Private School: Can I Afford It?


There are plenty of reasons to want your child to attend a private school. You want her to learn from the very best teachers. You want her to be around peers who are just as committed to honing their creativity, confidence, and curiosity. You want her to see herself as capable of accomplishing any task or solving any problem that comes her way.

But there’s that one roadblock that has made you hesitant to learn more. It’s the not-so-secret elephant in the room—the cost of tuition. But while the depiction of the best private schools on TV and in movies may make you think that only the most well-off families are able to attend, that’s just not true.

Many private schools are now offering dynamic tuition models that make them affordable for all kinds of families, including ones like yours. The Ellis School in Pittsburgh is one such school. In 2019, Ellis introduced Tailored Tuition, an innovative affordability initiative that ensures families pay a rate of tuition that is sustainable for them, taking into account other significant variables affecting their budget.

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Sophisticated financial aid models like Tailored Tuition ensure that affording a private school education does not preclude saving for college and retirement, paying down student debt, supporting aging family members, covering necessary childcare outside of school hours, or enjoying quality time with an occasional dinner out or family vacation.

For instance, in grades 5–8, the rates of Tailored Tuition Ellis families qualified for during the 2019–2020 school year ranged from $1,000 to $25,887 depending on each individual family’s circumstances. With the ten-month payment plan option, that means families paid between $100 and $2,589 per month—a wide range designed to meet each family where they are. Simply put, the overwhelming tuition number you see on some private school websites—the one that gives you sticker shock—is not necessarily the amount that your family will have to pay to attend. 

At the end of the day, a private school education is a transformative experience and its value never depreciates. Research has even shown that graduates of all-girls schools have a higher sense of self-confidence, heightened career aspirations, and an increased sense of civic engagement. We know you want the best private school experience for your daughter, and we are committed to making that happen. 


To help visualize what Tailored Tuition could look like for your family, click below.

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