We all want what’s best for our children, especially when it comes to education. Private school is one option that parents might consider — one that comes with many plusses, but can also include a big price tag. You might think that private school is out of reach for your budget, but think again. Tuition ranges widely among private schools, and there are a surprising number of ways to make private school a reality, including through scholarships, tax programs, grants and more.
If you’re considering private school, here are some practical options for fitting it into your family’s budget.
The Benefits of Private Education
But first, the big question: Why private school, when there are other (often free) options? Private schools offer a unique and enriching environment, and often prioritize individual attention, academic excellence, and character development. Many times, private schools have smaller class sizes, allowing each student to receive personalized attention, which in turn allows educators to tailor instruction to a student’s needs, talents and interests.
Many private schools go beyond academics and foster a well-rounded education. Some offer specialized programs, such as STEM, performing arts, foreign language immersion or outdoor education. Children can discover and cultivate their passions, talents and potential, all while gaining a diverse set of skills and experiences.
Making Private Education Affordable
While the cost of private education might initially seem out of reach, there are strategies and resources available to make it more accessible for your family.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many private schools offer financial aid and scholarship programs to support families from various backgrounds. These programs can be based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of both. It’s important to research and reach out to schools directly, and ask about the kind of financial aid options they offer. You might be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities that exist.
Tuition Payment Plans
Many private schools provide flexible payment plans, allowing families to break down annual tuition into manageable monthly or quarterly installments. By spreading out the financial commitment over time, private school becomes more feasible for families on a budget. Be sure to ask prospective schools about their payment plan options during the application process.
Consider using educational saving accounts, such as 529 plans or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. These accounts provide tax advantages and allow you to set aside funds specifically for educational expenses, including private school tuition. Over time, these accounts can grow significantly, easing the financial burden of private education.
Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program, commonly referred to as the voucher program, provides scholarships to eligible Indiana students to offset tuition costs at participating schools. For more information and a list of the participating private schools, visit in.gov/doe/students/indiana-choice-scholarship-program.
Prioritizing Education in Your Budget
Paying for private education might require lifestyle adjustments and prioritizing education in your family budget. Consider adjusting discretionary spending, cutting back on non-essential expenses, or exploring additional income streams. Many parents find that the long-term benefits and the impact on their children’s educational journey make these sacrifices worthwhile.
Your investment in your child’s education is an investment in your child’s future. Set them on a path to success with the gift of a world-class education that will shape their future for years to come.