Beyond Tuition: Hidden Costs of Private School (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 27, 2013

They want you to pay for what?

  • Student accounts. Some schools require that students set up an account with a minimum amount of funds with the school store. That way if they need to buy additional uniform materials or school supplies during the day, they are covered.
  • Insurance. Your school may require that you pay a fee on top of tuition for liability or other kinds of insurance. It’s not common, but it happens. So make sure you ask about it and avoid being caught off guard.

Ronni Denes, the President of New Jersey SEEDS, has dedicated her life to helping motivated, high-achieving students attend independent schools throughout the country. Through her work, she is very aware of the hidden costs that parents face when they enroll their children in private schools. "Form relationships and be extremely honest with the independent school's financial aid officer," she says. Sometimes schools will subsidize field trips and costs associated with extracurricular activities if parents are open and honest with them.

The key to handling all of these costs is to start thinking about them early. "Start budgeting," Ronni says. "Ask grandparents or family members to contribute to tuition accounts rather than buy birthday presents. When schools see that the family is doing everything possible to help support their child, they will do the same."

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