There are benefits to attending a private school, such as smaller class sizes and superior facilities. However, the cost is often very high.
Based on data from the Education Data Initiative from December 2021, there are over 22,000 private K–12 schools in the United States, with yearly tuition averaging $12,350. The average annual tuition for private elementary schools is $7,630, while the average annual tuition for private high schools is $16,040. However, education in large cities can be significantly more expensive. According to the school’s website, Horace Mann School in New York City charged about $60,000 in tuition for the 2022–2023 academic year.
Families are able to finance private schools in great part because to scholarships. The director of communications for the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to K–8 kids, Elizabeth Toomey, responded in an email that “one size does not fit all, and children should have access to schools that best meet their individual needs.” “Therefore, regardless of their income or zip code, we want to make it possible for a parent to enroll their child in a private school if they decide that’s the best option for them.”
Here are some tips for finding and applying to scholarships if you’re thinking about attending a private school.
What Makes a Private School Attendee?
Private education might not be the ideal choice for every youngster; according to official data, approximately 90% of American pupils attend public schools. Nonetheless, there are a few factors that could make private schools a better choice for certain students. Private schools can provide advantages including more advanced subjects, smaller class numbers, and a wider variety of clubs, activities, and exchange possibilities, according to Cheryl Scott-Mouzon, a K–8 admissions counselor with the educational consulting business IvyWise.
Elizabeth Jones, president and co-founder of the Institute for Educational Advancement, which works for the needs of brilliant students, adds that working with specialists in a particular subject area and delving deeply into it are potentially opportunities that private schools may offer.
Make the time to complete your studies because no two private schools are same. “Looking for schools that would be a good fit for their student is something that parents and older students should do properly. These schools should be able to challenge their students and have the extracurriculars and activities that will ensure a well-rounded education,” advises Scott-Mouzon.
Financial aid and scholarships may help make that ideal match more affordable if it comes with a hefty cost.
How to Look for and Apply for Scholarships in K–12
“The most obvious benefit of applying for scholarships is that they don’t have to be repaid, unlike loans,” says Alan Royal, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s director of outreach and partnerships. The foundation offers financial needy middle school and college students scholarship programs.
However, looking for and applying for scholarships at private schools can be a daunting task. These are some actions that experts suggest.
The year before your child’s private school admission, start looking for scholarships as soon as possible. The scholarship application procedure might take a lot of time between applications and research. The earlier you apply, the better your chances are since some organizations, like the Children’s Scholarship Fund, grant scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis. Experts emphasize that there are deadlines for all of them to be considered, which are typically in the spring before your child starts school.
Think About Your Child’s Qualifications and Interests
Now is the moment to consider your child’s academic interests, achievements, and aspirations. This is a chance to find out if private school is the best fit for you, in addition to helping you choose which scholarships to apply for.
According to Royal, attending a more demanding secondary school will need a greater time commitment. “It is important to consider your motivations and the variables influencing your choice in advance to make sure that enrolling in this kind of program is the right fit for you.”
Scholarships may be “need-based,” which is determined by financial necessity, “merit-based,” which is centered on student accomplishment in a specific subject or school as a whole, or both. Certain scholarships are restricted based on certain criteria, such immigration status or race.