Independent school education is an important investment in a child’s future. Indeed, Mount de Sales graduates often find themselves better prepared than their peers for college. For example, a 2018 graduate, who completed his undergraduate education in three years and matriculated to law school, said, “I enrolled in college used to doing a lot of rigorous work, and because of MDS, I was acclimated. Sadly, there were students who started with me, many who did not return, because they could not get used to the intense workload. Coming from MDS, I was totally prepared.”
Providing a solid foundation in content, organization, work ethic, and faith, comes at a price and often requires a family to make sacrifices to pay independent school tuition. However, with some planning and guidance, you can maximize your resources to give your children the best education possible.
Talk with School Officials
Independent schools typically offer a variety of scholarship to recruit academically gifted and talented students. Mount de Sales awards academic scholarships based on admission test scores; however, we also have a number of scholarships that we award based on student talents, interests, or family background. It is important to begin the admission process early to be considered for all scholarship opportunities.
Parents may also submit financial documents to qualify for tuition assistance. MDS uses a third-party vendor to review a family’s income, assets, and debts, among other information and recommend an amount the family can pay for tuition; we then make up as much of the difference between our tuition rate and the family’s ability to pay as possible with the resources we have available. Schools may offer payment plans so that families can spread tuition payments out over the year. We also refer families to trusted vendors who provide loans for education.
Consider Investment Options
Some great investment tools are available to help you afford K-12 independent school (and college) tuition as well as books, supplies, and uniforms in some cases. A Coverdell Education Savings Account, for example, offers tax-free investment growth and tax-free withdrawal when used for qualified educational expenses. For more information visit, https://mtdesales.link/coverdell.
We often think of a Roth IRA as a retirement investment tool. However, according to CPA Lisa M. Marche, contributions to a Roth account (not the investment returns) can be distributed at any age without penalty (https://mtdesales.link/rothira).
A popular vehicle for saving for college, a 529 Plan, can now be used for K-12 tuition as well. A 529 Plan is an educational IRA that is administered by the state, and the investment returns are free from capital gains taxes as long as they are used to pay qualified educational expenses. To learn more, visit https://mtdesales.link/529plan.
As with most investment options, it pays to start early, and you should always consult a tax or investment professional. The school’s admission and business office professionals also will be good sources of information and guidance.
We believe that a Mount de Sales education is worth the cost, and so do our students. “Looking back on my time at MDS, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude in being connected with an institution that so highly values academic excellence, extracurricular opportunities, and community spirit,” said a graduate who was a Schwarzman Scholar and went on to study at the University of Oxford, UK. Additionally, 83% of Mount de Sales 2021 graduates qualified for the HOPE Scholarship, and the class of 2020 earned $6.9 million in scholarship awards in addition to HOPE. Thus, the investment made in secondary school education may also save money later.
Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.