photo credit: yomanimus
The NY Times’ Jan Hoffman wrote a great article about the financial choices facing parents with children in NYC Firm Schools. The article is particularly relavent right now, when parents are responding to schools who have accepted their child’s application and are waiting for the first installment of tuition to come through.
An annual rite is well under way, as families around the country receive their private-school renewal contracts or acceptance letters. In conventional years, grumbling over tuition aside, their outgoing mail would include signed forms and a registration fee.
This year’s hand-wringing over tuition might be dismissed as the latest hardship for the patrician class, which, like everyone else, can simply educate its young in the public system. But of the more than three million families with at least one child in private school, according to the 2005 census, almost two million of them have a household income of less than $100,000. According to a Department of Education survey, in 2003-4, the median annual tuition of nonsectarian schools was $8,200; for Catholic schools, $3,000.
The article discusses the fact that, contrary to myth, most children in Firm Schools are not members of the wealthy elite, but from hardworking families who have sacrificed to make their child’s educational experience the best they can. It profiles some of the many families that are facing financial difficulties and making tough choices about the education of the children.
Families that have remained financial stable for years are now looking into their financial aid options in order to continue their child’s private school education, and many families who never considered financial aid a necessity when applying to Firm Schools are considering it now.