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How to Afford Private School

Attending private school can be affordable if you plan well, save money, and take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarship programs.


  • Step 1: Save money Save as much money as possible by cutting out all extras and taking advantage of discounts. Create a budget and stick to it.
  • Step 2: Open savings account Open a savings account and deposit money every week or month that is earmarked specifically for private school costs.
  • TIP: Family members and close friends may wish to contribute. Don't be afraid to accept gifts from them.
  • Step 3: Defer paycheck savings Defer savings from your paycheck. Parents of minors can put up to $2,000 annually into an account, enjoy tax-deferred earnings, and make tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, like tuition.
  • Step 4: Contact school financial aid officer Contact each school's financial aid officer to learn what they offer and identify other sources for assistance.
  • TIP: Shop around for the school that best meets your own financial plan. Ask for a special consideration review if you have other children in school.
  • Step 5: Complete financial aid applications online Complete the financial aid application for each school to determine eligibility. Most are available online.
  • Step 6: Apply for scholarships Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can.
  • FACT: The four most expensive private schools in the U.S. for day students – Middlesex School, Concord Academy, Hotchkiss School, and Lawrenceville School – all charged more than $34,000 a year in 2009.

You Will Need

  • Thrift
  • Savings account
  • Tax-deferred savings account
  • List of your preferred private schools
  • Your financial statement
  • Internet access

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