The Long-Term Cost of Private School (with Spreadsheet)

Choosing a free public school over a private school can save parents about $9,518 per year (the average private school tuition per year, according to the Private School Review) or more — as the cost can be significantly higher in certain parts of the country (a good high school in my area costs $20,000 per year).

Parents make a lot of decisions for their children, hoping to make the best choice, not only for the child’s current circumstances but also for the child’s future and the family’s well-being. For example, when I was growing up, I knew a boy who attended a public school while his twin brother attended a private one; the parents wanted their children to develop unique identities and made this unusual (to me) choice. As for my husband and me, we chose to send our children to public schools. The schools in our area are good ones and we liked the idea of saving money on education.

I’ve put together an Excel spreadsheet that can allow parents to run the numbers and let you know how much private school tuition could impact a personal balance sheet.

Paying for College Using Current Income

Positioning finances to ensure that paying for college doesn’t wreck other plans was a challenge for my family. When my children were babies, I started strong, setting aside money in minor accounts even before the advent of 529 plans. But the day-to-day activities of raising children often distracted me from longer range planning. As a result, there’s a shortfall between our savings designated for college and our college bills.

Fortunately, though, my husband and I are able to cover more expenses from our current income than anticipated. After my youngest left for college, I noticed that my husband and I were suddenly saving more on at-home expenses in these areas:

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