34 States Where Private School Costs Less Than Public School

Private schools costs might surprise parents.

Parents might assume that sending their children to private school is too expensive. But in most states, the average annual private school tuition is actually less than the average amount spent per child in a U.S. public school.

The average amount that a public elementary or secondary school in the United States spends per student is $11,392 as of June 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The national average for annual private school tuition is approximately $10,413, according to Private School Review.

Click to read about 15 states where private school costs more than college.

States Where Private School Is Less Expensive

In 34 states, the average private school cost is less than the average annual per-pupil public school expenditure. Those states, and the average private school tuition in each of those states for the 2017-2018 school year, according to Private School Review, are:

StateAverage Cost of Private School
Alaska$6,971
Alabama$7,227
Arkansas$5,648
Arizona$10,962
Colorado$11,070
Delaware$10,957
Florida$8,166
Georgia$10,382
Iowa$4,815
Idaho$6,209
Illinois$7,913
Indiana$6,661
Kansas$8,259
Kentucky$6,346
Louisiana$6,492
Michigan$6,907
Minnesota$6,610
Missouri$9,531
Mississippi$5,440
Montana$7,516
North Carolina$9,133
Nebraska$3,267
New Mexico$8,685
Nevada$9,663
Ohio$6,414
Oklahoma$5,344
Oregon$8,730
South Carolina$6,458
Tennessee$9,288
Texas$8,922
Utah$10,067
Washington$10,707
Wisconsin$4,391
West Virginia$4,746

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Choosing the Best School Doesn’t Mean Choosing the Most Expensive

School choice has been a priority of the Trump administration. It allows public education funds to be used for any type of school — public, private, charter, even home schooling. The money that is allocated to each child from the public school budget essentially follows the child to the type of school the parent selects.

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This doesn’t mean that you’ll save money if you send your child to private school: Public schools are funded by taxes that you would pay regardless of where your child is educated, or whether you have children in school or not. But it raises some interesting issues around the cost to educate a child, and the issue of school choice. When looking at the schools available to their children, parents have several education quality factors to consider because a high or low cost does not automatically correlate with the quality of the school, whether public, charter or private.

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