Investing in education

Alternative education option

If you’re wondering whether the cost of private school tuition is worth it, you’re not alone. Having worked in private schools for over 15 years, I am often asked that question. It’s a hard one to answer because each family’s situation is unique, as are their goals for their child’s education; however, over the course of several conversations with many different families I’ve realized that there are some key considerations that are useful for all families.

  • A good place to start is the monthly cost, since that is where you are most likely to notice the cost of tuition fees. While some schools charge an additional fee for a monthly payment option, at Eastgate there is no extra charge to pay tuition in monthly installments. After the $1000 enrollment deposit, the monthly tuition fee for 2022-2023 will be $1075. Likewise, you can elect to finance the cost of the bond with an interest-only line of credit. Depending on the terms of the loan, that would cost about $35 per month, making the total monthly cost about $1110.
  • The next thing to consider is potential savings. The tuition at Eastgate Academy includes co-curricular activities before- and after-school, which yields a few different savings:
    • Up to $300 per month for before- and after-school care
    • Up to $5000 of the tuition can be claimed as a childcare expense on your income taxes

School supplies, field trips and co-curricular activities are also included in the tuition.

  • While determining the cost is pretty straightforward, establishing the value is a bit more complex. The benefits of private school will vary a bit from school to school, but what’s more important is the extent to which those benefits align with the goals that you have for your child’s education. One way to do this is to look at how the school allocates tuition revenue and consider whether the school is investing tuition fees in the things that you value the most in your child’s educational experience.
    • For example, if state-of-the-art facilities are a priority for you, look to see that a significant portion of the tuition fees is allocated to developing and maintaining the facility. Conversely, if dedicated, innovative teachers are a priority for you, look for investment in collaborative planning time for teachers, competitive salary packages and professional development opportunities.
    • In order to align with our core value of inspiring excellence, all of the fees paid by families go directly towards enriching students’ learning: staff salaries and professional development, classroom resources, co-curricular activities, classroom technology and sports equipment. Other capital costs and administrative expenses are covered by investment from shareholders.
  • Another useful consideration is the opportunity cost, both in terms of money and time.
    • What would you do with $800-$1110 per month if you weren’t paying tuition? Would you work fewer days, take more frequent vacations, pay for other enrichment activities for your child? Regardless of what you select, this provides a basis for deciding whether a private school education is more valuable than the other opportunities you might otherwise pursue.
    • The investment of time is another significant part of the cost. Children spend over 1000 hours at school every year, so making sure that their time is spent purposefully is important. Are their days stimulating? Is the environment nurturing and supportive? Are they inspired by what they’re doing? Do they leave school with the energy and enthusiasm to pursue their other interests and hobbies? If not, then their time might be better spent in a different environment.

It is a big decision to make and the right choice depends on a balance of factors that is unique to you and your family. The best thing that you can do is get as much information as possible about the schools that you are considering. If you would like to know more about Eastgate Academy, this is a great place to start. You can also click here to find out about the next Parent Information Session.


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