As a parent, it’s natural that you want the best for your child. For you, that might mean sending your child to private school. Although private school can be expensive, there are ways to make it more affordable for your family.
Here are your options for covering the cost of your child’s education, from financial aid programs to tuition loans for private schools.
6 ways to pay for private school tuition
According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, students who attended private high schools as freshmen were more likely to graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education than those who attended public high schools.
But the benefits of a private education come with a hefty price tag. Private School Review reported the national average for private school tuition is $10,302 per year. If you pay that amount from kindergarten through 12th grade, you’ll spend over $130,000 before your child even enters college.
Although that cost is high, these six financing options can make it easier on your budget.
1. School-offered financial aid
Many private schools offer scholarships to gifted students and financial aid for low-income families.
Don’t assume you make too much to qualify; you might be eligible for more aid than you’d think. Contact the school’s admissions department and ask about its scholarships and financial aid programs.
2. Outside scholarships
If school-offered scholarships aren’t an option or if you need more help covering the cost, there are some outside scholarships options:
- A Better Chance: offers scholarships to students of color to help them enroll in private middle and high schools
- Children’s Scholarship Fund: provides scholarships to children from low-income families to attend private school
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: gives scholarships to academically talented students with financial need
3. Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
If you make less than $110,000 (or $220,000 if you file a joint tax return), you could be eligible for a Coverdell ESA.
A Coverdell ESA is a savings account for education expenses. You can contribute up to $2,000 a year into an ESA to save for private school. The amount you deposit will grow tax-free.
As long as you don’t take out more than your child’s education expenses, you won’t owe taxes on the distributions.
4. Tuition payment plan
Many private schools offer payment plans to make the cost easier for families. Depending on the school, tuition typically can be split up over 12 months or quarterly, which means you won’t owe the full amount all at once.
Contact the school to find out if any payment plans are available.
5. State voucher program
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia provide state-funded school vouchers to students. School vouchers allocate some state education funds to offset the cost of private school, helping families who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
To find out if your state has a program and how to apply, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
6. Tuition loans for private schools
If you’ve run out of other options but have your heart set on sending your child to private school, loans for private school tuition K-12 exist. In most cases, you can take out a personal loan.
With a personal loan, you can borrow the full cost of tuition without having to put up an asset as collateral.
But you should know that personal loans can have high interest rates. If your credit isn’t great, you could end up paying an interest rate of up to 35.99%. With that rate, a single year of tuition could become significantly more expensive.
If you took out a personal loan for $10,302 — the average cost of a single year of private school — and qualified for a five-year loan with a 35.99% interest rate, you’d repay a total of $22,331.
You’d have to pay more than double the cost to account for interest fees. If you’re paying for middle school and high school, you could end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
If you have a high credit score, personal loans might make more sense. You can qualify for a lower rate, making a loan more affordable.
But going into debt for your child’s education before they get to college is an expensive risk to take.
You could end up with a large amount of debt you need to repay, making it difficult to save for your retirement. If possible, explore all your other options before considering personal loans.
Choosing a school for your child
Sending your child to private school can give them a head start, but you should weigh the benefits against the significant cost of tuition and how much debt you’d need to borrow. You might find that the expense of tuition loans for private schools is too high for your family.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
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