Monday, August 8, 2011

So my daughter wants to go to private school

Saturday Emma and I went shopping for her school supplies. During the afternoon, she was telling me about a friend of hers who is transferring to a private school this year. She couldn't understand why, since her friend is a popular, well-liked girl at their school. I explained that sometimes it's about more than popularity; she may want a better academic school (not that their school is bad).

A little while later, Emma said she would probably have a better chance of getting into a good college if she went to a private school. She told me that she knew it was super expensive, but if she worked really hard this year maybe she could get a scholarship? She was so intent on concentrating on her grades this year in hopes of a scholarship that I just had to look at schools here to see what they were like.

I found one school that was not a religious school. I am not at all against religious schools, I even went to a private religious college, but I really want a school that focuses on academics for her. I found one that sounded wonderful, read through all the information, then looked at the scary page: tuition.

For the high school levels, tuition is merely $15,000 per year. Every year. Then there are the extras: uniforms, books, lunch, required iPad, other miscellaneous fees. So a rough estimate is just over $16,000 each year, or $64,000 for all four years of high school.

That made me sad. I would LOVE to be able to give Emma every academic advantage possible. But realistically, there is no way short of a winning lottery ticket we'd ever be able to send her to private school. And I worry about her chances for a scholarship. The school I looked at does offer scholarships, but the process is lengthy. While she has the grades, she does  not have the extra curricular activities or community service.

I know that it is just as possible to get into a good college from a public high school, but I know what public high school is like. I love the offerings at the private school, all the many sports, clubs, experiments - so many opportunities for hands-on learning!

But, I just have to accept the truth. And do my very best to help her get the education she deserves from what we have to work with - there is no reason to limit ourselves to what is taught in school. We have museums, libraries, the internet - plenty of supplemental material to work with.

But I can still wish for a better opportunity for her.


  1. Decisions like that are hard. You just have to do the best with what you have.

  2. There's no reason to beat yourself up because you can't send your kid to an uber-expensive private school. I've watched my aunt break herself and practically destroy most of her life in order to send her kid to private school. I find it pretty ridiculous, especially when I went to a public school, got a full scholarship to college, and everything turned out fine.

    Knowing that I had to make it on my own and not rely on the name of the school I went to mean I had to work even harder. It's a good life lesson, and one that many kids these days aren't learning. Things are not just handed to you in life. It's better to learn to make it through your own hard work.

  3. Don't beat yourself up too much momma!!!

    As long as you're doing your best to provide for your daughter's happiness she'll see it in the end. She sounds like a very down to earth / level headed daughter. She'll learn she can achieve any college request by lots of hard work at either school.

  4. Kids need supportive parents and to grow up in a loving and learning environment. This post alone proves your daughter will have this. What I learned from public school (and I went to several in many states)... you get what you give. Encourage her to take everything she can from it, and then outsource her other needs with classes and activities you find in the private sector.

    What a sweet mother you are. I'm listening and learning. Thanks for sharing!

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