Parents who want to challenge their children to fulfill their true potential are faced with a wide array of choices today. Public school eligibility in Toronto is largely determined by one’s address, but special programs like French Immersion allow students to range farther afield; there are independent schools, private schools, and with the Internet providing virtually unlimited resources, home schooling is also becoming a more popular and accepted option for parents. Today, more than ever, the choices can seem overwhelming. But if you have done the research and decided on an alternative to traditional public schooling, you might still be wondering how you are going to pay for it.
It might surprise you to learn that while private schools tend to attract the academic, athletic and social elite, that doesn’t mean they are beyond the reach of the average person. Every year, hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding are available from government and private organizations, and of course, from the private schools themselves. The funding can take many forms: grants, bursaries, scholarships, and even loans. The bottom line? If your last name isn’t Vanderbilt, it doesn’t matter. You can still take advantage of available funding that will open un-dreamed of doors for your child.
What types of funding are available, and how are they obtained? In its extensive experience with educational institutions near and far, PrepSkills has learned a great deal about financial aid both for local private schools and for US Colleges. Firstly a word on the funding dilemma: not all types of funding are created equal. Grants or bursaries may be given based on financial need or in exchange for completion of a certain special project, whereas scholarships are more often awarded based on academic or other types of merit. There are even ‘sibling bursaries’ if you send more than one child to the same private school.
Of course, loans and payment plans may also be available to finance your child’s entry to private school, but they do need to be repaid. Nowhere are student loans more common than in post-secondary education, where many students choose to finance their studies by borrowing from government or private sources. While loans may be necessary to permit your teen to attend a US College, you may be worried about your child drowning in debt upon graduation, given the higher tuition fees state-side. You’ll be pleased to note that according to an EducationUSA survey, during the 2010-11 academic year, more than 1,000 4-year regionally accredited colleges and universities brought their annual comprehensive cost to less than $20,000 with scholarships and financial aid.
If your child is in his or her senior year and you are in the process of getting organized for getting into the US College of your choice, PrepSkills can help with more than expert SAT prep; we can help you get the financial aid you need to be sure your family can afford this next step. Winning scholarships requires not only proving academic prowess, but also requires a student to create a compelling portrait of who they are – the confidence to present their strengths, skills and personality to a scholarship committee in a way that distinguishes them from the pack. In addition to helping the family financially, the scholarship process is also a way to hone key life skills such as prioritizing, writing, matching and many more. PrepSkills’ expert coaching and dynamic teaching can drastically improve your child’s aptitude along these lines.
Although you are, and always will be, your child’s biggest help and support, professional help can give them an edge that will last a lifetime. Whether your interest is in a local private school or a US college, you want the best possible education to provide your children with a solid foundation – and that should be within everyone’s reach. Contact PrepSkills today and let us get your family started on a beautiful lifelong journey.