Tuition for a typical private high school in the Southeast costs a relatively modest $18,900 a year. But move a few hours north and that price tag becomes far more daunting. A private school in New York or New Jersey, for example, costs $34,400. In New England, tuition could be $35,100—nearly twice as much as it’d cost down south.
New data from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which represents hundreds of private schools across the country, shows just how much the going rates for a private education vary within the United States. The data offers a peek into how private institutions spend the tuition money parents pony up—and the extent to which families in different parts of the country will sacrifice their hard-earned cash to sidestep the public school system.
Private schools are the least expensive in the south—particularly the Southeast, which encompasses states ranging from Mississippi to North Carolina and where a private elementary school costs roughly $13,500 a year on average.
Private high schools in the Western states—from California to Alaska—cost, on average, about $29,000, while elementary schools go for approximately $20,000. The Northeast is home to by far the most expensive private schools, with high school tuition averaging well over $30,000 a year, as detailed above. Meanwhile, elementary schools cost $22,500 on average in New England and a whopping $27,300 in the tri-state area. The figures exclude boarding schools—a favorite along the East Coast—which often charge thousands on top of tuition for room and board.