Investing in Private Education: The Truth About Financial Aid

In a recent article, we discussed the application process. Now we want to turn our attention to another consideration in the school choice discussion: “Can I afford a private education?” For many families, the choice to pursue a private education is an investment, and one that frequently requires personal and financial sacrifices. Most families were not planning to send their children away to school until college. The idea of boarding school takes a lot of getting used to and requires sacrifice for students and parents. We’ll talk about this in a later blog. In addition to the personal challenges, there is the financial component. 

The financial considerations can be daunting, especially if you have not considered private school before. After considering the savings on clothing (everything he needs to wear is built into your costs, and it’s likely cheaper than clothing him at home), food (boys can really pack it in), and other savings, it is still a significant commitment. Even when factoring in your son’s college savings, your 529 (did you know you can use your 529 to pay for Hargrave?), support from family members, and church (check out our church matching discount), families frequently still feel overwhelmed. Recognizing this financial challenge, we work hard to make a quality Hargrave education possible for as many families as we can. 

While cost is often one of the first considerations when making a school choice, it is also important to recognize that a Hargrave education is an investment; one that will pay dividends well into the future. Hargrave strives to ensure that we select the highest quality candidates regardless of a family’s financial resources. For this reason, Hargrave offers tuition assistance to qualified families in the form of need and merit-based aid. We strongly encourage families to apply for tuition assistance. Assistance is available in the form of discounts, scholarships, need-based assistance, or loans. For the 2019-20 School Year, over 60% of the student body received tuition assistance.

To begin applying for financial aid, you can review our financial aid program details here. Hargrave uses the FAST financial aid evaluation tool to process aid applications. Applicants who apply through the FAST portal will be considered for both need and merit-based aid. Completing your financial aid application early in the admissions process will expedite your son’s enrollment by enabling us to determine a financial aid decision soon after your son is accepted to the academy. Financial aid awards are not announced prior to an acceptance decision. 

When your son graduates from Hargrave, a confident, capable young leader of character, prepared for college or whatever life brings his way, you’ll see the value of a Hargrave education. He might even pay you back with the scholarships he earns to help pay for college! The class of 2020 earned over $4 million in college scholarships. If you have questions about affordability or our tuition assistance programs, you can check out our website or contact the admissions office at 800-432-2480 or by email at


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About Hargrave

Hargrave develops young men into leaders of character who are prepared for lifelong success.

We are a college-prep boarding school for young men in grades 7–12 & Post Graduate.

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