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Infographic: The Real Cost Of Your Child’s Education (From Kindergarten To Grade 12)

Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in education-related costs to families across the United States. Parents are feeling the pressure of spending more money to give their kids a well-balanced education academically, socially, and physically. 

Why Has The Cost Of Elementary And Secondary Education Increased?

The competitiveness of getting into college has increased, with teens needing to bolster their applications with volunteer work, tutoring to improve grades, and involvement in after-school activities. Competition is even more fierce for Ivy League and other selective schools, where acceptance rates have dropped significantly in the past few years.

In-school activity and supplies costs for parents have also risen with education budget cuts. With the increasing use of technology inside and outside of the classroom, parents can expect to pay more to provide their child with the necessary supplies to keep up.

As a result, parents are shelling out more money to (legally) give their child a leg up in the application process. 

Beyond The Classroom: Costs Of Involvement In Activities And Other Programs

The cost of education starts well before your child heads off to college.

Fifty-seven percent of elementary and high school students between the ages of 6 and 17 are involved in at least one after-school activity. On average, parents spend $221.40 per year on their child’s school extracurricular activity fees. That number doesn’t include activities in organizations outside school, such as sports, lessons, and clubs.

Parents of higher-level athletes spend an average of $100-$499 per month on their child’s sports, including travel and team fees. That adds up to $1,200-$5,988 per year, depending on the sport. Lessons such as piano, second language, or art run anywhere from $30-$60 per hour, costing between $1,560-$3,120 per year for each type of lesson.

In addition to these after-school activities, some parents choose to enrol their child in tutoring programs to help boost grades, challenge him or her academically, or build better study habits. These tutoring programs usually cost about $400 per month for 8 hours of tutoring, or around $4,800 annually. 

Average Cost Of Private School Education

Private school tuition is an expensive investment in a child’s education, with tuition costs ranging from $5,330 to $25,180 per year depending on religious affiliation and level of schooling.

The reasons parents choose private school education for their child range from more one-on-one or individualized learning with educators to balanced programs with more attention placed on sports and activities, or simply to upkeep social status. 

Big Numbers: The Total Cost Of Education In The U.S.A.

So what are the total costs of investing in a young student’s future?

The final numbers are often much greater than what parents expect, ranging from $1,017.37 to $20,521.90 for public school education, depending on grade level. Twelfth grade is often the highest cost, due to greater involvement in activities and preparing to write standardized college entry exams.

In the private school system, these costs are much higher. On average, parents can expect to spend between $8,787.37 to $33,551.90, depending on grade level. These costs can reach even higher with the use of college counsellors.

For children attending public school from Kindergarten to 12th Grade, parents can expect to spend a total of roughly $162,899.86 on their child’s education and related activities. For children attending private school, parents can expect to spend a total of $292,719.86.

For parents who hope to help their child get the best out of his or her school years, the investment in their child’s education seems justified.

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