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.

View the most popular articles in Paying For It:

Exploring Educational Savings Accounts: A Guide for Parents

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Exploring Educational Savings Accounts: A Guide for Parents
This comprehensive article explores the different educational savings accounts available to parents for private K-12 education and tertiary education. It provides detailed explanations of each account, including the 529 College Savings Plan, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, and Custodial Accounts. The article cites applicable legal authorities and emphasizes the importance of informed decision-making by consulting with legal and financial professionals.

Education is a crucial investment in a child's future, and as a parent, planning ahead for their educational needs is essential. This article explores the various educational savings accounts available to parents for private K-12 education. Understanding these options will help parents make informed decisions and effectively engage with their legal and financial professionals.

The History of Educational Savings Accounts

Educational savings accounts in the United States have evolved over time to address the need for specialized savings vehicles for education expenses.

Here is a brief history of educational savings accounts and the key legislative milestones:

  1. 1996: The Small Business Job Protection Act (SBJPA): The SBJPA, enacted in 1996, introduced a new type of account called the Education IRA (now known as the Coverdell Education Savings Account or ESA). This legislation allowed families to save for education expenses with certain tax advantages.
  2. 1997: Taxpayer Relief Act (TRA): The TRA, passed in 1997, expanded the scope of Education IRAs (Coverdell ESAs) by increasing the annual contribution limit from $500 to $2,000 per beneficiary and extending the use of funds to include elementary and secondary education expenses in addition to higher education.
  3. 1998: Internal Revenue Code Section 529: In 1998, Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code was enacted, creating a new type of educational savings account known as the 529 College Savings Plan. This legislation allowed for tax-advantaged savings for higher education expenses.
  4. 2001: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA): The EGTRRA, enacted in 2001, made significant
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Financing Your Kids’ Education: Coronavirus Edition

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Financing Your Kids’ Education: Coronavirus Edition
Learn more about how the coronavirus can impact the financing of your child’s education.

Parents turn to private K-12 education for all kinds of reasons, from overall quality of curricula and individualized teaching strategies to location and religious affiliation. Now they may be adding another motivation to the list: overcrowded classrooms and public school bus rides just seem more dangerous in the age of coronavirus.

If you’re home-schooling your kids right now, the day they return to classes may seem like a distant dream. (How’s your blood pressure?) But September will come—with or without online classes. Chances are you’re making decisions right now that will affect at least a year of your child’s future. Chief among them may be how you will continue to finance your child’s private school education.

In 2020, the average cost of K-12 private school tuition reached $11,012. Depending on where you live and whether you have elementary-, middle-, or high school-age kids, your mileage may vary. But across the country, student loan debt has been increasing steadily along with the rising cost of education. K-12 loans aren’t subsidized by the federal government like higher-education loans. Still, many parents clearly believe that private school education is worth the investment. The question moms and dads should be asking themselves is, “How can I be sure I’m investing wisely?”

School Stability

The global coronavirus pandemic has injected uncertainty into every sector of the economy. That’s true at the micro-level, as many parents join the fast-expanding ranks of unemployed workers. It’s also true for private schools,

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School Choice: Vouchers, Scholarships And More

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School Choice: Vouchers, Scholarships And More
Among the many ways to pay for a private school education are scholarships and vouchers. More about these options here.

According to Wikipedia.org, "School choice is a term for K–12 public education options in the United States, describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families alternatives to publicly provided schools, to which the location of their family residence generally assigns students." Vouchers have been in the headlines for almost thirty years. So, this is not a new issue, although the media attention sometimes implies that vouchers are a new idea. A timeline is helpful when dealing with a controversial issue such as school vouchers. But before we do that, what are vouchers?

EdChoice describes vouchers as:

"School vouchers give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children, using all or part of the public funding set aside for their children’s education. Under such a program, funds typically spent by a school district would be allocated to a participating family in the form of a voucher to pay partial or full tuition for their child’s private school, including both religious and non-religious options."

You will hear vouchers called various names, such as parental choice, education grants, scholarships, and tuition grants, to list but a few of the names you will encounter for vouchers.15 states and the District of Columbia currently offer 26 voucher programs. School Voucher Laws State-by-State Comparison offers a useful table comparing the voucher programs offered in states that have them.

Why are vouchers controversial?

Now that you have access to

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The New Tax Code's Implications For 529 Plans For K-12 Schools

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The New Tax Code's Implications For 529 Plans For K-12 Schools
Changes to the Tax Code in late 2017 included the addition of saving for K-12 private school education to 529 plans. We take a look at what this means for families thinking about private school for their children.

In December 2017 the 115th Congress of the United States passed a major act dealing with taxes. One of the changes in the Tax Code pertained to ESA or Educational Savings Accounts. Most parents and grandparents are probably familiar with ESAs as a means of saving for their children and grandchildren's college educations. Congress has expanded Section 529 ESAs to include K-12 education expenses as well as college expenses.

First, a bit of history. The educational savings accounts known as Section 529 plans were created by the Small Business Job Protection Act Of 1996. The section of this act which pertains to educational savings accounts is entitled PART VIII—QUALIFIED STATE TUITION PROGRAMS. The text begins on page 141. This is worth reading so that you can discuss the topic with your financial advisor when you set up your 529 plan.

Changes to the Tax Code

On Friday, December 22, 2017 President Donald Trump signed An Act to Provide for Reconciliation Pursuant to Titles II and V of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 While the Act has effects on a wide range of tax situations, the specific text pertaining to K-12 educational expenses can be found on page 74. Here is the relevant paragraph:

‘‘(7) TREATMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TUITION.—Any reference in this subsection to the term ‘qualified higher education expense’ shall include a reference to expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment

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Why Does Tuition Vary So Much?

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Why Does Tuition Vary So Much?
How can you compare schools objectively when the costs seem to be so different from one school to the next? We look at some of the reasons why private school tuition varies so much.

Beginning the school search process is a lot of fun. Those beautiful photographs of tree-lined campuses and sports activities, the candid shots of classroom scenes portraying kind, patient teachers, the history of the school and its many accomplishments over the years, as well as all those famous graduates - it is all very impressive. So, you list the schools you want to examine in greater detail. At this point in your school search process, the question that I posed in the title of this article begins to surface.

I can hear you wondering how you will compare schools objectively when the costs seem so different from one school to the next. One boarding school charges $56,000 for tuition, room and board, while another school in the same state lists its tuition, room and board as $28,000. Why do some schools cost so much and some cost so little?

Boarding schools

Your costs for schools that charge the most for their services range from $45,000 to $65,000. These schools are residential schools or what we commonly call boarding schools. As well as charging for tuition and related expenses, these schools must bill for room and board. You will notice that some schools offer two types of boarding arrangements. One is the customary seven-day-a-week boarding; the other is a five-day boarding scheme where the students reside at the school during the week and return home on the weekends. The five-day boarding scheme costs less than the seven-day version. It

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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.