Wed, March 9, 2022

Financial Aid for Private School: Tips Now that You Know Your Options

Your child has been admitted to the independent middle or high school of your choice, and now it’s time to choose a program in which to enroll. Though the right academic program for your child may be crystal clear, decisions about tuition and managing cost may be part of the picture, too. So, you wonder, what are the primary considerations and how do you balance the differing tuition assistance options you may have?

Talk to the admissions office

If you have questions about your financial aid award, get in touch with the admissions office. Every school to which you have applied has an admissions team with one or several members who specialize in financial aid analysis for families. The admissions team is there to help and can assist you with understanding how your individual financial circumstances fit within the school’s budget and priorities. In some cases, you may even be concerned about enrolling in your first-choice school because you received a larger financial aid award elsewhere. In these circumstances, a conversation with the school of your choice can be imperative. Give a call to discuss and share any new information if it is relevant.

Understand what is included in the financial aid award

Will your child participate in extracurricular activities like an academic trip during a school break or play an instrument in the orchestra? Does your sporty kid need new sneakers for each season or does the school provide team uniforms and equipment? Knowing what additional activities you may have to pay out of pocket, may help you when deciding where to go. Determine whether you will be able to provide funds for an unexpected school circumstance or if an unbudgeted expense is a challenge you would rather not absorb.

Check out a financial aid calculator

Sometimes it is hard to look at your financial aid award with the context you desire. By utilizing a financial aid calculator you have the chance to gain additional insight into the financial aid package offered to your family. Also, increasing your understanding of how your family’s income and ability to pay tuition compares to other applicants at independent schools is a benefit going forward, as financial aid must generally be reapplied for on an annual basis. While no calculator can help tell the full story of your financial aid award or family financial circumstances, school financial aid calculators are useful in providing the context you may need. By using school member Choate Rosemary Hall’s Calculator you can learn more about what schools consider when making financial aid awards in general.

Know your options for making payment

Regardless of income level, it’s not uncommon to look at the tuition scale for independent schools and experience some variation of sticker shock. Don’t let that stop you! Managing payment may be more attainable than you think. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) provides an overview of the options that your school of choice may assist you with:

  • Grants
  • Merit scholarships
  • Scholarships from outside organizations
  • Tuition loans
  • Tuition payment plans
  • Sibling discounts

Making the right decision for your family can be challenging, so we are here to help. If you have more questions about financial aid for private schools, Join Parents League. Membership includes your individual appointment with an expert school advisor, resources, workshops and more! Parents League offers a financial aid discount on our annual family membership for qualifying applicants.

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