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 February 08, 2017 |
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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Updated February 08, 2017 |
The Parents' Financial Statement (PFS)
The Parents' Financial Statement allows schools to determine the amount you will have to pay for your child's tuition and fees.

Most private schools offer some form of financial aid to help offset tuition. Here is how these programs work in most schools. There are exceptions, of course, because we are talking about private, independent schools. Each school determines how it will handle its financial aid program. No local, regional or national association dictates how financial aid programs will work.

First of all, you have to ask for financial aid. If you don't ask, the school will not know that you need financial assistance. Secondly, you will have to prove that you really do need financial aid by documenting your income and assets. That is where the Parents' Financial Statement comes in. Then, the last thing to consider is that most schools have a limited pool of funds from which to award financial aid. That means that you must submit your application for financial aid as early as you can in order to be considered for a financial aid award.

Here is how The Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania describes its financial aid program:

"The Hill School Financial Aid Program offers assistance to families based upon their financial need and the availability of funds. There are no merit-based scholarships at The Hill School. All awards offered are based on the financial/demonstrated need of the family. Accordingly, no student should be deterred from applying to The Hill due to their family not being able to afford the full tuition. Approximately 40 percent of our current student population annually receives financial

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Updated April 05, 2017 |
How Much Do Private Schools Cost?
Private schools charge everything from nothing at all to well over $50,000 a year for their services. Here are some examples of what the various types of private schools charge.
The cost of a private school education ranges from virtually nothing at several free schools to well over $100,000 at a couple of exclusive European boarding schools. For the purposes of this article you and I will consider the tuition if we are looking at day schools. We will examine tuition and room and board only as we review boarding school costs. I am leaving out all the extras such as riding or music lessons, school trips, travel to and from the school, local transportation, health insurance, computers and so on. These sundries add up quickly so don't forget to take them into account. Also not included are acceptance deposits, application fees and admissions testing.
Here are some examples of what the various types of private schools charge. Remember that this is merely a sampling. You should explore every school which interests you as part of your school search process. Set aside financial concerns for the moment. Focus on finding the school which is the best fit for both you and your child. While paying for private school obviously is a major concern, you will discover that you will have a couple of options available to you.
One final bit of guidance: you will have to visit each school's web site in order to determine what the current costs are. Generally you can find that information under the admissions links.
Day Schools
Day schools are non-residential schools. Most of them offer classroom instruction Monday to Friday. Intramural sports and activities are fitted
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
How Do They Pay for That?
You have several options. They include tuition payment plans, loans, scholarships and more.
One of my young employees was horrified to discover that a certain Los Angeles day school charges $30,000 tuition. "How do they pay for that?" was his shocked cry. It's difficult for a 24 year old who's only making $40,000 to understand how families can afford college much less private school. So, exactly how does a family afford a private school education? Here are some ways they can make that special educational opportunity possible.
There are not many scholarships for K-12 private school students. Still, it is worth doing your research in this area to uncover the scholarships which do exist. Several states have programs set up which allow citizens to contribute to funding for private schools. Arizona and Washington offer special tax credits for gifts to private schools for scholarships.
Financial Aid
This is the most exciting part of the 'paying for private school' picture. Understand that each private school is independent. Each school stands on its own two feet financially speaking. That's why financial aid will vary from school to school. Older, established schools such as Andover and Exeter have substantial endowment funds. That's why they and a few other schools can offer a virtually free education to students who come from families which make below a certain amount. $75,000, for example. But you will have to visit the schools' web sites to find out the details. Better yet, call and ask.
If you are strapped for cash, but have assets which can be pledged as collateral,
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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.