About NAIS

What Is NAIS?

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

What Are Independent Schools?

Independent schools are non-profit private schools that are independent in philosophy: each is driven by a unique mission. They are also independent in the way they are managed and financed: each is governed by an independent board of trustees and each is primarily supported through tuition payments and charitable contributions. They are accountable to their communities and are accredited by state-approved accrediting bodies.

How Does NAIS Serve Its Members?

As the largest association of independent schools, NAIS co-creates the future of education by uniting and empowering our community. The association offers research and trend analysis, leadership and governance guidance, and professional development opportunities for school and board leaders.

Read more about NAIS membership.

NAIS Member Demographics


Inside Our Schools

Where Do NAIS Schools Fit in the National Education Picture?


Of the nearly 55 million school children in America, just under 10 percent attend private schools. Of private school students, 671,000 are in NAIS member independent schools. Enrollment in NAIS schools has remained steady since 2005.

For media inquiries, please contact Myra McGovern at mcgovern@nais.org.