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:
- AMS (Academic Management Services)
- FACTS Tuition Management
- Sallie Mae (Tuiton Pay)
- Tuition Management Systems
- Your Tuition Solution
Borrow the funds you need.
Depending on your financial circumstances an old-fashioned loan may be your best option. Consult your financial adviser.
Apply for financial aid.
Just about every school offers some kind of financial aid. The important thing is to ask about financial aid. Don't assume that you are not eligible just because you are at a certain income level. Many factors are considered when awarding financial aid. Schools with more than 70% of their students on financial aid can be found here.
Phillips Exeter, Groton and St. Paul's are some of the top prep schools in the vanguard of offering a 'free' education to qualified applicants from families with less than $75,000 income. You will find more schools offering this kind of need- blind assistance although its availability depends on the financial resources of each individual school.
In addition, there are several schools around the country which are tuition free or virtually so by design:
- De Marillac Middle School, San Francisco, CA
- Epiphany School, Dorchester, MA
- Girard College, Philadelphia, PA
- The Glenwood School, Glenwood, IL
- Harlem Episcopal School, New York
- Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA
- Regis High School, New York, NY
Investigate other funding sources.
Many states and communities offer scholarships. Some employers offer assistance with tuition. Unions, brotherhoods and societies are also another source of education funding.