About Prep » Why An Independent School?

Why An Independent School?

Two middle school students smile and discuss a book with their teacher
We value our independence. 
Investment in elementary, middle, and high school prepares students for a lifetime of academic and career success. Moreover, independent and private schools can provide expertise in securing funding for college when the time comes.
What is an independent school?
Independent schools are private, nonprofit schools that serve students in pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and/or high school. These schools are covered by independent boards of trustees and each school has a unique mission and culture. Sandia Prep is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. We are also a founding member of the Independent Curriculum Group. 

Facts and statistics compiled by the National Association of Independent Schools:
  • A larger percentage of students at independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.

  • Independent school students have a greater likelihood of a student completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.

  • Independent schools have low student-teacher ratios that encourage close connections with students.
Graduates from independent schools are more likely to do the following:

Go to college

Nearly 100% of graduates of independent schools that belong to the National Association of Independent Schools go to college.

Have higher average SAT scores

NAIS students on average score 293 points higher than other students.

Enjoy being challenged academically

76% of NAIS students say their school work makes them curious to learn more (compared to 61% of public school students) and 74% enjoy tasks that require a lot of mental effort (compared to 59%).

Attend a highly-ranked college

NAIS grads are more than three times as likely to attend top-ranked universities or liberal arts colleges than graduates of other high schools.

Take part in experiential learning

42% of NAIS graduates conducted research with a professor in college (compared to 35% of public school graduates) and 42% worked on a long-term project (compared to 32%).

Feel prepared for college

In their first year of college, NAIS grads are more likely to have learned to ask questions in class, integrate skills/knowledge, and support opinions with logical arguments.

Finish college on time

77% of NAIS grads complete college on time, compared to 64% of public school grads.

Have a path to success for first-generational and minority students

More than three-quarters of NAIS minority graduates (77%) graduated from college within four years, while 62% of minority graduates from public high schools did the same.






Sources: National Association of Independent Schools - nais.org

NAIS 2015-16 SAT Test Scores Report - NAIS

NAIS Report on the 2016 High School Survey of Student Engagement 

NAIS-Gallup Report on NAIS Graduates, Gallup, Inc

“‘It’s everything else you do..’: Alumni views on extracurricular activities and employability.” - Sage Journals

“Four-Year Myth: Make College More Affordable. Restore the Promise of Graduating on Time, Complete College America