Many families don’t even consider sending their children to private school for financial reasons. While it’s hard to argue with the free price tag that comes with public school, if that option doesn’t work for your family, you do have choices. Today we’re sharing our tips for budgeting and paying for private school.
The Finances of Private School
1. Get a Clear Picture of Tuition Fees
The very first thing to do, when you’re crunching the numbers on private school, is to get as clear as possible on the bottom line. What are the fees, and when are they due? How much does it cost to apply? What additional costs are likely to crop up when your child starts, and throughout the year? What is included in the fees, and what is extra?
2. Look Into Payment Plans
Many schools offer a number of different payment plans for parents. You can pay your tuition in one lump sum and save, or pay it monthly or quarterly to make it easier to budget. Investigate your options, and consider what works best for your family at the private school of your choice. Also find out if every child pays the same tuition, or if there’s a discount on the second or third child in a family.
3. Compare the Costs to What You’re Already Paying
While it’s free to register your child in public school, the truth is there are costs associated with sending your kids to any school. Canadian parents planned to spend an average of $428 per child on clothes, supplies and technology this past September. Buying a uniform may actually save you money, over what you would have spent on clothes and shoes for the school year, for instance. Or perhaps you’re paying for an extra-curricular program now that’s offered for free at the school. There may be some things you’ll actually save money on by opting for private school.
4. Investigate Financial Aid
Just like universities, many private schools offer financial aid in the form of scholarships and bursaries. They want great students, and they don’t want money to prevent a family that’s a great fit from joining their community. Get in touch with the private school of your choice and find out what options are available, and how to apply.
5. Talk to an Accountant
If your private school provides a religious education, and it’s registered as a Canadian charity, you may be able to write off a certain portion of the tuition as a charitable donation. If your child has special needs, tax breaks may also be available. Also, some of the fees may be eligible childcare expenses, which can also help you get a tax break. Find out just what sorts of tax and insurance options are open to you to help defray the costs.
If you do the legwork, you may discover that private school is more manageable for your family than you first thought. And keep in mind that if your first school just doesn’t work for you financially, others may. So keep up the search for a school that is a great fit for your child.
This article was sponsored by OUR KIDS. OUR KIDS is the trusted source on private schools and summer camps in BC and across Canada, and host to the annual Vancouver Private School Expo. Learn about the leading education and program options available for your child, compare and rank private schools and summer camps, and find a program where your child will thrive. Family owned and operated, OUR KIDS challenges you to think big about the future of your kids, and provides the resources to help you along the way. Their multi-device channels enable families to access information on all platforms (in-person, print, online, tablet, and mobile) to make the best choices for each individual child’s needs. Visit www.ourkids.net, the trusted source more than 1 million families refer to every year when choosing schools and camps for their kids.