A private school may sound extravagant to the point that it is unattainable. Luckily, it can be more affordable than it seems. When digging into options, there is a wide range of costs depending on the school and other elements, like scholarships and grants. If you consider switching your kid’s education to a private school, some things will help you to afford it.
So, yes, you can afford private school – here is how.
Benefits of Private School
Making decisions about your child’s education is one of the most important things you will do. If you are still unsure if private school is right for your child, consider a couple of benefits when deciding.
- Strong sense of community. Smaller schools have more opportunities to get involved and feel a sense of school pride. It can make the environment more supportive and motivating.
- Better Teacher Relationships. The average class size is smaller than in public schools, so students may feel more comfortable participating. Students and teachers can form closer relationships since it makes it easier to get to know each other better and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
- Higher Academic Standards. Private school tends to challenge students to higher academic standards. Students may perform better on tests and have higher writing, verbal and mathematic skills.
How to Afford Private School
Once you decide that private school is the route you want for your child’s education, the price may be the only thing standing in your way. There are some steps you can take to find the right school that fits your expectations and budget.
1. Research Your Options
Not all private schools have the same tuition and just because it is more expensive does not mean it is better. The building could be fancier with more amenities, but education is the important thing at the end of the day.
It takes time to find the right school, so book tours and talk to principals and teachers to get a feel for the environment. You can pay attention to where the money you spend will go like observing what the classrooms and hallways look like and their school lunches.
If you are going on a school visit, come up with a list of questions to ask that are important for you to know. Here are some examples.
- How much time is spent on each subject?
- Are uniforms required and how much are they?
- Are there tuition discounts for multiple children?
- What is the school’s mission or philosophy?
- Are payment plans available?
- Are there online class options or full online education options?
2. Use State Tax Credit Programs
Many states, such as Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and more, have tax credit programs to give parents a break from paying taxes if they are paying for private schools. You can find lists online with all the different state tax programs.
If your state isn’t on the list, you can contact your local state representatives and see how to get a tax program initiated.
3. Apply for Scholarships
Scholarship options can vary depending on the state. Still, many nationwide scholarship options exist, such as the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for low-income high school students or The Children’s Scholarship Fund for low-income students in grades K-8.
Some private schools also offer scholarships for students that can help reduce the costs. This is an important question to ask when considering schools for your kids. Some private schools even offer free tuition if you find the right ones. Churches can even provide assistance to families with the same religious affiliation. You can talk with a pastor or administrator to determine if it is an option.
4. Negotiate Tuition Rates
Tuition for private schools is rarely set at a hard rate. For schools looking to boost their enrollment, you can find some wiggle room with the tuition. When searching for schools, try to negotiate the tuition from what the published rates say. There may be room to adjust rates, especially if you have more than one child to bring to the school.
If you can’t negotiate the tuition, you may be able to arrange the payment schedule. One big payment can be overwhelming compared to a month-to-month program. Sometimes volunteer hours can help with the negotiation of the price as well.
5. Ask for Family Assistance
Grandparents and other close family members may be willing to help with private school tuition. They are typically excited to be involved with their grandchildren’s lives and want to offer them more valuable gifts other than toys and clothes. Asking for the gift of education is something long-lasting that they will be proud to help out with.
Start Considering Private School Today
Private school can be expensive, but with the right approach, you can fit it into your budget. Your children’s education will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Consider all the options before assuming you can’t afford them.