When considering a private school for your child, cost is naturally a major factor in that decision. Next to academics and extracurriculars, tuition is often the deciding factor. There are many options to explore in affording private school, and there is no one-size fits all affordability plan.
Private school is an investment in your child’s education. Before eliminating a private school from your search, consider these five options for paying for your child’s tuition:
1. In Full
If you are able, paying in full is the easiest way to pay for tuition. Some schools offer discounts to those who pay in full, in advance, and you will naturally avoid late fees if you pay for private school in one lump sum. It’s easier now, more than ever, as most schools accept payment online and offer a twice-a-year payment schedule.
2. Payment Plan
Payment plans are a great option for families looking to spread the cost of tuition over smaller installments. Many schools offer payment plans to help you manage educational expenses.
3. Tuition Loan
Most schools work with one or more lenders to help you afford private education. We work with Your Tuition Solution, which offers low, fixed-rate loans, with no down payment or application fees, and terms up to 10 years.
4. Financial Aid
This need-based option is available for those who qualify in paying for private school education. An outside service is typically used to determine a family’s eligibility and household contribution to education. Awards are based on a calculated demonstrated need, based on many determining factors. Executed income tax returns, W-2s, paystubs and a 4506-T form are usually required. Schools calculate a budget for families in need, so it is best to apply early.
5. 529 Savings Plan
With the recent federal tax rewrite, starting in 2018, you will be able to use up to $10,000 annually from a tax-free 529 account to pay for private school K-12 tuition. What parents historically used as a college savings plan for their children, can now be used for a private K-12 education. This is still very new to the private K-12 school landscape and is not available in every state. Contact a financial adviser to learn more about this option for private K-12 schools.
The bottom line: Every school is different and affordability options will vary from institution to institution. Before eliminating a private school for your child, talk with an admissions representative to fully understand your options, as well as your financial adviser. Private school may very well be within reach.