Paying For It

Private school can be a big investment. Learn more about tuition costs, extra fees and the funding options available. We'll cover financial aid, scholarships, and outside financing. Explore some of the most expensive schools and learn where your child can attend free.
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It is some of the most exciting news to come out of the private school community in years.  Basically Exeter is free to those with need. Families with incomes less than $75,000 will contribute nothing for an Exeter education. Same thing at Groton. St. Paul's is close behind with a $65,000 threshhold. Deerfield's limit is $80,000. Phillips Andover offers 'need-blind' assistance to all deserving applicants. Read At Elite Prep Schools, College-Size Endowments to understand why this has come about. What is exciting to see is that these private schools state their threshholds clearly. Years ago sometimes the financial aid pages required a lawyer to decipher exactly who was eligible for assistance. They were that complicated.
 
Inclusive vs Exclusive
So, what's happening here? Why are these highly competitive schools offering a free education to children from families with incomes below $75,000? Simply because they want to make their excellent educations available to a wider constituency. When tuition and expenses creep into the $45,000 range, it means that only a tiny percentage of American families can afford to attend those schools. Schooling has to be free in order to attract students from families making less than $75,000.
 
Private schools have had a reputation for being exclusive as opposed to inclusive. Visionary school leaders and their trustees have realized that exclusivity based on financial considerations is not always a good thing. Many academically qualified students won't even bother to apply to a . . .read more
Some people can write a check for a year's tuition and never miss it. But with private school tuitions running into the $30's for day school and getting close to $50,000 for boarding school, the rest of us have to be creative.
 
Here are some options for paying for a private school education.

 

  • Pay the fees in two installments.
  • Sign up with a tuition payment service and pay monthly installments.
  • Borrow the funds you need.
  • Apply for financial aid.
  • Investigate other funding sources.

 


Pay the fees in two instalments.
   
Private schools generally render their bills in early summer and late fall for payment within 30 days. These invoices will include one half of the academic year's tuition charge as well as incidentals. Incidentals include fees for items such as as technology, sports, activities, laundry, and so on. Be sure to ask whether the school offers a cash discount.
 
Sign up with a tuition payment service and pay monthly installments.

The way these plans work is that you in effect are borrowing from them.  You borrow one year's tuition fees and incidentals. Then you repay in equal installments, generally 10 installments. The plan in turn pays the school on the tuition due dates. This is a good payment option if you need to spread the payments over several months.
 
Note: not all schools accept all these plans. Each school makes its own arrangements with a specific tuition payment service. These firms offer private school tuition payment plans:

 

Starting a new year always brings much excitement as well as a little trepidation. In terms of planning, getting a preview of what you need to take to school with you can help settle nerves. While traditionally, private schools are better stocked in terms of student supplies, it is still customary for students to bring their personal school supplies at the beginning of each school year.

Your school supply list will depend on what grade you are going in and what school you go to. Each school has their own way of doing things. Sometimes, schools will charge a supply fee and provide the student with most everything they need. Sometimes, schools will ask for items that become "communal" property (i.e. computer paper, tissue boxes, and even pencils). More than likely, the private school student will be asked to bring in their personal school supplies which they will use the ensuing year.

The purpose of this article is to give you a preview of what the typical private school supplies list will be like, provide shopping tips and give you our favorite online school supplies shopping sources. Our example supply lists are broken down: one for elementary students and one for high school students. Remember to check with your school for their actual list before you start shopping.
 
Elementary Private School Supplies

At the elementary school level more so than at the high school level, supplies can end up as "communal" in nature, since students tend to . . .read more
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Paying For It

Financial Aid

Paying for private school can be expensive and financial aid can be a huge help. Here we'll cover the financial aid options, how eligibility is determined and how it can affect the admissions process.

Financing Basics

There are several ways to finance a private school education, learn more about your options here. We'll explore some of the most expensive schools, explain why tuition is rising and show you how it's all paid for.

Free Schools and Scholarships

Don't let the cost of private school deter you, many schools offer scholarships. Explore scholarships, how they are funded and get a list of schools your child may be able to attend tuition free.