Living and Learning

How much does private school cost?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Education of their children is a constant thought in the minds of concerned parents these days. For a host of reasons, parents today often choose to send their children to private schools. Perhaps the public schools in their district do not meet their hopes for their children or perhaps they want to see their kids receive an education that has a religious component. Whatever their reasons, one thing is certain: Private schools can be very expensive.

    Depending on the type of private school, annual tuition in the U.S. ranges anywhere between just under $10,000 to around $17,000 [source: Council for American Private Education]. Of course, boarding schools are more expensive than day schools. Religious private schools are often the least expensive because they are highly subsidized by a supporting religious institution that can receive donations from, say, parishioners in the case of a Catholic school. For-profit private schools, meanwhile, are usually most expensive. Pre-K through 12th grade enrollment in private schools represents about 10 percent of U.S. children, or just under 6 million children [source: Council for American Private Education].

    Fortunately, for some students, there is some measure of financial help available to them. Roughly 20 percent of all private-school students receive some sort of financial aid. Financial aid packages average around $9,000 a year for a day school and $17,000 a year for boarding school [source: National Association of Independent Schools]. The schools themselves may have special endowments to provide need-based and/or merit-based scholarships to qualified applicants. A school may offer more financial aid to a particular student who might fit a specific need or mission of the school. There are also private education loans you can take out. Lastly, some states may offer school vouchers you can apply toward the cost of a private education for your child.

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