5 Financial Aid Dos and Don'ts

DO Understand Why Some Private Schools Cost More Than Others
 
There are several factors which drive tuition costs. Location and facilities and type of school are three of the most important factors. Some schools cost more than others simply because of where they are located. Real estate prices vary widely throughout the United States as you well know. For example, it costs considerably less to rent space in Butte, Montana than in Los Angeles, California. 
 
Insurance costs vary from locality to locality as well. Schools need comprehensive liability and property insurance. That's not an expense a prudent private school business manager will stint on.
 
The school facilities vary widely as well. A 12 classroom K-6 school located in the 10 year old education wing of a church or temple will cost less to run than a similar school housed in a 1930s mansion set on 30 private acres in the countryside.
 
Boarding schools generally cost more to operate than day schools. That's because they offer 24/7 supervision of your child as opposed to the 8 or 9 hours daily supervision a day school will offer.
 
Schools specializing in remediating learning differences and disabilities cost even more because they employ experienced, highly skilled and trained para-professionals and professionals who work with students closely, often on an individual or 1 to 1 basis. That drives the labor cost associated with this kind of teaching much higher than when a teacher has a class of 12-15 students.
 
DONT Delay Finding Out About Financial Aid
 
Financial aid can be very confusing . . .read more
1. Private schools are really private.
 
By design American private schools are really private. While in most cases they observe applicable state laws with respect to minimum requirements concerning what is taught, private schools are answerable to their boards and their clients, i.e., the families who send students to them.
 
2. Private schools are more affordable than you think.
 
Granted, some private schools are very expensive. Especially boarding schools. However, since they generally seek to attract a diverse student population, most private schools offer generous financial aid packages.
 
3. Several private schools are free.
 

 
Years ago several benefactors established schools which will cost eligible students virtually nothing to attend. In more recent times the Cristo Rey network of schools has made a private school education almost free for families of limited means.
 
4. Some private schools are residential.
 
Residential private schools are known as boarding schools. Your child will attend classes as well as eat and sleep at the school. Professional, experienced adult supervision ensures the safety of your child 24/7.
 
5. Most private schools are day schools.
 
In a day school your child attends classes during normal daytime hours. Extracurricular activities and sports are typically included within that day time schedule.
 
6. Some private schools offer a blend of day and boarding options.
 
Boarding schools located in a town or city often offer a day student option for local families. That can reduce the cost of a private school education significantly.
 
7. Some private schools are religious schools.
 
Roman Catholic, Muslim, Christian, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Seventh Day . . .read more
You and I can understand the average cost of tuition of private schools as detailed on Private School Review by being aware of a couple of factors. We will take a look at those factors and also show you how the cost of a private K-12 education varies from region to region. That way, if you have to move from one location to another, you will have a general idea of what to expect as far as your private school expenses go.

 

We will begin with a look at how the cost of elementary schools compares with schools offering high school grades.

 

 
Costs subsidized by religious organizations
 
Let's examine one reason why average tuition costs can be less in one area than in another. That has to do with the number of religious schools included in the statistics. I am not being negative here. Just factual. Faith-based schools, be they Roman Catholic, Jewish or Christian or any other religion, tend to be subsidized by their religious organizations. For example, a temple which establishes an elementary school will do so to serve its congregation in the first instance and then as an outreach to the wider Jewish community in the second instance. The tuition generally will be discounted for families who are members of the temple. This practice is similar to how state universities charge less for students who are state residents as opposed to students who are from out of state.
 
Using existing facilities
 
The next factor to consider will be non-cash subsidies such . . .read more
Why would anybody want to teach girls in a single sex setting? Aren't girls' schools quaint and out of touch? Aren't girls more likely to succeed in a coeducational setting? Are there advantages to educating girls in a single sex setting? 

 

The answers to these and similar questions are varied, contradictory and subjective. Furthermore, the amount of research into girls' education is fairly limited. With those caveats in place let's explore some sources and resources for those special corners of the education world which are girls' schools.

 

 
Organizations which promote girls' schools 
 
A good starting point for our exploration of girls' schools is the National coalition of Girls' Schools. Just like the International Boys' Schools Coalition is one of the major umbrella organizations for boys' schools, so the National Coalition of Girls' Schools is one of the major umbrella organizations for girls' schools around the globe. 
 
The NCGS champions girls' schools. And it champions them better and more vigorously than any other organization I know. The NCGS encourages research on the education of girls. It offers an Advanced Professional Certificate in Girls’ Education. "This unique blended learning program, which includes a separate track for STEM and for humanities faculty, helps teachers gain the expertise needed to forge a contemporary approach to teaching girls. It is intended for girls’ school educators who have distinguished themselves in classroom teaching and learning and wish to both learn from experts in the girls’ school community and connect with fellow learners." [Source: NCGS] To me the . . .read more
Comparing private school tuitions from one school to another is in so many ways the classic apples to oranges comparison. Why? Because each private school is unique. Each school has its own expenses and sources of revenue. But the variables implicit in the calculation of tuition cost are what drive the numbers. Income and expenses are unique in the same way each private school is unique. With that apples to oranges analogy in mind let's look behind the numbers we see on Average Private School Tuition Cost here on Private School Review.

 

Understanding tuition

 

 
In its simplest form tuition is the amount of money which a school charges for educating your child. Tuition is revenue or income on the school's balance sheet. This is the dollar figure which a school has to charge per student in order to offset all the many and varied expenses of running the school.
 
To arrive at the amount to charge per student the school has to add up all of its expenses. From that total it subtracts any income from investments, endowments and gifts. That net expense is what our tuition charges must offset. To remain viable a school simply must balance its budget. It cannot spend more than it takes in. If it does, it will soon go out of business.
 
The number of students for which a school has places is the next part of the calculation. For example, if you only have places for 350 students and your expenses are $10,000,000, that works . . .read more
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