1. Free Schools
While there are only a few tuition free schools in the United States, they are worth looking into. Some eligibility rules and residency and other restrictions apply because the benefactors had certain income groups and neighborhoods in mind. Put another way, if you have money and want to send your child to a free school, you will have to pay for his education!
2. Scholarships And Grants
Every school offers some form of financial aid. The amount you will receive depends on your financial situation. You will have to file the SSS forms at most schools in order to be considered for financial aid. The financial assistance program at Exeter gives you an idea of what a well-endowed school offers to help you pay for your child's education.
There are also several community-based scholarships available. Contact the individual organizations for details.
Not many communities offer vouchers, but they are a real boon where they exist. The intent of voucher programs is to give parents an alternative to failing public schools in their community. The idea is that a private school will accept the publicly funded voucher to pay for your child's education. As always ask to see if a voucher program is available in your area.
4. Payment Plans
Most schools offer a variety of payment options for those of you who can afford to write a check for your child's education. Typically you will pay one half (or sometimes sixty per cent) of the annual tuition and certain fees in August before the fall semester begins. The second payment will be due in December before the winter semester begins. Several third party providers offer payment plans which typically spread the tuition and fees over ten months. How does this work? You sign a contract with the provider. They collect your money and pay the school on your behalf. Note: accept the tuition insurance when offered. Why? Because if you need to withdraw your child for medical or other reasons, you are liable for the entire year's tuition. The insurance will save you a bundle.
5. Faculty And Staff Discounts
If you work for a private school, you may be eligible for a staff discount for your children's education as part of your benefits package. These programs vary from school to school, so don't make any assumptions based on your experience at another school. Always ask for details and make sure that they are part of your employment contract.
6. Discounts For Several Children
If you have more than one child at a school, you wll generally receive a quantity discount on your tuition. You will still have to pay full activity and book fees as well as other 'sundries' as some bespoke schools like to style additional charges.
Several lenders specialize in loans to the private school market. Loans make sense if you have assets which you would rather not liquidate and have the cash flow to make the payments for your child's education.
Fill Out The Forms
Applying for financial aid usually requires completing a financial aid request form. Many private schools opt to use the SSS (School and Student Service for Financial Aid) Form. The beauty of the SSS is that you only have to complete and file it once. It then is available to any school which participates in the SSS program. Another fine service from the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).
Bottom line: paying for your child's private school education has a couple of options. Choose the one which is right for you.