Ten ways to pay for private school tuition

On August 5, 2015 in Family Life & HealthPreK-12

Ten ways to pay for private school tuition


The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) reports that:

  • the average median school tuition in 2012-2013 was $20,000 per year
  • 45 percent of parents who applied for financial aid also anticipate borrowing for their child’s education
  • 61 percent plan to borrow more in the upcoming year

Enrolling your child in private school doesn’t mean you have to undermine your family’s financial well-being. Many families apply for and receive financial aid. But what about those who don’t qualify or are still left short? And how do families afford tuition for multiple children?

Here are 10 options that may be available:

  1. Some schools offer payment deferment plans, which allow you to spread tuition payments over time.
  2. Tuition costs can sometimes be offset by working at the school. Lunch/playground assistants, classroom aides, resource assistance and office administrators are roles that often coincide with student schedules and may be helpful to parents juggling home and work obligations.
  3. Academic or athletic scholarships may be available to students, based on a variety of standards and requirements.
  4. Alumni associations, foundations, special interest groups, religious organizations may all have grants to pursue.
  5. In some states or communities, private school voucher programs may exist.
  6. Credit cards, when paid on a timely basis, can be a way to not only finance tuition, but also earn rewards and cash back. Just be sure to budget carrying costs, if you’re planning to pay over time.
  7. Some people have successfully used online crowd funding, where family members, friends, and the community at large can contribute.
  8. If you have a home that has increased in value, check to see if you are eligible for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Check with your bank to see if you qualify; speak to an expert for advice on how this may impact your taxes.
  9. Personal loans may also be a solution, but be sure to investigate interest charges and associated fees. Some loans can have rates as high as credit card financing, adding to already-high education costs.
  10. Search online for a “PreK-12 tuition loan.” There may be opportunity to borrow at competitive rates from lenders who provide personal loans. Make sure to research whether there are additional fees attached to the loan and whether funds can be used not only to cover tuition, but also the cost of books, activities, school trips, transportation, tutoring, room and board and more.

No matter which method of financing you prefer, remember that an investment in your child’s education is an investment in their future. The skills and values your child acquires in school set the foundation for a lifetime of learning.