Taking a child to private school is every parent’s dream. Class sizes are small, the curriculum’s are more in-depth and broader, they have more resources and can attract the best teachers, and they serve as a pathway to good colleges, scholarships and great jobs. The trouble is, they are also very expensive. So expensive that they are generally made up of the children of well-to-do families. The cost need not prevent you from taking your child to private school. In this article, we will discuss how to make private school happen on a budget.
Get a Scholarship
Traditionally, getting a scholarship is the most common way to raise funds for private school. Many private schools have scholarship programs, such as academic scholarships, non-academic talents such as sports, endowments, awards and special interest grants. If the private school that you are targeting for your child does not have scholarships, or scholarships you feel your child qualifies for, or, if you just want to cast the net wider, you can also look for scholarships awarded by other institutions and organizations. The qualifying criteria vary from program to program. For instance, the Catholic Education Foundation awards scholarships to children studying in Los Angeles Catholic schools. Another example is the Parents Challenge, which awards scholarships for students studying in private schools in Colorado Springs, Colorado. So, you will have to do a lot of research to find scholarship programs that are right for you.
Look at Scholarship Tax Credits
Many people are finding that scholarship tax credits are a useful way to fund private school. The National Conference for State Legislatures estimates that there are scholarship tax credit programs in 17 states. These programs allow tax-payers to divert state taxes owed to private not-for-profit scholarship-awarding organizations that issue scholarships for K-12 students.
Get a Lower Rates
Private schools are often willing to negotiate the advertised rate. This is especially true if you can offer the school something and are in a strong negotiating position. This is even more likely to happen if you target a small private school that needs to get its enrollment rate high. In any event, you should just ask, in case the school is willing to give you a discount or work round payment terms.
Look at Different Schools
We all have aspirations but sometimes it’s useful to think of alternatives. So if you have a specific school in mind, you should look at other schools. You may find that they offer lower tuition rates than the school of your choice. Ofte, the sticker price is not a true reflection of the difference in quality between schools. So don’t assume that by looking at cheaper alternatives, you are looking at inferior alternatives. For instance, a private high school in New York costs an average of $25,122 a year, but River Valley Mennonite School, the lowest-cost private high school, costs only $1,800. So as important as average costs are, you should also look at outliers in your quest for a top private school.