International School of Denver is a K-8 school that opened in 1977 and offers Chinese, English, French, and Spanish courses. The school provides students with a fully immersive language experience in their chosen language. The International School of Denver is fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education and received recognition from the Spanish Ministry of Education for its language programs.
In addition to its immersive language program, this school offers both physical education and fine arts activities. Additionally, the library and media center has over 18,000 books in English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Furthermore, they are the only elementary school in the Denver area that takes children on international trips, including trips to China, France, and Spain. Additionally, eighth-grade students spend ten days on service trips to Belize or the Dominican Republic, working with non-profits or other community leaders. Closer to home, students also visit the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.
Tuition varies by grade, but the school reports that twenty percent of its students receive financial aid. French citizens whose children attend the school are also eligible for a Bourse scholarship from the French government. The average financial aid award for families who make less than $49,000 per year is $11,000.
The 6 Richest Schools in Denver: High Schools
Over six thousand students attend Denver's twenty-eight private high schools. We will examine the two highest-rated schools with the most expensive tuition costs. Surprisingly, the acceptance rate at these private high schools is close to eighty-eight percent, slightly higher than the state average. Often, rich private high schools have strenuous acceptance policies, so this may be good news for parents considering private high schools in the area.
Address: 3800 S Pierce St, 80235
Located on a ninety-four-acre campus in Southwest Denver, Colorado Academy is a PreK-12 school with approximately 447 high school students. The impressive campus includes a pond, an athletics center, a performing arts center, a sculpture garden, and a music center.
Colorado Academy also boasts small classes, with a maximum of twenty students. Seventy-four percent of teachers have advanced degrees and have been teaching there for an average of sixteen years. Their website boasts that every student who graduates attends a four-year college.
In addition to academics, this school has a significant sports and physical education program. Students can choose climbing, cross-country, golf, hockey, and volleyball. This school also offers basketball, lacrosse, and yoga. Additionally, two Certified Athletic Trainers create and monitor injury therapy programs.
The school provides financial aid without repayment requirements. During the 2023-24 school year, five million dollars in financial aid was awarded to 182 families. Family income, assets, liabilities, and family size determine eligibility for financial assistance. Additionally, families may apply for the Supplemental Grant Program, which assists with field trips, test prep fees, and books.
Address: 4400 E Iliff Avenue, 80222
Tuition: $33,400 – $36,100
To be considered for Denver Academy, students must complete the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC V) and either one of these tests within the school year: the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Test (WJ), the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT), or the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA).
Once accepted, Denver Academy's high school boasts small classroom sizes between twelve and fourteen students. Teachers use state-of-the-art technology, such as Smartboards and iPads, to engage with pupils. In addition to its emphasis on academics, Denver Academy offers many student clubs, including Theater Club, Games and Such, Young Jedis, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
An average of thirty percent of students receive financial aid, with the average annual award being $11,500. The school awarded $1.3 million in assistance during the past school year. Families with more than one child attending Denver Academy and returning families are given priority during the financial aid process.
The 6 Richest Schools in Denver: Colleges and Universities
Private colleges have different rating standards for best school rankings. Graduation rates, student debt after college, and salaries within five years of graduation all impact college rankings. Student reviews and the universities' course offerings and technology also play a role in rankings. We will note two of the most expensive universities in the Denver area that are also highly ranked.
Address: 3333 Regis Boulevard, 80221
Founded in 1877, Regis University is a Catholic Jesuit college that offers over 130 degrees and programs. Located on a 90-acre campus, approximately 1,900 undergrads attend this college. Sixty-two percent of its students graduate, with an average starting salary of $50,000. Six years after graduation, students report annual earnings of $56,000 per year. These numbers earn the university a third ranking in Best Value Colleges in Colorado by Niche.
In addition to its academic programs, Regis University offers some unusual certification programs, such as the Applied Craft Brewing Certificate, which has a long waitlist. On the third floor of the university library is a collection of Santos figures, which are images of saints traditionally painted on wood.
Finally, Regis University operates a health clinic in the Regis neighborhood of Denver. The healthcare team includes pharmacists, physical therapists, and behavioral healthcare providers. This program is an offshoot of the school's Cultivate Health initiative and also works with schools, parks, and farms within the community.
The university's website states that the average financial aid award for first-year students is $33,851. Students can explore financial aid options such as loans, scholarships, and work-study. Regis University also offers flexible payment plans to help manage tuition costs.
University of Denver
Address: 2199 S. University Blvd., 80208
Tuition: $55,563 – $56,439
Rated as the sixth-best college in Colorado, the University of Denver is a private university with a competitive acceptance rate of sixty-seven percent. Seventy-six percent of its students graduate within four years with an average starting salary of $44,500. The programs with the most graduating students include finance, marketing, and psychology.
The university's 125-acre campus is adjacent to 720 acres of Roosevelt National Forest, offering students a beautiful place to explore and study. Students must live on campus in one of the five residence halls for the first two years of their education.
The university has a strong sports program, including many cold-weather sports, like hockey and figure skating. Eighty alumni have gone on to play in the National Hockey League. Additionally, ninety-four percent of the university's athletes graduate, and the university earned a perfect score for its Annual Academic Progress Report, a report that monitors academic success for athletes.
According to the college website, eighty-four percent of students receive financial aid, with the average award being $47.8K. Every student is automatically considered for a Merit Scholarship, which may provide $33,000 in financial aid. Need-based grants and loans of up to five thousand dollars are also available. Their website also states that the average student loan debt of graduates is $21,000, which is much lower than the national average of $37,338.
The pros of private schools in Denver include the small class sizes, extracurricular activities, and innovative educational approaches. They also boast better college preparation programs and more students going on to attend four-year colleges. These schools also offer better physical education and sports programs while also providing a strong arts education. This combination ensures your child receives a well-rounded education that benefits their mind and body.
However, the admissions process can be lengthy, and tuition is pricey. Private schools are also not subject to the same oversight as public schools, so the quality of education may vary widely within private schools. Moreover, some parents prefer more diverse public schools because they expose students to different perspectives. Finally, these schools, by design, emphasize academic success, adding a pressure to succeed that not all students handle well.
Making the best choice for your child will require a lot of research and soul-searching. Be honest about your child's educational needs and what the family budget will allow. Explore all financial aid options. If you do all of this, you will be in the best position to make a great choice for your family and your wallet.
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