Admissions Now! Quick Tip # 9 – Financing Independent School Education


This is the time during the admissions season when you seriously think about financing an independent school education – the next 13 years if you’re applying to Kindergarten. The idea of it might have you running towards the financial aid process. But, then again, perhaps not considering that the median percentage of students receiving financial aid is only 22.9%  according to the National Association of Independent Schools Facts At A Glance  2012-13. Yet, the question, ‘Can we afford this educational lifestyle?’  is a real one for many families who must manage their livelihood with affording an indy school education.

If you are applying for financial support through TADS or SSS (different schools require different forms), a letter of financial award will accompany  your acceptance letter so that you can assess the expected family contribution should you decide to enroll.

How can you be prepared for one of the biggest financial decisions, besides college, that you’ll make on behalf of your child’s education? RIISE highlights three ways that should be helpful:

Understand the investment and match it with your educational vision

  • the median average tuition – for day school is $20,612 and $48,800 for boarding  *you may have noticed tuition is higher for some schools
  • the median financial grant is $11,599 *again, depending on the school it could be higher
  • know what form is being used (TADS or SSS) to assess financial need, along with additional information required, and start the application process

Quickly get educated on independent school culture, ask yourself these questions:

  • how long is the school day? what will happen between school & pick up?
  • what are the costs for after-care & after-school activities
  • for older students what are the real costs to go on school trips & be involved in team sports?
  • what are other financial expectations & obligations that should be considered? Like the school’s annual fund, school activities, birthday parties etc. many of our member schools have begun to include ‘other financial expectations and obligations’ in tuition **don’t hesitate to ask schools what other costs can be expected

To find the answers to many questions, attend school hosted financial workshops & RIISE’s digital workshop!

  • check the website of our member schools for upcoming workshops on applying for financial support
  • register for RIISE’s super convenient financial aid digital workshop on Tuesday, 11/11, 8:00-9:30 pmMaking Cents of it All! *here, you can get insight, details, and a chance to ask the questions you might not ask at a school event



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