12 Boarding Schools Costing Less Than $20,000

Updated April 19, 2018 |
12 Boarding Schools Costing Less Than $20,000
Here then are a dozen boarding schools which charge approximately $20,000 per year or less for tuition, room and board.
 It sounds too good to be true, right? But it really is true. I found twelve boarding schools when I searched Boarding School Review using the simple search string  "least expensive schools" Our powerful search engine sorted the 315 boarding schools listed on our site by tuition. I then filtered out three schools, two were located in Canada and the other was a summer boarding school. 
 

Here then are a dozen boarding schools which charge approximately $20,000 per year or less for tuition, room and board. What impressed me was to discover one school on the list offered 30 Advanced Placement courses and another offered the prestigious International Baccalaureate program. Explore these schools and determine whether perhaps one or more suit your requirements.

Lustre Christian High School, Lustre, MT

School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 40
Tuition: $9,000
International students: Yes
Academics: Bible, Math, Science, English, History, Computers, Physical Education, Journalism, Drama
AP courses: None.
In the school's words:  "It is a unique educational institution because it serves as both a Christian high school for the community and as a qualified Christian boarding school."
 

Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Erie, PA

School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 620
Tuition: $7,600
International students: Yes
Academics:  15 IB courses. International Baccalaureate program.
In the school's words: "We strive for excellence in academic and co-curricular programs, we promote service to our local and global communities, and we foster the dedication and active support of the students, parents, faculty,staff, and alumni of the Mercyhurst community."
School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 11-12
Number of students: 100
Tuition: $9,000
International students: No
Academics:
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Updated January 25, 2018 |
An Overview of Paying for Boarding School
This hub is designed as a guide to the financial side of things as you explore boarding schools.

One of the first questions parents ask about sending their children to boarding school is how to pay for it.  Boarding schools charge from $25,000 to $65,000 a year. That is a lot of money for most of us. Since I am not Boston Kennedy but rather a poor Scots-Canadian, I remember well confronting that reality when we were investigating schools for our daughters. With that experience very much in mind, I have created this  hub as a guide to the financial side of things as you explore boarding schools.

How Do They Pay for It? examines the answers to a question one of my young employees asked me when he discovered that many boarding schools cost significantly more than what he made in a year. He didn't realize that most private schools offer financial aid.

Financial Aid 101 explains how financial aid in private schools works. Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education. Even families who have incomes in the $150,000-$250,000 range can be eligible for financial assistance depending on their financial situation.  

Paying for Private School introduces you to the several payment options available to you. The important concept to understand here is that if you need financial assistance to send your child to boarding school, ask about it at every school on your short list. Always ask.

Making the Financial Aid Process Work for You walks you through the financial aid process one

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Updated January 31, 2017 |
Financing Options at a Glance
You can pay for boarding school in several different ways. One option will be right for you.
As you begin to think about sending your child to private school, how you are going to pay for her education is probably going to be at the top of your list of questions. As you can see from the table below, most private schools offer a variety of payment options. Hopefully one or more of these options will suit your needs. Copy and paste this table into your worksheet that you have set up to keep the private school search process organized. That will remind you to ask specific questions about financing your child's education.
 
Payment Type
N-PK
PK-8
9-12/PG
One Payment  
 
Two Payments  
 
Tuition Payment Plans  
 
Loans
 
 
 
Financial Aid
 
 
 
Work Study  
 
Scholarships  
 
Vouchers  
 
Sibling Discounts
 
  
Free Schools
 
  
Miscellaneous Fees
 
  
 
One Payment
 
What this means is that you write one check for the entire year’s tuition. Some schools will give you a cash discount when you pay the entire bill up front. Paying tuition in one payment usually takes care of everything except the sundries. Sundries are charges for riding lessons, some elective courses, some athletic activities, music lessons and so on. Most schools will bill you monthly for those charges.
 
Two Payments
 
When you pay using two payments, be aware that most schools expect one payment in June or July or at some time well before school begins and the second payment in December. The split varies from school to school. Some schools split the years fees 50/50. Others 60/40. For example, if your child’s tuition and fees total $50,000 and
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Updated March 03, 2018 |
What?  Boarding School in Canada?
Learn about the many benefits of boarding schools in Canada.
It may seem odd that with so many quality boarding schools in the USA that any American high school student would look north of the border to enhance their education.  What could possibly motivate young Americans to venture to Canada for high school?  Well, the many brave souls who have begun this voyage of discovery have quickly realized the merits of such an option.  Consider some of these points that our current American families know, and prospective families might want to consider, about a Canadian boarding education:
 
You are not alone. There are many Americans in Canadian boarding schools (for instance, nearly 10% of the entire boarding population at my school, Brentwood College School, are from the USA!).
 
Rolling Admissions
 
For the most part, there are no specific application deadlines in Canada. You can pretty much visit any school at any time of the year and, if you are a good candidate and there are still spaces available, you could be offered a place without waiting until March or April. Most schools will even allow you to wait until you find out if you are accepted to some American schools in the spring to make a decision.  It does take the pressure off families that simply want to know if they are accepted.
No SAT?
 
Americans may also be interested in knowing that increasingly US colleges and universities waive the SAT exam for international students (this applies to Americans studying in Canada as they are deemed ‘international’).
 
Away from the ‘madness’.
 
Our
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Updated March 03, 2018 |
Admissions Perspective: Choosing a Boarding School
Get admissions officer's Clayton Johnston's perspective on how to choose the best boarding school for you.
Recently I landed in Jakarta on a recruiting trip. Immediately upon exiting the terminal, as happens in many countries, a small crowd of entrepreneurial ‘taxi drivers’ surrounded me, all trying to grab my suitcase and waving their ‘Official Airport Taxi ID’ badge in my face.  Had I not been a seasoned traveler, it would have been very difficult for me to determine which of them, if any, to believe?  They all looked authentic and sounded sincere.  
 
Like inexperienced travelers, most prospective families know very little about boarding schools when they first start looking.  They need support in determining which school is right for them.  They must rely on word of mouth, the research they can do themselves, and their own intuition.  But this is easier said than done; if you visit enough schools (which you should), they all can begin to appear quite similar.  So it can be a daunting task to determine which school is ‘right’ for your family.
 
If you read the mission statements, vision statements, school philosophies, tag lines, and Head’s Messages of all the boarding schools on their websites, they all pretty much say the same thing.  They offer a well-rounded education, character development, top-level academics, small classroom sizes, modern facilities, great mentoring and a safe learning environment.  
 
So what makes them different from one another?
 
This is where doing your homework is important.  Each boarding school tends to have at least one differentiator; something that makes them stand out from the crowd.  For instance, at my
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