How To Pay for Boarding School

Updated February 07, 2018 |
How To Pay for Boarding School
Because paying for boarding school involves so much money, it makes sense to look at all the options available to you.
I remember wondering years ago how we were going to pay for our daughters' private school educations. It was a major expense then. It is still a major expense today. Back then in the 90s boarding school cost $11,000 a year. Because paying for boarding school involves a major part of the income for most of us, let's look at the options which are available to you.
 
You can pay for boarding school in several ways.
 
By check
 
Fees at most schools are payable in advance. You will receive an invoice with your acceptance letter. Half a year's tuition and other fees are due in  the summer, usually in July or early August. The second half of the year's tuition together with other fees is due in December. Payment dates vary from school to school but most expect payment around these times of the year. If you have your child's boarding school expenses allocated already or have sufficient income to cover two substantial payments a year, then paying by check might make sense for you. Effectively you are paying cash for your child's education. Should you expect a cash discount? It never hurts to ask.
Don't forget to budget for the other fees besides tuition. Your tuition invoices will not include items such as tuition insurance, fees for supplies used in special courses, textbooks and supplies as well as your child's athletic equipment. Boarding your daughter's horse is not included in tuition. Neither are music lessons. 
 
Plan on paying for
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Updated February 28, 2018 |
How Private Schools Evolved in the United States
Private schools came first. Then public education took root.
In the infancy of the United States of America, schooling for young people, such as it was, was provided by small, private schools, not public schools. Education in colonial days was quite stratified. Boys learned core subjects such as reading and math. Girls learned the domestic arts. Only white children received an education until slavery was abolished. Very often teachers were well-intentioned men who themselves did not have much formal education. Yes, back then, most teachers were men.

The first private schools were established by the religious missionaries of the Roman Catholic Church in Florida and Louisiana. By all accounts education in the northeastern colonies was better organized in the 18th century than its counterpart in the southern states. Schools such as Boston Latin School were founded in order to teach the Classical
Languages of Latin and Greek. In Manhattan Collegiate School "was established by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam, the parent ecclesiastical body of the Dutch Reformed Church for the colonists of New Amsterdam." In Washington, DC, Georgetown Preparatory School was "founded in 1789 by America's first Catholic bishop,
Prep is the nation's oldest Jesuit school and the only Jesuit boarding school." In the early part of the 18th century English grammar schools taught more subjects as the need for a more educated populace grew. The latter part of the 18th century saw the development of the genre known as the Academy. Visionaries such as William Penn guided the educational thinking
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Updated June 08, 2016 |
Boarding Schools in a Minute
Boarding Schools in a Minute gives an overview of independent residential schools in North America.
Boarding Schools in a Minute gives an overview of independent residential schools in North America. There is much more to boarding schools than these brief headlines convey. Hopefully these bullets will encourage you to explore this very special education option in depth.
 
95% of these boarding schools are high schools serving grades 9 through 12 with many schools offering a Post-Graduate Year or Grade 13. A handful of junior boarding schools serve grades 6-9.
 
Most boarding schools operate within a traditional school year of September through May. A few schools begin their year in August. A couple end in June. One school only operates during the summer session.
 
In 2015 there were approximately 450 boarding schools. Tuition at these schools ranges from free to well over $50,000 per year. Boarding schools come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small with 125 or so students in grades 10 through 12. Others are large with over 1200 students in grades 9 through 12. Most fall into what is best described as a medium-sized school with a population of 350-450 students.
 
Many boarding schools are non-sectarian, i.e., they adhere to no particular religious denomination's teachings and views. What they offer instead is an amalgam of mainline religious thought and philosophy. Other schools follow the teachings and beliefs of a particular religion. For example, Jesuit boarding schools adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
 
Boarding schools offer a wide variety of programs. Most boarding schools are what are traditionally
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Updated April 03, 2018 |
The Boarding School Application Process
Applying to boarding school requires completing a sheaf of forms. We look at how to accomplish this important task.

Back in the 80s when our daughters applied to boarding schools, the process was entirely paper driven. The schools sent us thick envelopes full of forms which we had to complete. Then we mailed the completed applications to the schools. Thirty-five years later, I am very pleased to report that most schools applications processes have gone digital. That makes things so much easier. These days there are essentially four ways to apply to boarding schools:

1. Complete the application forms which the school has on its website. 
2. Complete the common application which you can find on the SSAT website. 
3. Complete the common application which you can find on the TABS website.
4. Complete the paper application forms which you have either downloaded or received from the school.

Applications on Individual School Web Sites

If you are applying to just one or two schools, then it might make the most sense to simply go to those schools' websites and complete the applications right there. Many schools allow you to complete the main application form online. You will still have to download teacher recommendation forms and requests for school transcripts, as well as addressing and putting stamps on the envelopes required.

You can also pay the application fee online with your credit or debit card. But, if you choose to use the school's application forms, just remember that those forms are specific to that school. They cannot be used for applications to other schools. That's the basic difference between applying on a school

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Updated January 16, 2018 |
5 More Schools and Their Founders
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
It is fascinating to delve into the beginnings of a private school. It's the time when the  school is so malleable and so strongly influenced by its founder's zeal and lofty goals. The community is tiny compared to what it will morph into over the years, indeed over the centuries, in some cases. The hardships and sacrifices which are endured are almost unimaginable in this day and age. when new schools seem to pop out of a delivery box fully funded and all set to go.
 
I hope that you will explore these five schools against the backdrop which I have set out above. They are unique as private schools always are. They have great personalities, character and rich histories. Yet they share a common theme and purpose: to provide the very best well-rounded education for their students so that their graduates can make a difference in the world today.
 
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Founded in 1881 Number of students: 436 Grades PK-12: Boys and girls day school PK-8. Girls boarding and day: 9-12 Religious Affiliation: Nonsectarian Setting: Urban
 
Overview: The school was established by an Episcopal bishop. James Paddock with the financial support of businessman Charles Wright. Bishop Paddock named the school in honor of Wright's daughter Annie. The school was a girls' school until the earthquake of 1949 damaged Lowell School, the local boys' school. AWS set up temporary quarters for boys. The coeducational program expanded to 8th grade in the 1970s.

AWS offers challenging academics as evidenced by
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