Expenses & Aid

Content from TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools)

Financing a Boarding School Education

A private school education and more specifically, a boarding school education, provides an unquestionable advantage for young students. Still, the decision to attend represents a significant investment for any family. There are several established avenues through which families can finance a private school education.

The Financial Aid Office

The first place to turn with financing questions is the boarding school's financial aid office. They can explain in some detail the full range of options available to you. Generally, there are several main categories of boarding school financial aid:

Need-based Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid is awarded as a grant and does not have to be repaid. The money comes from the school's budget and applicant families are asked to demonstrate and document their need for aid. Most TABS member schools use the Parents' Financial Statement from the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), which is administered by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Learn more at https://www.nais.org.

Merit / Academic / Athletic Scholarships

Like the name implies, some schools offer scholarships to students who are especially accomplished in either academics, sports, or the arts. These scholarships are typically highly competitive but do not require repayment.

Payment Plans

A number of lending agencies offer tuition payment programs to help families manage boarding school costs. These programs are not technically considered loans. Basically, tuition payment programs spread tuition bills across manageable installment payments over the course of an academic year. The installments are interest free, but there may be some enrollment fees. Check with the financial aid office at the school you are applying to for more information.

Tuition Loan and Financing Programs

Tuition loans are offered through a few schools, banks, or other lending agencies. These loans are credit-based, which means the loans are subject to credit checks and must be repaid with interest over time. Payments are spread over a predetermined length of time. However, interest rates for tuition loans are generally more favorable than rates for most consumer loans. Check with the financial aid office at the school you are applying to for more details.


From BBR Education:

Check the “School Facts” section on your favorite boarding school pages to see what kind of financial aid is provided by each. Read more about the financial aid offerings from these featured boarding schools:

Allendale Columbia School
Annie Wright Schools
Asheville School
Buffalo Seminary (SEM)
Cornell Summer Programs
Deerfield Academy
Idyllwild Arts
Indian Mountain School
Lower Canada College
Maine Central Institute
Mount Michael Benedictine School
Rectory School
Shady Side Academy
Springdale Preparatory School
St. Margaret's School
The MacDuffie School
The Winchendon School
Thornton Academy
Tilton School
Trinity-Pawling School