According to Boarding School Review, the average boarding school tuition for a U.S. citizen is $56,875 per year (as of October 14, 2019). The tuition ranges are incredibly vast, from a mere $9,600 per year to more than $90,000 per year. To give you a little more of the framework, there are eight schools under $15,000, and 280 over $35,000 per year.
When you are planning your finances around how much boarding school costs, it is important to look at what each school’s “tuition” includes. Consider the following:
- Are room and board included in the “tuition” or listed separately?
- Are books included?
- Are uniforms included? (Don’t forget about “extra” uniforms like athletic ones.)
- Are meals part of the tuition, or listed separately? Are three meals a day for seven days included?
- Is there a student expense account deposit required, and if so, what does it cover?
- Is there a student services fee, and if so, what does it cover?
- Are there extra charges for programs in which your child might want to participate, such as a traveling band or athletic team?
- Do the expected expenses listed by the school take into consideration spending money for the student or travel expenses?
- Do the tuition and fees cover weekend trips?
- Are computers included in the tuition, or will you have to bring your own?
Another factor to take into consideration is the available financial aid.
Some schools may look more expensive, but the average financial aid award may bring them into closer contention with less expensive schools. It is always a good idea to have a frank discussion with the admission and/or financial aid offices to find out the true cost of the boarding schools you are considering.