How To Fund Private School Tuition

by NYC Firm Schools on August 26, 2011

Nadya Suleman, who has earned the nickname “Octomom” for being only the second person in U.S. history to give birth to octuplets, was criticized heavily when news broke that she enrolled her children in private school and didn’t have the money to pay for it. Now, she’s having the last laugh. She’ll be making a six-figure income through film and TV projects she has signed as a result of the negative publicity.

Certainly, Ms. Suleman is resourceful.

Ms. Suleman does not live in New York City, but we were intrigued by her decision to send 5 of her 14 children to private school in L.A. For one child, it was because he is autistic and needs more individual attention. For four of the older children, it was due to harassment by the press and even other parents. Her oldest son will remain in public school and the octuplets will be homeschooled. While very difficult to have children in different education systems, Ms. Suleman appears to be trying to match which education systems might be best for which kid(s), while balancing her limited financial resources to fund 5 private school tuitions.

For families with limited financial resources in New York City, it often feels like private, religious, and independent schools are out of reach. The common perception is that private school is only for “rich” families and it is impossible to afford a private school. However, it is important to remember that many private, religious, and independent schools are affiliated with scholarship programs and give generous financial aid packages (provided your child receives an acceptance letter). There are several private school tuition scholarships available that you can investigate.

For instance, the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF-NYC) assists low-income families with tuition at Catholic schools in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island. Currently, 9,279 students receive funding from this organization.

Other scholarships for private school students in NYC include:

  • Futures In Education Scholarships
  • Inner-City Scholarship Fund
  • Student Sponsor Partners Scholarships
  • The TEAK Fellowships

You can learn more about these scholarship opportunities at

If you have limited financial resources, you do not have to sit on the sidelines, particularly if you feel that a private school may be the best match for one or more of your children. Ms. Suleman certainly didn’t.

Of course, you will have to pay some minimal portion of a private school tuition, even if you get a scholarship or generous financial aid. However, if education is high within your family’s priorities, it is money well spent, and may be the best investment you will ever make.

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