Should parents take out a loan to send their children to a private school?

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Every parent wants their child to receive the best education in order to lay a solid foundation for the future. However, decisions about where to send your child to school, whether public or private, are rarely easy and often require more consideration than just money. Private schools are an investment that not every family can afford. But if your family values ​​a private school education, you may be faced with a dilemma – take out a loan to pay for it. Here, experts discuss the pros and cons of getting a loan to fund your child’s private school education.

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Consider the costs

Before taking out a loan, consider how much it costs to attend a private school. The private school tuition is roughly $ 12,350 per year for K-12 schools, $ 16,040 per year for a private high school, and $ 35,801 per year for a private university, according to Elizabeth Hicks, co-founder of Parenting Nerd. Multiply these numbers by the number of years your children will be in school and how many children you plan to teach in private schools, and you get an exact number that might make you swallow. A private school is not cheap. You should have a realistic painting.

To figure out: Can you afford an education in America at these prices?
Check: Is it worth paying for an elite preschool? Experts weigh

More customized curriculum / classes for elementary grades

There is no doubt that private schools have more freedom to do things their own way, often in small classes, and may pay more attention to children with special needs or abilities.

Mo Mulla, founder of Parental Questions and a father of two, believes it is worth borrowing to send his children to private schools. First, he said that they put more emphasis on education. “We found that many [private] schools offer different subjects, not only study a textbook, but also teach problem-solving essays and skills for the future workplace. “

In addition, he said colleges tend to approve applications from private schools, and these children are often more likely to receive college scholarships. However, to offset the cost of a private school, he said students may need to find work or scholarships to attend school.

See: How parents should invest now to pay for college later

Reduce other funding costs

L. Burke Faise, President of Financial Examinations and Grades and a father of four, funded their private schooling through “[keeping] our lifestyle is very moderate, we drove used cars, didn’t eat a lot ”. He said that they did have short-term debt, but they paid it back within six months. “The quality of education matters,” he said. “If a private school just doesn’t have a budget, look for charter schools, look for the best performing open enrollment schools, or even look for religious schools that provide full or partial scholarships as needed.”

Take advantage of: These states still have time to save on tax-free school supplies.

Know your child

Choosing the right school for your child, private or public, means knowing your child well or what Rebecca Mannis, PhD, Founder and Teaching Specialist of IvyPrep.com calls them “temperament, learning style, context and culture. the school you are considering. Parents always know their children best and should be careful about their antenna to learn about their comfort zone and what works best for them. “

Consider: Should teens save for education?

School debt goes away from your pension

When you’re focused on planning your child’s education, don’t forget about your retirement, ”said Todd Keffery, certified financial planner and founder of Cadenza Financial Planning. “In financial planning, it is generally accepted that you can take out a student loan, but you cannot take out a loan for retirement.” Parents may have the best intentions in pursuing this, he said, but not at the expense of their own financial future.

Did you know: How Much Does It Really Cost to Go to America’s Top 50 Colleges

Debt is not worth

While it is a personal choice to send your children to private schools, Carter Soyte, CEO of Credit Summit, said: “If you have the money, definitely. But is it worth getting into debt for it? In general, I would say no, unless you really feel that without it your child will not be able to reach their potential. But if you go into debt, you cannot be offended by your child – it was not their decision. “

Discover: What would canceling student loan debt really mean

Find out what public schools have to offer in the first place

“You shouldn’t think of public education as bad and private education as good,” said Camilla Gaines, AFC owner of Retire Certain. Depending on where you live, “Sometimes public school education is comparable to or better than private schools,” Gaines said. She urges parents to consider that public schools also give children the opportunity to live in the same neighborhood or neighborhood as their classmates, which is an “important social factor”. In addition, “after a child enters a private school, it can be difficult to move to a public school, which usually has large classes and different rules. This leads to very long term financial commitments. “

“I am a proponent of public education, although it leaves a lot to be desired in this country,” said Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer. “I feel like it gives kids an experience they can’t get in a private setting, and it’s almost guaranteed to be a more diverse environment.”

However, he understands that some parents feel that their children are not being satisfied in public schools. In this case, he urges parents not to go to the most expensive private school. And if you need to take out a loan, remember that you will need a high credit rating to get the best rate, and you will probably want to refinance the loan later when interest rates fall.

Connected: A look at Americans’ student loan debt by state

Find the middle way

Rusty Nikolic, a finance specialist at Loan Advisor, recommends private education for middle and high school, but not before. “For the most elementary schools … it is never advisable to move to very expensive private schools.” By college, he feels that private education is “worth it because it opens up the next career opportunities.” He believes that in such cases it is worth taking loans. “[b]because only the best education can help make our children’s lives better. “

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Last updated: Aug 13, 2021

This article first appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Should parents take out a loan to send their children to a private school?

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