A couple years ago, my son was having some trouble at school (social, not academic*), and we decided to enroll him in private school, beginning in 4th grade. It’s a great school, he’s happy, and he’s doing well. He still has some of the same issues he had before, but the teachers and administrative staff are better able to help him, since teacher:student ratios are better than public schools, and all in all it’s better. My daughter is a couple years older than him, and when we decided to send him, we offered to let her go there, too. She declined, as she was happy where she was, liked her circle of friends, and etc. Our plan all along has been to send my son to a private/independent high school, because we want to keep him out of the public school system completely. That’s still a few years away.
My daughter, however, has a friend who’s parents are both alumni of a pretty pricey liberal arts-oriented independent high school a couple towns away (day school). The friend is planning on going there, and my daughter wants to go, too. This is the first time she’s expressed an interest in going anywhere other than public school, which she’s been saying pretty much all along she wanted to attend.
Tuition is $41K per year, but they are “need-blind” and offer need-based tuition assistance in the form of scholarships, tuition reduction and payment plans. They may also offer loans. Not sure. My son’s tuition has been expensive, but manageable, but increases now that he’s going to upper school (middle school level).
We went to an open house at the school my daughter wants to attend. It is a great school with really robust art, music and athletic programs. They’re not highly regarded for their academic program, but improving, and feed ivy league schools consistently.
So, I’m probably looking at dishing out somewhere between $400K and $500K** before my kids even get to college. In reality, I’ll probably spend half that***, after need-based incentives are applied to tuition. But still.
Is it even worth it? If they want to go this route, I’ll be supportive and I think they’ll make some good contacts along the way that will benefit and enrich them later.
*He has a short fuse, a high sensitivity to injustice, and gets frustrated very easily. A couple kids discovered they could easily push his buttons, get him riled up, and his reaction amused them, so it started happening pretty frequently. When he retaliated, he would receive the punishment, because the kids starting with him were smart enough to be discrete about it. It became sort of an ugly feedback loop.
**I can’t actually afford this
***I probably can’t afford this, either