Are you considering private school for one or more of your children? For some children, private school is a great option. Many private schools offer a more academically rigorous environment than would normally be found in a public school setting. Also, if your child has a unique skill or interest, a private school may allow them to explore that area in depth and further develop their talent. And of course, private school may be appropriate if the local public school doesn't meet your standards. Private school can be expensive, though, and budgeting for it can be difficult. Here are a few tips on how to make it work:
Shop around. While all private schools charge tuition, not all private schools charge the same amount. The ritzy day school in the wealthy part of town may charge tuition rates that are equivalent to a four-year university. However, there may be other high-quality private schools in your area with a more affordable rate. Also, explore all the fees. You may find that some schools require donations to the school's legacy fund or to an affiliated church. If you can avoid schools with those kinds of ancillary costs, you can save money.
Think about your child's needs and prioritize them. You may find that you don't need a school in the top tuition tier to help your child achieve their goals.
Apply for aid. Most private schools offer financial aid just like colleges and other post-secondary institutions. Explore all your aid options to see where you may fit in. For example, your child may qualify for an academic or athletic scholarship. Depending on your income levels, you may qualify for need-based income. Many schools are also trying to boost their diversity rates, so if you belong to a minority group, you could qualify for additional aid. Apply for aid at multiple schools to see where you get the strongest package.
Talk it over with family. Grandparents often want to see only the best for their grandchildren. They also may have more financial flexibility than you do. While you may not want to ask your parents or in-laws for a handout, it could be beneficial to talk to them about the need for private schooling and how it will help your child in the future. For instance, your parents may have planned on assisting with college anyway. If private school will help your child get a scholarship, why not provide that assistance today? Also, your parents may plan on leaving an inheritance for your child. However, perhaps they would prefer to help today and see your child put that money to good use.
For more information, talk to the aid counselor at your targeted private schools. They can help you come up with a plan to make private school a reality.