Can You Afford to Send Your Kids to Private School?

Sending our kids to a Christian private school is something we’d love to do someday!  Can we afford private school?  Unfortunately, I would have to say the answer is no at this point in our lives.

Certainly all tuitions differ in cost and it depends on the school and location.  I recently checked into kindergarten tuition at a local Christian school.  The tuition was priced at $9680 per year with a $350 registration fee.  That’s around $800 per month.  12th grade jumps up to almost a $1000 per month.

As I said, the answer is no right now in terms of affordability.  Meeting these expenses just isn’t in our short-term plan.

Many parents, including my wife and me, want the best for our kids.  People see friends sending their kids to private school and want to do the same.  We want to send our kids to private school, but we also don’t have enough money and don’t want to borrow or go into debt to do so.

Can You Afford Private School?Here’s some great advice from Crown Financial Matters on this matter:

If it is God’s will for them to be in a Christian school, He will provide the necessary funds without using debt.

Personally, I prefer the Christian faith based approach.  It really takes the pressure off for such matters when you lay them at God’s feet.

Of course, we still have to do our part.  It doesn’t mean we’ll sit around and wait and hope for money to be at the front door the next time we open it.  No, I don’t think God works in that way.  Essentially it’s up to God to provide for such things, but we have to put forth effort on our end too.   Part of this effort is in planning and investigating options.

Speaking of doing our part, I ran across some suggestions in a local magazine to help make private school more affordable.  I thought some of these were good tips and worth sharing.

Good old fashioned budgeting

This tip is really about setting the goal early in your child’s life.  It also involves doing everything you can to eliminate debt and careless spending.  Essentially, you have to budget wise so you can start saving to meet private school expenses.

Financial aid via the school

If you’re certain you want to send your kids to private school you need to check into financial aid.  According to the article I read, most private schools offer some type of aid to families who qualify.

Scholarships

As with college, most private schools also offer scholarships.  So, it’s important to check with the school on available scholarships and determine if your child will qualify or make plans to work towards receiving the scholarship.

Employer benefits

I had no idea some employers would pay part of the tuition for parents who want to send their children to private school.  The article suggests contact your Human Resources department to find out.  This would be an amazing benefit.  I suppose it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Teaching discount

My wife and I have talked about teaching discounts because she used to teach kindergarten.  If and when we decide it’s the right move for her to go back to work this would be something we would definitely consider looking into.

Multi-child discount

I did notice the multi-child discount when I checked into the private school in our area.  Their website does show this discount which can be helpful.  I will mention it wasn’t significant, but every little bit helps, right?

Overall, these are some great practical steps if private school is a consideration for your family.   But remember, even all these tips together may not provide the funds necessary.  I would recommend avoiding debt for private school and trusting God to provide the difference of any benefits you receive.

Do you have any tips for sending kids to private school you can share with readers?  What do you think about these tips?

About Jason Price

Jason Price is a family man saved by grace, passionate about faithful financial stewardship (1 Cor 4:2 NIV), soccer and the Pacific sun.

  • http://inexpensively.com Just Heather

    Our 3 girls go to a private Montessori school. It’s not a faith-based education, but it is one we feel very strongly about. Plus, the teachers and the directress are all strong Christians so I guess you get similar benefits.

    The tuition isn’t nearly as high as the one you mentioned – we paid a little more than that for 2 girls all last year. The price goes up next month when our youngest begins their preschool program, but we’ve budgeted and made sacrifices to get them there.

    The sibling discount also helps as does the payment plan I requested – we pay year round to better afford the payments rather than just the 9 months of school. We also do not have book fees, field trip costs and school supplies since it is all included in the tuition. Those can add up in the public school so it helps reduce our burdent.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      Just Heather, thanks for commenting. Great tip as far as paying year round. Also, thanks for metnioning how some of the fees are included vs. having to pay them with public schools – more savings to help offset the difference. I think you also hit on something important which is making sacrifices. Sometimes you have to give something up to afford the extra expense to keep the budget in balance.

  • http://www.gainmoneycontrol.com KP

    I strongly agree with you on not going into debt for private school! Your tips are very helpful for those trying to find more affordable tuition rates. Other options may include charter schools or trying to live in a good public school district.

  • http://www.gobankingrates.com Laura

    I don’t know that private school is always the better option. Sometimes, it leads to strange socialization habits and feelings of superiority. I think private school has its own advantages. But that’s from someone who attended public school so take it or leave it :)

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      Hey Laura, I went to public school as well. I agree that public shool certainly has its own advantages and maybe we need to consider some of those as we wrestle more with this future decision. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://privateschoolu.com Private School Rob

    With the average yearly tuition at $8,549 (it can go as high as $30,265) there’s no doubt that private education is still considered the realm of the rich. Unfortunately the costs don’t end at tuition. Don’t forget materials, sports, uniforms, and transportation (sometimes a biggie)… and we’re not even talking about boarding schools yet! (see for details But, as with most matters of money, it comes down to priorities. When you open the door to a private education you find that you have something not available in public education: choice. It’s hard to put a value on that. :-)