Few things are certain in life. But one thing that will always be true is private school will definitely cost a pretty penny.
Many people wrestle with the question, “Can I afford to send my child to private school?” That means, if you were wondering the same thing, you’re not alone.
A private school education can offer a slew of advantages, so finding a way to make it work is often a priority. If you’re trying to decide if you can pull it off, here’s what you need to know.
What a Private School Education Costs
For the 2017-2018 school year, the average cost for a year in private school was approximately $10,000. Elementary schools tend to cost less than middle or high schools, so the price goes up as your child ages.
However, exactly what you’ll pay varies by location. For example, Connecticut has some of the highest tuition on average, coming in at over $24,000 per year. In contrast, parents in Nebraska may only pay around $3,100 annually.
Before you decide if you can afford to send your child to private school, you need to research the price for your area. That way you have a solid figure to work with as you assess your situation.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
While some parents pay for private school out of pocket, others use financial aid and scholarships to offset the costs.
Financial aid is typically offered by the institution and may vary in form. Some offer payment plans, reduced tuition for low-income families, or access to loans. Usually, some of the expense will still fall on the family’s shoulders, but it can make things more manageable.
Scholarships can come from many sources, like schools, churches, businesses, and not-for-profits. Some private schools may offer them to students who exhibit particular talents. Additionally, outside organizations may have a variety of scholarships for those with merit or financial need.
The beauty of scholarships is that they act as free money. They don’t leave you with debt as long as you and your child meet the requirements.
Multi-Child and Other Discounts
The majority of private schools offer discounts to families when more than one child attends. Some may provide cheaper tuition to members of specific organizations, like the church they affiliate with or a particular employer, like the military.
In certain cases, you can even earn a discount by volunteering with the school. If you aren’t sure what may be available, contact the school directly and ask. What you find out may surprise you.
So, Can I Afford to Send My Child to Private School?
Once you examine the points above, you should have a realistic idea of what your child’s tuition will cost. Then, you can compare it to your household income and determine if it is feasible.
Have you sacrificed to send your child to private school? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.