Pri­vate school costs add up

The Commercial Appeal - - Sunday Break -

My twin sons are in eighth grade. Their mid­dle school ends at eighth, so we are shop­ping for schools now. It’s driv­ing me nuts. I went to pub­lic school in my home­town, and it was great. They are in pri­vate school, and we are look­ing at pri­vate, aka in­de­pen­dent, high schools now, but it’s ex­pen­sive. I don’t know how we are go­ing to be able to af­ford to pay for high school and then col­lege. My hus­band and I earn a mod­est liv­ing. We are ap­ply­ing for fi­nan­cial aid, but I worry about get­ting enough money from a schol­ar­ship. What do you rec­om­mend?

The high school process can be har­row­ing, es­pe­cially in New York. What you should do is fill out the pa­per­work for fi­nan­cial aid el­i­gi­bil­ity as soon as pos­si­ble. When you speak to schools, tell them you will def­i­nitely need aid and ask what the ranges are for what they give to fam­i­lies. Typ­i­cally, schools with large en­dow­ments have more flex­i­bil­ity when it comes to sup­port­ing stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tion. Those are the schools you should tar­get when you know you need fi­nan­cial sup­port.

How­ever, don’t over­look pub­lic high schools. New York City is fa­mous for ex­cel­lent pub­lic high schools that are as com­pet­i­tive as many of the in­de­pen­dent schools. While hard to get into, they pro­vide an ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tion at no cost. Con­sider the gamut of what high school ed­u­ca­tion has to of­fer. Do not go into debt try­ing to pay for a school you can­not af­ford.

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