The point of this article is to make the case for applying for financial aid, even if you think you might not need it. If you can afford to pay private school tuition, you have several payment options available to you. If you cannot afford the cost of a private school education, review Financial Aid 101. It will show you what to do. In every case, ask about financial aid. Private schools have generous financial aid programs. Financial aid is a tool that private schools 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.
In this video, the experts at Admissions Quest offer advice on how to apply for financial aid.
Le Rosey which bills itself as 'the prestigious international boarding school' tops the scale at a princely $114,000 in tuition for 2019-20. Boarding and sundries are not included. The school is located in Switzerland and is owned by a Swiss couple who are 'Les Directeurs'. What sort of clientele enjoys Le Rosey's proximity to some of the best skiing in the world? You guessed it: children of the rich and famous from every corner of the globe. The school does offer some need-based scholarships.
Back in the real world private schools in the U.S. get along with boarding tuition and fees running in the $55-65,000 range. Forman School tops the list at $78,600 for 2019-20. Tuition and fees at most day schools will run you approximately $25,000-35,000 a year. Day schools in major urban areas will cost considerably more than that.
At the bottom of the scale in terms of fees are the parochial schools. The Roman Catholic, Jewish, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian and Muslim schools offer great educations for a very reasonable cost. Most of these schools are day schools. Schools like the Cristo del Rey schools specifically target at-risk children from families which could not otherwise afford a private school education.
This video offers an overview of the Cristo Rey Network of Schools.
Helping the affordability factor is the initiative taken by several leading prep schools. Read Private School May Be Free If You Make Less Than $75,000 for details.
Remember: most private schools offer generous financial aid. Be sure to ask each school on your list. Don't forget to apply as early as you can. Don't wait until the last minute if you are looking for financial aid. Taming the financial aid part of getting your child into private school begins with knowing how much you can afford to pay. Have that number worked out and clear in your mind. The most effective way of figuring out what you can pay is to review your income and expenses. Determine what you can afford to pay monthly for your child's tuition. Project that also as an annual amount. Now bear in mind that this is a rough cut because what you are going to be doing very soon is completing the online documentation known as the Parents' Financial Statement or PFS provided by the School and Student Service (SSS) organization operated by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The PFS will require accurate financial information about your income, expenses, and assets as well as information about any other children who are in tuition-charging schools, i.e., private school. Having that rough idea of how much financial aid you need to ask for is an important part of your discussions with the various schools you are looking at.
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