With the tuition of many local private schools reaching more than $10,000 per year, the thought of private school can be overwhelming, especially for families on a budget. Perhaps it’s easier to get behind the concept when you consider the cost as an investment in your child. Still, the practical nature of how you work the additional cost of private education into your household budget remains. Here’s how you might go about it.
SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN
Paying the entire year’s tuition at one time may be too much for your family but you may find that the annual tuition broken into monthly payments is something your family can handle. At Skutt Catholic, we offer annual, semi-annual, quarterly, monthly and even bi-weekly payment plans to help families line up tuition costs with how they get paid from their employers. We can also create a payment plan that works specifically for your family.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Many families think of scholarships as a financial tool only available to college students and unusually academically or athletically gifted students. The truth is that there is a huge variety of scholarships available to help fund high school educations. Start with the school that your child is interested in attending. Reach out to your church, the archdiocese and any organizations that your family belongs to and ask if they offer any scholarships. Many Knights of Columbus organizations and a number of ethnic organizations offer scholarships as well. You should also check with your child’s grade school for information on high school scholarships.
At Skutt Catholic, we offered 39 scholarships to incoming freshmen this year. Our students also earned 30 scholarships from various organizations outside of the school. Keep in mind to be eligible for a Skutt Catholic scholarship, eighth graders will need to take the placement exam at Skutt Catholic. The next exam is set for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. There also will be a seventh-grade practice exam on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Grandparents and relatives may give your children gifts for birthdays and holidays. Suggesting that they help with tuition might be a way they can show they care in a more tangible long-lasting way. Grandparents who are looking to gift assets as an estate planning tool can pay all or part of the tuition bill without triggering any gift taxes as long as it is below a certain threshold.
Many parents might be nervous about having this conversation, but family is often willing to help with education expenses. Even if your family members are not comfortable helping directly with private school tuition, there are other areas, such as textbooks and uniforms, that they may be able to help with and free up family funds for tuition.
At Skutt Catholic, we see a number of grandparents and family members sending in payments to help with tuition. We can set up separate payment plans for family members so that whatever portion they are willing to help with can be facilitated easily according to their wishes. We also see family members make anonymous gifts toward tuition to help ease the burden for families.
FINANCIAL AID/WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS
Not all families can afford the entire cost of tuition, which is why many private schools offer financial aid. Financial aid can vary from $500 per year to almost the entire balance of tuition depending on family need.
Skutt Catholic uses the FACTS Grant and Aid System to help determine family need and offers a work-study program for students. About one-third of the students at Skutt Catholic received financial aid/work study and the average award was $4,500.
Contact Taryn Clatanoff at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to make the dream of a private school education a reality at Skutt Catholic. Contact Tim Bloomingdale at email@example.com to register your student for the eighth grade placement exam or the seventh grade practice exam.