Private School Scholarships 2023: A private school can provide benefits ranging from small classes to first-rate facilities. However, it frequently comes at a high cost.
According to the Education Data Initiative’s December 2021 data, there are over 22,000 private K-12 schools in the United States, with yearly tuition averaging $12,350. Private elementary school tuition averages $7,630 per year, while private high school tuition costs $16,040. However, institutions in major cities can be significantly more expensive; for example, according to the school’s website, K-12 education at New York City’s Horace Mann Academic was about $60,000 for the 2022-2023 school year.
Scholarships play a significant role in enabling families to afford private institutions. “One size does not fit all,” stated Elizabeth Toomey, director of communications for the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which grants scholarships for K-8 kids, in an email. “So, if a parent believes that a private school is the greatest fit for their child, we want to make it possible for that parent, regardless of income or zip code, to enroll their child in that school.”
If you’re considering attending a private school, here’s everything you need to know about finding and applying for scholarships.
Why Should You Attend a Private School?
Private schools may not be the best option for everyone, and official data show that roughly 9 out of 10 U.S. pupils attend public schools. However, there are various reasons why some pupils may prefer private schools. According to Cheryl Scott-Mouzon, a K-8 admissions counselor at IvyWise, an educational consulting organization, private schools can provide advantages such as lower class numbers, more advanced programs, and a more extensive selection of clubs, activities, and exchange possibilities.
According to Elizabeth Jones, president, and co-founder of the Institute for Educational Advancement, which works for the needs of gifted students, private schools may also provide the opportunity to delve deeply into a particular subject topic and work with specialists in the field.
Because no two private schools are the same, do your research. “Parents and older kids should do their homework to find schools that will challenge their students and have the electives and activities that will assure a well-rounded education,” adds Scott-Mouzon.
If finding the ideal match comes at a significant cost, financial aid and scholarships may make it possible.
Where Can I Find and Apply for K-12 Scholarships?
“The most obvious advantage of applying for scholarships is that, unlike loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid,” says Alan Royal, director of outreach and partnerships at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which runs scholarship programs for needy middle and high school students and college students.
However, locating and applying for private school scholarships can be a daunting task. Here are some suggestions from professionals.
Begin your scholarship hunt as soon as possible, ideally the year before your child begins at a private school. The scholarship application procedure can be time-consuming between research and applications. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by some organizations, such as the Children’s Scholarship Fund, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances. Experts emphasize that all have deadlines to satisfy for consideration, which are usually in the spring before your child starts school.
Think about your child’s interests and qualifications.
This is the moment to consider your child’s school-related interests, accomplishments, and ambitions. While this might help you decide which scholarships to apply for, it also gives you the chance to confirm whether private education is the correct choice for you.
“A more difficult secondary school will be more demanding and require a greater time commitment,” Royal says. “It is good to reflect ahead of time on your motivations and the elements influencing your decision to ensure that committing to this type of educational experience is the perfect fit.”
Scholarships can be “merit-based” (based on student accomplishment in a specific subject or overall school achievement), “need-based” (based on financial need), or both. Some scholarships are based on variables like race or immigration status.
Here are some examples of particular scholarships for K-12 students:
- A Better Chance places high-achieving adolescents of color in premier schools, including private and boarding schools, in grades four through nine.
- Cooke Young Scholars Program rewards high-achieving seventh-grade students with financial needs with five-year scholarships and extra learning opportunities.
- Caroline D. Bradley Scholarships, offered by the Institute for Educational Advancement, provide full four-year high school scholarships to deserving students.
According to Toomey, applicants learn about chances from their present and potential families, friends, neighbors, and schools. Many scholarships are awarded directly by colleges, so contacting your preferred schools is a good first step, according to Scott-Mouzon.
In addition to their own scholarships, colleges may collaborate with benefactors who want to help potential students, Royal says. While there are fewer scholarships for K-12 education than for higher education, Scott-Mouzon says there are still a variety of alternatives to seek through schools and other groups.
“Parents should also check to see if their state has voucher programs, which are government-funded credentials that allow youngsters to attend a private school of their choice,” Scott-Mouzon says.
EdChoice, a school choice advocacy organization, provides state-by-state information on vouchers, tax credits, and other methods of paying for private school education on its website. Along with its scholarship programs, the Children’s Scholarship Fund lists tuition aid programs by state.
Be open and honest. Throughout the Application
Scholarship applications will almost certainly necessitate an essay from the student or parent. This stage of the process allows you to demonstrate your personality, drive, and ability to overcome obstacles.
“Student essays should be written in the student’s own voice, addressing questions as honestly as possible,” Scott-Mouzon advises. “Parent essays should also be honest, providing a clear picture of your child’s abilities and if any, struggles.” If an interview is required, there is a similar opportunity to explore these concerns.