Parents want the best education that they can get their children. Education is rightly seen as a pathway to better opportunities, higher income, and a skillset that helps a person make better decisions in life. Private schools generally have better resources, smaller teacher-to-class ratios, and better overall grades, than public schools. Realizing this, parents often desire that their children attend private schools. However, another thing that separates private schools from public schools is that they are usually more expensive. This means that parents from communities of colour and the working classes, are underrepresented in private schools. The question of affordability plagues many households and one solution is to get a loan to pay for private school. The question is, is it worth it?
Private schools are, as we have said, generally more expensive than public schools. Elizabeth Hicks, co-founder of Parenting Nerd, has found that private schools cost an average of $12,350/year for K-12 schools, $16,040/year for high school and $35,801/year for university. So, as a parent, you should ask yourself if you can sustain paying those costs over your child’s time in a private school. The sums depend not just on how long your child will be in private school, but also on how many children you have. The total you expect to pay may be something that over time is beyond your reach, but you need to know ahead of time.
Private schools are freer to devise their own curriculum, control class sizes and respond to each student’s particular needs. If your child is gifted, you can find a school that caters to your child’s needs. The downside of private school education is the cost, but the upside can be very high and make up for those costs. Private schools are able to offer subjects that public schools simply do not have the resources to offer. For instance, a private school can go beyond the textbook and teach problem-solving skills needed in the workplace.
Many colleges favour students from private schools, so just in terms of getting into college and building a career, private school education is superior to public education. Given the costs, you should think about reducing the downside with scholarships, and getting your kids -if they are old enough- to work and learn-.
One obvious problem with getting a loan for private school is that it reduces your ability to save for retirement. You see, even though you can borrow to take your child through school, you cannot borrow to finance your retirement. As much as you love your children, you have to keep your retirement needs in mind.
Generally, despite the advantages of private school, getting into debt to finance it is often a bad mistake. This is something you should only do if you believe that without private school, your child will be unable to unlock their potential. If you choose to go into debt, you should not resent your children for what is ultimately your decision. You should also be prepared to never see a monetary return on your investment. There are lots of great boarding schools that you can send your child to without crippling your financial future.