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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Elementary School

Elementary School Cost


How Much Does Elementary School Cost?

 
average costPublic Schools: Free; extra fees $10-$3,500high costPrivate Schools: $2,000-$40,000+ a year
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Sometimes called grade or grammar school, elementary school typically includes kindergarten to fifth grade; the sixth, seventh and eighth grades are usually referred to as middle school, although some elementary schools cover kindergarten to eighth grade.

Typical costs:

  • Public schools are funded through federal, state and local government sources. They do not charge tuition, but many school districts now have fees of $10-$100 or more for school supplies, field trips, special programs or other "extras." For example, Mary Munford Elementary[1] in Richmond, VA, charges $45 for kindergarten ($15 activity fee, $30 fieldtrip fee), $53 for first grade, $70 for second, $60 for third, $80 for fourth and $70 for fifth grade ($15 activity fee, $25 school supply fee, $5 reading program fee, $25 fieldtrip fee).
  • Because most states only fund a half-day of kindergarten (about three hours), there is usually no charge for students attending traditional half-day programs, but some public schools charge tuition for full-day kindergarten (about six hours, matching the first- to fifth-grade schedule) of $1,000-$5,000 for the school year.
  • Private school tuition for elementary students can be $2,000-$50,000 or more a year, depending on the focus and teaching style of the school, whether it is religious or nonsectarian, the ratio of teachers to pupils, the location and demand. The National Center for Education Statistics[2] estimates the average private school tuition for elementary students in 2007-2008 was $6,733 for all private schools; $4,944 at Catholic schools; $6,576 at other religious institutions; and $15,945 for nonsectarian schools.
  • The National Catholic Education Association[3] estimates the average parish elementary school tuition at $3,673. In Cincinnati, the average tuition at nine inner-city Catholic schools[4] is $4,600, with scholarships provided by a nonprofit foundation.
  • The National Association of Independent Schools[5] reports its members charge an average median tuition for first or third grade of $17,669 a year for day students and $43,680 for residential (boarding school) elementary students. However, costs can be considerably higher, particularly for specialized programs. For example, at Landmark School[6] in Massachusetts, which specializes in students with learning disabilities, 2012-13 tuition was $48,200 for day pupils and $64,200 for residential students.
Related articles: Preschool, High School, College, Community College, Summer School

Additional costs:
  • For working parents, before and after school care can cost $100-$500 or more a month at public schools (it might be free for low-income students) or $300-$800 or more monthly at private schools.
  • Private schools and some public schools require students to wear a school uniform. These can cost $25-$200 per outfit for a uniform of mix-and-match standardized clothing from a variety of retailers; or $100-$500 or more per outfit for specific uniform items from an official provider.
  • It averages $2.08 to buy a public school lunch or $3.42 to bring a bag lunch, according to the School Nutrition Association. Low-income students may qualify for free or reduced-price 40 cents maximum) lunches. Some private schools include the cost of lunch in the tuition, or there may be an annual charge of $500-$1,000 or more. The Swain School[7] in Allentown, PA charges $880 a year for grade school lunches.
  • Public schools typically provide free bus service for low-income students but other students may have to buy an annual bus pass for $100-$325 or more. Jeffco Public Schools[8] in Colorado charges $150-$200 per child.
  • Parents may be responsible for providing transportation to a private school; or it can cost $300-$2,000 or more. For example, Ravenscroft[9] in Raleigh, NC charges annual bus fees of $360-$1,750, depending on the student's location.
Discounts:
  • Many private schools offer sibling discounts of 5%-25% for multiple children from the same family. Some offer full or partial scholarships or waive fees for students from low-income families.
  • BabyCenter.com offers tips on finding financial aid[10] for private school tuition.
Shopping for elementary school:
  • Tour the campus, asking about class sizes and educational philosophy. PBS.org lists tips for choosing an elementary school.[11]
  • Search for local public schools[12] or members of the National Association of Independent Schools[13] , National Catholic Educational Association[14] or Association of Waldorf Schools of North America[15] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
School fees - 5th grade
Amount: $180.00 per year
Posted by: Joan Col in Oak Park, IL.Posted: October 23rd, 2014 11:10AM
School: Holmes, Oak Park IL
There are additional fees for school trips. $12 for bowling, and $100 for overnight trip. Plus more trips. The school fee of $180 is mandatory. The others are not, but if not paid your child cannot go. Why do they plan expensive trips?
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Homeschool
Amount: $25.00 per year
Posted by: CVT in Napa, CA.Posted: April 22nd, 2014 09:04AM
School: Home
I am currently homeschooling kindergarten so it basically consists of school supplies and trips to the library. I download and print worksheets free from websites, make my own early reading books and pretty much teach throughout the day using the world around us. The other options for later grades are $50 per child per year for a unit study approach or $300-450 for a full curriculum including games, software, and books. Information from http://hslda.org/earlyyears/Costs.asp
Compared to the supplies, gas, clothes (even if no uniform is needed) participation in projects, and extra costs of Public School it is definitely worth looking at. Then think of the difference in the effects of one on one teaching vs. a ratio of 1 teacher to 30 students. Even without the negative influences found in most public schools, the value of homeschooling far outweighs the cost.
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$10 a full day for Kindergarten
Amount: $1,800.00 per year
Posted by: Petra in Prescott, AZ.Posted: June 8th, 2010 09:06PM
School: Public and Private
In my area (Prescott, AZ) they will charge $9-$10 a school day for a full-time curriculum for Kindergarten. It does not matter if it is a Private or a Public school. Funds have been cut. Public school still offers a half day for free, but that is only 3 hours, and if you are a working parent that is very inconvenient. So now you still pay your taxes AND you have to contribute to the school or pay for after-care.
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External Resources:
  1.  web.richmond.k12.va.us/mmes/Students/SchoolFees.aspx
  2.  nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_063.asp?referrer=list
  3.  www.ncea.org/news/annualdatareport.asp
  4.  www.catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/cise-catholic-inter-city-schools-educatio...
  5.  www.nais.org/Statistics/Documents/NAISFactsAtAGlance201112.pdf
  6.  www.landmarkschool.org/admission/affording-landmark
  7.  www.swain.org/admissions/tuition-information/kindergarten-8th-grade.html
  8.  www.jeffcopublicschools.org/transportation/
  9.  www.ravenscroft.org/page.cfm?p=24
  10.  www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-get-financial-assistance-for-private-school-tuition_64647.bc
  11.  www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/choosing/elementary-middle/
  12.  nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/
  13.  www.nais.org/Users/Pages/SchoolSearch.aspx?src=footer
  14.  www.ncea.org/news/SchoolDiocesanLocator.asp
  15.  www.whywaldorfworks.org/05_FindASchool/?src=trakkware
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