It’s All About the Benjamins Baby. Or Is It? – What’s Your ROI?

What are you willing to sacrifice to pay for private independent school tuition? This was a recent RIISE tweet and a very practical question. Will it be the summer home, second car? Are you downsizing? Giving up going to the movies?

RIISE recently met up with a diverse group of private school alum who have growing families. They are grappling with having to invest almost a million dollars for tuition (rough estimate for two kids, K-12), all before college.

One alum was considered to have considerable economic wealth, who, I could tell, was not gonna give up the summer home or other luxuries. I think she was willing to hedge her bet that her generational legacy and current connections would have to do, and could do.

I shared this story with another mom of color, and we wondered if we could make those same considerations. Or, was this educational opportunity a must, and by any means necessary, if our kids had the good fortune to be accepted. Would this increase their educational and economic attainment, perhaps changing and charting our family legacies forever?

The alum hinted that they were not clear if they would see a considerable return on investment? For many families of color, the investment can be stifling, but the returns could be a game changer.

A recent RIISE webinar led by Pamela Jolly challenged us to examine what our currency was as families of color and identify why we were willing to invest in private school. Was it the privilege of academic excellence and resources? The opportunity to make the right connections? The prestige? Being one of the chosen? Maybe the investment could increase the chances of creating legacy wealth for families of color.

If you are thinking about applying to private independent schools or are already enrolled, consider and continue to re-evaluate what the returns are for your family. I believe the best educational opportunities and experiences can happen at independent schools. Yet, it can have no value if the ends don’t justify the means. If you can see the end of this journey clearly, it will be worth every penny.

Please stay in touch with RIISE as you consider the best fit school for your child and your family. And please, engage this community to find and offer holistic approaches to admissions and well-balanced retention of an independent school education.

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