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Paying for a private-school education
Private schools in America are thriving as parents seek learning environments they feel are best for their children. According to the Council for American Private Education, 10 percent of American school kids attend private schools, the majority of which are affiliated with religious organizations. Among those, Catholic schools represent the largest segment.
Private schools have been broadly perceived as only for children from wealthy families and if one looks at tuition costs alone, that is an understandable conclusion. The fact is; many people who do not qualify as “wealthy” send their children to private schools.
How to overcome sticker shock
Private School Review says tuition can put a dent in your wallet with average annual costs above $10,000. Some elite private schools charge tuition that exceeds $40,000 per year.
Yes, first grade at some private schools can set your bank account back significantly more than a year of college. This is especially true if you do a side-by-side cost comparison against what you would pay for your child to attend a prep school versus the tuition, books and fees one could incur at community colleges and even some state-chartered public universities.
You’re not wealthy, but you want to send your kids to a private school
You are not alone if you have a desire to send your children to private schools, but find the extra expense to be daunting. However, Living Well says it can be done!
Just as kids from families of all financial strata attend America’s colleges and universities, private schools are educating students from a population beyond just the wealthy. Inducements, including scholarships, tax incentives, vouchers, grants and low-interest loans have put private schools within reach of many. Assistance is available if you know where to look according to Molly Pennington, Ph.D., who blogs on a range of topics, including education reform.
Start by asking administrators at the school(s) in which you have the greatest interest. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Private schools can be less expensive than a public education?
Hard as it may be to believe, a recent Money magazine article makes the case that private schools can actually be less expensive, when costs are viewed in totality. The author posits that a K-12 public education, while regarded as “free,” is anything but. He argues that hidden costs make earning a diploma from a taxpayer-funded school system a higher-priced endeavor than most would think.
When you consider private school essential for your child
If you have decided that your child is destined for a private school regardless of your finances, it is important to plan for the most-expensive case scenario, meaning you need to consider how to pay if your child doesn’t qualify for a scholarship or other funding assistance.
Many private schools that typically charge a lump-sum tuition based on a full school year, semester or quarter, offer payment plans that will allow you to spread out the cost over the entire term or a calendar year. Some may offer longer-term loans to families with good credit histories.
If you have the desire to send your children to private schools, but finances are tight, there may be a way.
Interested in a private school education for your child, but your school of choice cannot provide financial assistance? If you have good credit, LightStream may be able to help. Click here for more information.