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HomeArticlesHow to Afford Private School on a Budget

How to Afford Private School on a Budget

Education is a topic of great importance nationwide, and here in Arizona, the landscape of educational choices is constantly expanding. Families navigate a variety of options, from traditional to online, charter to private schools, to best meet their children’s unique needs.

If you’re thinking about making a move to a private school but are concerned about affordability, planning and budgeting can help alleviate the stress on your family’s finances. Every situation is unique, but starting to plan and budget now can help take the stress out of your family’s education costs for years to come.

Start planning early.

If you know your child is heading to a private school soon, start planning now by creating a monthly budget to anticipate spending changes. Compare tuition costs at different schools, including additional fees for activities such as sports, to compile a comprehensive list of yearly expenses. Some schools may negotiate tuition rates, so understanding your family’s financial standing beforehand is crucial. Look into potential discounts for multiple siblings, especially if a middle schooler will be joined by a younger sibling in a few years.

Where can you save?

Payment Programs: Saving on private school costs can be made easier by exploring payment programs and inquiring about monthly payment plans to manage tuition expenses more effectively.

Scholarships: Research available scholarships, both school-specific and external, applying for need-based and merit-based options early in the application process.

ESA program: Look into the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to determine if your child qualifies. azed.gov/esa.

Tax Credit program: Check if the school participates in the tax credit program and is affiliated with a Certified School Tuition Organization, potentially allowing friends and family to contribute to your child’s tuition during tax time. Visit the Arizona Department of Revenue website to learn more about the program and which organizations are accredited.

Maximize your benefits each time you make a payment.

Maximizing benefits with each payment can include setting aside money in a high-yield savings account or certificate program to earn interest for lump-sum tuition payments. It’s important to think about your payment options and the benefits you can get from your chosen payment schedule. If you pay off your credit card every month, you can use it to pay your tuition fees either in a lump sum or in monthly installments. This way, you can accumulate a significant amount of credit card points that you can redeem for various rewards.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about potential rate reductions, customized payment plans, or opportunities to offset tuition costs through volunteer hours.

Their future starts today.

Planning for the future involves exploring long-term savings options, such as setting up a 529 savings plan early, ensuring that saving for continuing education becomes an integral part of your family’s budget. For more information, visit az529.gov

Starting early, asking questions, and seeking available resources are essential steps to create a manageable plan for fitting private school tuition into your family’s budget.

Rachel Galvez
Rachel Galvezhttp://www.arizonafinancial.org
Rachel Galvez is the Marketing Partnerships Manager at Arizona Financial Credit Union. A mom of two, Rachel is committed to empowering families with the information they need to make smart financial decisions now and set their children on the path to financial success in the future.

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