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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ds is entering kinder next year and I would love to continue sending him to his current bilingual private school. Is it crazy to make such a big financial committment given the current economy? Dd may or may not also be going to preschool there (if we can afford it). If the economy was not so troubled right now, I would definitely do it because after two years dd will be in kinder and I can go back to work to pay for tuition. But now I'm a little worried that something could happen to dh's company and we would (1) need the money we spent on tuition (2) have to pull ds out of school. Ds has a really hard time with change, so I guess that is my biggest fear. But he really wants to stay at his current school and I would love for him to do that also. Thoughts?
 

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Maybe you could talk to them...you might not qualify for aid right now, but if your DH were laid off they might have a contingency fund to help you complete the year. Our preschool does. Some endowments are large, some are small. Our elementary school doesn't give as much aid as some equivalent but more well established schools in the area. Does the preschool program have aftercare? Or another parent who could provide afternoon care? maybe you can see how your daughter is doing and start working a year early.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HipGal View Post
My ds is entering kinder next year and I would love to continue sending him to his current bilingual private school. Is it crazy to make such a big financial committment given the current economy? Dd may or may not also be going to preschool there (if we can afford it). If the economy was not so troubled right now, I would definitely do it because after two years dd will be in kinder and I can go back to work to pay for tuition. But now I'm a little worried that something could happen to dh's company and we would (1) need the money we spent on tuition (2) have to pull ds out of school. Ds has a really hard time with change, so I guess that is my biggest fear. But he really wants to stay at his current school and I would love for him to do that also. Thoughts?
I actually emailed several hundred schools this week (only a few thousand more to go) asking about the economic issues and how they are dealing with it. Many schools have said there's no problem, but most are at least afraid of what might happen for next year's enrollment.

I don't know your particular money situation, but I would say I think education plays a high priority - not just for now and not just for school - but for the rest of your child's life.

BUT
I can't say. If it comes down to food or a school, go with the food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
BUT
I can't say. If it comes down to food or a school, go with the food.
Hee hee. Yes, we are still eating over here.


I think we could swing it with some sacrifice if the economy was somewhat the same as it has been. The problem is devoting some of our emergency savings toward tuition (which we obviously can't get back should dh's company go under). Other options include putting less in our retirement accounts, refinancing the house and starting over with a 30 year loan, or not saving for the kids' college - all of which sound like terrible financial moves!

I wish we were either (A) so wealthy that we knew we could handle it no problem or (B) not even close to being able to afford it, so it wouldn't even be on the radar. As it is, it is a really tough decision! And I feel like I am placing bets right now. Like signing up for private school is betting on the economy not completely tanking.


I am talking to the principal next week about financial aid. I don't know if we will even qualify, since dh does make a good living and we have some savings (though the savings would only last a few months if dh lost his job, kwim?). The school wants a $3000 per kid deposit by January to keep their spots. That is $6000 we would have to commit.
I am hoping they might be a bit flexible with that...
 

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Quote:
I think we could swing it with some sacrifice if the economy was somewhat the same as it has been. The problem is devoting some of our emergency savings toward tuition (which we obviously can't get back should dh's company go under). Other options include putting less in our retirement accounts, refinancing the house and starting over with a 30 year loan, or not saving for the kids' college
For kindergarten you'd have to sacrifice ether your emergency, retirement, refinancing the house or not saving for their college?

If that's true then IMO it is not a good idea. Refinancing the house is the worst one. I can't wrap my head around taking money out of college just to send them to a private elementary school. College HAS to be paid for, k-12 doesn't. how far away from retirement are you? Paying for private school is not an emergency.
 

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I send my daughter to private school. Financially, there have been some years where it has been a major sacrifice. I had many of the same reservations as you. Someone asked me how I would feel dropping my daughter off at school in the morning at the private school versus the public school. I weighed the positives and the negatives of each and ultimately decided that I was not going to get another chance to send dd to elementary school and I wanted her in the best environment for her, regardless of the cost. Of course food and shetler come first, but after that are health of the body and health of the mind. I would provide her the best care I could if she was sick, I will provide her with the best education I can.
 

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pp wrote >>I can't wrap my head around taking money out of college just to send them to a private elementary school. College HAS to be paid for, k-12 doesn't.

Hmmm... I guess I don't quite see it that way. Depending on what you make 15 years from now, there is a lot more need and merit based aid for college available than for preschool or elementary school. I'm a big believer in young adults contributing toward their own college education- be it through work, loans, or hard work resulting in merit scholarships. I have two young adult step-children who have gone through college with very little financial assistance from us beyond free room and board. Honestly, I think it makes them more vested in their own education than they would be if we just wrote out the check. Our youngest though- no way to expect her to chip in to pay for her own montessori, so that's where the money goes. kwim?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
I can't wrap my head around taking money out of college just to send them to a private elementary school. College HAS to be paid for, k-12 doesn't. how far away from retirement are you? Paying for private school is not an emergency.
I guess what I'm figuring is that I will go back to work once my youngest enters Kindergarten, so I will have about 10 years to save up that income before college comes. Does that make sense? So really the money will be tight for 2 years while my older is elementary and my younger still in preschool. (Because I'd rather stay home until she is in Kinder). I will be working as a teacher, so even while working our hours/vacations should be fairly lined-up.

BUT if there is going to be a next "great depression" or something, it does seem foolish to spend that much a year when they could get a fine education for free. Our local public school is pretty good. Mostly I am interested in the bilingual program (that our public doesn't have) and also the smaller class size. And also the community of the private school (Mandarin bilingual) for our daughter who was adopted (born in China).
 

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We are struggling with this as well... luckily, we've got a bit more time to parse out a decision since DS doesn't start kindergarden for another 2-3 years. But we're worrying about it.

One thing to think about is that school endowments are generally invested in the stock market -- usually conservatively, but that doesn't seem to be the saving grace that people thought it was. So you may not want to count on there being a dependable source of financial aid.
 

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How good is the public school that they would attend? That would be the determining factor for me. There are many many ways to pay for college...as others have mentioned...the kids can get their own loans and/or work and/or pay for it themselves if it turns out that you can't do it all.

We had this dilemma ourselves before we decided to homeschool. I joked that we could send her to public, save and then have the money to put her through Harvard & maybe beyond. My husband joked she'd never get to Harvard if we sent her to our local ps!
(honestly, we could care less about Harvard or any particular college) But in the end we decided that we would rather pay the $$$ to put her through a private prek-12 instead of saving for college. {Actually in the very end after a year of the private school we decided to homeschool as we have to move a lot, but that isn't the point}

I feel strongly that the quality of the education and the school environment at this young age is way more important than being able to pay for their college, jmo. And at a private school, you are dealing with an entirely different set of parameters and the ability, along with the other parents, to perhaps have a fairly large influence or requested input on academic and extra curricular issues. There are a lot of differences besides the educational quality (and some of the PS around here are better then some of the private schools).

So yes, I would take a very long hard look, take the tour, and talk to as many parents at the public school in question as you could before choosing.
 

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PS: I also think that the fact that you private school is bilingual is an enormous benefit. We do have a few public bilingual schools in our city as well. So if that is something you prefer you can always try to choice him in or try for a charter if your neighborhood public school is not bilingual.
 

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Quote:
I'm a big believer in young adults contributing toward their own college education
I am too, we have no intentions of paying for our kids educations. but the OP is planning on paying for both k-12 & then college. To me it'd make more sense to pay for the one that HAS to be paid - college & not the one that you don't have to pay.

Quote:
I guess what I'm figuring is that I will go back to work once my youngest enters Kindergarten, so I will have about 10 years to save up that income before college comes.
Money will be tight for more than just the 2 years though becuase you'll have 2 kids in private school. Some schools the further up they get the higher the cost of the schooling. You may end up working just to pay the tuition & not be able to save while they're in school. Will you be able to make up enough to pay their college in just 10 years?

Even if you worked AT the school they'll be going to & get a discount due to that it may not be enough. Are you planning on working in the private or public schools?

Will your kids be going to the same school if you want them in 2 different bilingual programs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
These are very good questions! I would definitely apply to the private school if they had openings, but the pay would be lower that way. But I wouldn't have to pay for after-school care at all, which I might if I worked at a public school because of differing schedules, needing to work a bit after school ends, etc. I don't know if they have a tuition discount for teachers, but I will definitely find that out.

I just ran some numbers and if I work and pay full time for both, I will be making less than their tuition (after taxes, etc.). Of course, there will still be more money in the bank than paying tuition without me working. I would be putting about $4000 a year into savings, which really isn't enough for college even for 10 years. Though the tuition for elementary is less expensive than fulltime preschool, so after dd is in kinder, I would be putting $8000 a year into savings. Tuition will probably go up and hopefully my income would go up as well as the years go by.

Also, I don't know if we will be going private for middle school or high school. Right now this school goes up to grade 5 and I don't think there are any middle or high schools with Chinese programs. Our public middle school has a very good reputation.

Both kids would be going to the same Chinese school for elementary. There is a tuition discount for siblings that helps. They are 2 years apart so we will be paying for both of them at the same time for most of the time (and paying for college for both at the same time for 2 years! Though we might get financial aid those years for that reason.)

Oh, also there is a public school that has Chinese immersion, but you have to be in that district to get in. I would love to move there, but it is quite expensive. And of course the idea of trying to sell our house right now is not a pleasant one!

I appreciate everyone's input on this. I really want them to go, but I DO want to know if I am being unrealistic!
 

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Our kids go to a private Christian school and we do sacrifice a lot to have them there. To us it's totally worth it. The way we see it, their childhood experiences are really going to shape who they are as people. The memories they form at this early age are so important. Because of that we want them in a place where they are safe and loved and in an environment that is in line with our beliefs. No, we cannot afford to save for college but we never intended to. We had to pull our own weight and our kids can do the same. Personally, I feel the childhood years make or break how a child will turn out so I will do anything to make sure my children have a good childhood experience. JMHO.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Our kids go to a private Christian school and we do sacrifice a lot to have them there. To us it's totally worth it. The way we see it, their childhood experiences are really going to shape who they are as people. The memories they form at this early age are so important. Because of that we want them in a place where they are safe and loved and in an environment that is in line with our beliefs. No, we cannot afford to save for college but we never intended to. We had to pull our own weight and our kids can do the same. Personally, I feel the childhood years make or break how a child will turn out so I will do anything to make sure my children have a good childhood experience. JMHO.
:

To the OP, investing in your children's education is never a poor choice. My husband's 401k and stocks are worthless, but the foundation on which our child stands will always remain.

We are applying to a pk3-12th grade foreign language immersion program for next year and I don't think that there is any way to place a price tag on a bilingual education. Every year I read more and more employment classifieds seeking bilingual employees. I want for my child to have a competitive edge in tomorrow's work force and from your choice of school I think that you do too.

I think that it would be crazy to change his school
 

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no advice just a different perspective coming from moving a lot. Compared to the familes we've been around, at times we've been one of the more affluent families where we've lived, and at other times, we've been one of the less affluent families. This isn't about our income, just compared to the families that our kids are around.

Constantly being around families who have more money and can provide more for their children gets old. The kind of toys they buy, the activities the kids are in, the birthday parties they throw, the kind of vacations they take their kids on (and all of that is before the kids are old enough to care about where you shop for their clothes) are just different. If you decide to scrap together the money but many of the families find the tuition easy to pay, there will be other funky differences as you go along. As much as it is easy to say that you will teach your kids to appreciate what you do, that really is a lot easier when your kid feels that what they are getting/doing is cool, and is more challanging when they see other kids getting/doing so much more.

This is NOT a reason to make an educational/financial decision. There are other, much bigger and more important things to think about. It's just something to consider.
 
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