With the cost of private school tuition in Hawaii on the rise, many families may think that enrolling in a private school is out of reach. Megan Meyer, Director of Admission at La Pietra, shares, "I am always saddened to hear when a family rules out the option of sending their child to a private school because it seems too expensive."
As with any major decision, parents are encouraged to do their research and ask lots of questions before ruling out private school education. When you take the time to investigate different options, you may be surprised what you discover. Below are a few tips to help guide your family through the process of considering if your family can afford private school.
- Ask About Financial Aid. Many private and independent schools offer financial aid to qualified students. Meyer explains, "Financial aid is a priority at La Pietra because it helps to create a diverse student body representative of Hawaii's larger community. Our school, like many other private schools, devotes significant funds to financial aid to students who have a demonstrated economic need. We are committed to providing access to qualified families who may not otherwise be able to afford to send their daughters to La Pietra." Visit the school's website and contact the school's financial aid director to learn more about the financial aid application process and deadlines. Meyer continues: "At La Pietra, families interested in applying for financial aid must complete the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) through the School and Student Services (SSS) by February 28, 2018."
- Inquire about Merit Scholarships. While financial aid is awarded based on demonstrated economic need, some private schools also offer merit-based scholarships. Families are encouraged to check with each school they are interested in, as some scholarships have both merit and need-based components.
- Select a Payment Plan Option. Many schools offer tuition payment plans. While it may seem overwhelming to make one payment for the full tuition, making monthly or semester payments throughout the year makes sense for many families. Check with the school's admission office to learn more about payment plan options.
- Review Your Family's Budget. Families are encouraged to review their budget and expenses. Some families may find that with making some changes in their budget, like not eating out as often or taking less expensive vacations, they may have more financial resources available to contribute toward tuition costs.
- Consider Other Possible Financial Resources. Families are encouraged to research other financial options as well. Some of these options might be private scholarships from foundations and other organizations or applying for an educational loan. Some families also pull their resources together to help afford costs, with grandparents and other family members assisting with tuition expenses or high school students working after-school or in the summer to help contribute to their tuition costs.
Meyer continues to encourage families to connect with each school they are interested in to learn more about their options for affording private school.
Families interested in learning about financial aid and merit scholarships at La Pietra are invited to attend the Spring Admission Open House on Saturday, February 10 at 10:00 am. Click here to register.