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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Updated June 14, 2016 |
Comparing Tuition Costs By Location
Why does one private school cost less than another in the same area? Why are certain areas of the country much more expensive than others? We examine tuition costs around the nation.
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
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Updated June 14, 2016 |
Understanding Private School Tuition
We look at why tuition costs vary so widely from school to school.
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
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Updated July 01, 2014 |
Why Tuition Insurance is Necessary
You insure your property and valuables. Here's why tuition insurance is necessary when you attend private school.

Many parents think that tuition insurance is a waste of money or that they really don’t need it. I suppose if you happen to be fabulously wealthy, losing $30,000 or $40,000 because your child has to withdraw from her private school might not be a big deal. But for the rest of us, that's real money.

Here’s why you are required to take out tuition insurance. When you sign the contract with the school, you are responsible for the annual tuition, room and board charges for the academic year. The school will have operating expenses which it must honor regardless of whether your child completes the full year or has to withdraw after the second month.
 
To protect themselves most schools offer you two options: you can pay the entire year’s tuition, room and board in one payment by July 15; if you opt to pay in two installments or in monthly payments, then you will be required to purchase tuition insurance. The school has to know that the fees on which it is counting to balance its budget will indeed be there. Regardless of whether or not your child is at school or has withdrawn.
 
Here is how one tuition insurance provider explains the concept:
 
"The cost of a private school education is a substantial investment. The Tuition Refund Plan provides insurance to protect your investment. Because student withdrawals are sometimes unavoidable, the Tuition Refund Plan is a welcome resource for families who must commit to a full annual tuition
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Updated June 14, 2016 |
Scholarship Funding Organizations
A Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) is an organization which provides financial assistance for attendance at private school.
An SFO is a Scholarship Funding Organization. Basically it is an organization which provides financial assistance for attendance at private school. Each SFO is a legal entity with its own rules and governing regulations.Always ask if an SFO has been set up in your state. Scholarship Funding Organizations are permitted by an act of the state legislature and allow corporations to donate tax-deductible funds for K-12 scholarships.

Arizona Independent Schools Scholarship Foundation
The Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program
Georgia Tax Credit for Private School Costs and Scholarship Donations
Illinois—Education Expenses Credit
Iowa—Education Tax Credits
Iowa—School Tuition Organization Tax Credit
Louisiana—Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program
Louisiana—Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction
Maine—Town Tuitioning
Minnesota K–12 Education Credit and Subtraction Program
Ohio—Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program
Ohio—Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program (EdChoice)
Pennsylvania—Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program
Rhode Island—Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Organizations
Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance
Utah—Carson Smith Scholarships for Students with Special Needs Program
Vermont—Town Tuitioning
Wisconsin—Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
District of Columbia—DC Opportunity Scholarship Program
Updated May 26, 2016 |
Financial Aid 101
Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education. Here's how it works.
What is financial aid? Financial aid is money given by individual private schools to help families pay for a private school education. Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education.
 
What is the purpose of financial aid? Financial aid is one tool private schools can use to make their school more diverse. Yes, many years ago, private schools had a less than positive reputation for being elitist. But thankfully, times have changed. Being able to pay for a private school education is no longer the only thing that matters. If your child has the qualifications which the school is looking for but you cannot afford to send her, then financial aid is certainly an option which you need to explore.
 
Read what one of the most prestigious private schools in the United States of America has to say about diversity:
 
"Andover's broad socio-economic diversity is a hallmark of the Academy as displayed in the inclusive distribution of financial aid grants to low-, middle- and upper- middle income families." 
Phillips Andover, like a great many private schools, has a Need Blind Admission policy in place. What that means is that the school does not look at your financial circumstances as part of its admissions criteria. Ask whether the school to which you are applying has a Need Blind Admissions policy in place and find out more about how it works.
 
Financial aid programs are unique.
 
Because schools expect their fees to
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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.