Speaking of the high costs of raising a child…education is expensive. From kindergarten through college, school costs money…and lots of it! Even though public schools are provided by the U.S. government, they may not be the route you want to take. In my family of five kids, we’ve all been through different stages of private, Catholic and public schools. And all of them have incurred various costs. From pencils and binders to uniforms and tuition, my parents have footed the bill. And here Sarah Gilbert explains how these costs are increasing and “technology” fees are becoming more and more prevalent. As I was thinking about how large families get by, while covering all these school-related expenses, it dawned on me that many of the large families back home are home-schooled. The U.S. government spends about $8,000 per student to have them educated from elementary school through high school graduation. $2,500 of this is spent on materials and supplies, which homeschoolers must also pay for. And if one parent is devoting their day to educating the children, they aren’t bringing in income from a job outside the home.
But regardless of what kind of school you attend, being poor may be advantageous. Kids from low-income households that fall at or below the poverty line qualify for reduced or free meals (breakfast and lunch) at public schools. The students at my Catholic school who really couldn’t afford to be there, received financial support from the local parishes. And when it comes to attending college, these students are eligible for state grants to get a degree, whereas kids from middle to higher incomes don’t qualify for these and either have to foot the bill, or take out loans. Yes, there are scholarships out there, but there are very few generic ones. Most of them are directed at very specific students and many of them have a “need-based” requirement. Many fail to look at the fact that some of these students whose parents make a middle-class salary are trying to get multiple kids through college (at the same time). Although there are very few scholarships for college-goers with many siblings, you may want to check out if your university offers up any tuition discounts for families who have more than one kid attending their school.