Fastweb is well-known as a source of information for college
scholarships, so it's not surprising that families turn to Fastweb for
information about paying for private elementary, middle and secondary schools.
The main sources of money for private schools are scholarships, loans
and tuition installment plans. Scholarships for private schools are
often called voucher programs.
Most voucher programs are based on financial need. Even among families
with financial need, the demand for voucher programs exceeds available
funds, so the programs ration the funding in various ways. Some award
money on a first-come first-served basis. Others randomly select
recipients among all qualified applicants. Most require the parents to
make a minimum contribution toward tuition, typically at least 25% of
tuition or $500, whichever is greater. These programs they do not cover the
full tuition costs.
The largest national scholarship and voucher programs include the
Children's Scholarship Fund
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
There are also more than six dozen regional and state programs.
Paying for a private school education can cost as much as a college
education, but it does not provide much of an advantage in winning
non-need-based financial aid such as college scholarships. Students
who attend private schools get about $1,000 more in merit-based aid,
but that may have more to do with these students enrolling in higher
cost private colleges. Students from private schools are 80% more
likely to end up at private colleges than students from the public
school system. The average cost of attendance for students from
private schools is more than $4,000 higher, and the out-of-pocket cost
even with the higher merit aid is about $3,500 higher.