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The Extraordinary Cost of Private School in Your State

John Csiszar

The national average for private school tuition is approximately $10,676 for 2018-19, according to Private School Review, but it varies widely from state to state. The age of your child can also affect the cost of private school. For example, the average tuition nationwide for a private elementary school is $9,638 per year, while it costs $14,522 per year for a kid to attend a private high school.

To help you figure out education expenses for your children, GOBankingRates found the average private school tuition in every state and calculated how much of the median household income it costs to send a kid to private school. Tuition fees, which may include boarding costs, were sourced from Private School Review for all states, with the exception of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, for which data wasn’t available. The median household income for each state was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013-17 American Community Survey.

47. Nebraska

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $3,352

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $7,038

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $2,551

The cost of private school in Nebraska is the lowest overall in the country. With a median household income of $56,675 in the Cornhusker State, the average private school tuition costs 5.91% of a family’s income. However, tuition for private high schools is almost three times as expensive as tuition for private elementary schools. The school with the costliest tuition in Nebraska is The Roberts Academy, at $11,000, while Zion Lutheran School takes the prize for the cheapest private school tuition in the state, at just $1,200.

46. Wisconsin

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $4,384

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $8,211

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $3,260

Wisconsin’s average household income of $56,759 falls close to the national median, which means the average cost for your child to attend private school is just 7.72% of a family’s income. The private school with the most expensive tuition in the state is St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, at $38,000 per year. The private school with the least expensive tuition in Wisconsin is St. John’s Lutheran School, at $1,050 per year.

45. West Virginia

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $4,761

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $5,295

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $3,425

West Virginia has low average tuition for private school, but the state’s median household income of $44,061 is also low. Families can expect to pay 10.81% of their income to send a child to private school. Those aiming to enroll their children in The Highland School, the most expensive private school in West Virginia, can expect to shell out $20,825 annually. On the other end of the scale, Ambassador Christian Academy charges the lowest tuition in the state, at just $1,850 per year.

44. Iowa

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $5,154

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $8,596

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $3,694

The private school with the highest tuition in Iowa is Scattergood Friends School, costing $32,900. Marquette Catholic Schools offers the lowest tuition, at $1,560. With a median household income of $56,570, Iowa residents can expect to pay 9.11% of their income every year to send their children to private school.

43. Oklahoma

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $5,551

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,241

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,933

Oklahoma’s median household income is below average, at $49,767, so parents typically pay 11.15% of their income for their kids to receive a private school education. The private school with the most expensive tuition in the state is Casady School, costing $18,525 annually. The private school with the least expensive tuition is Global Harvest Christian School, at $1,750 per year.

42. Mississippi

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $5,553

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,166

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,465

Mississippi has the lowest median household income of any state, at just $42,009. The average family can expect to pay 13.22% of their income to send a child to private school. Those considering French Camp Academy will shell out the most, as the school’s annual tuition of $18,000 is the highest in the state. Holy Child Jesus School offers Mississippi’s cheapest private school tuition, at $2,300.

41. Arkansas

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $5,641

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,503

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,621

The median household income in Arkansas is $43,813, meaning the average family forks over 12.88% of their paychecks to send a child to private school. Covenant Christian Academy offers the cheapest tuition in the state, at $1,870 per year, while it costs $26,400 annually to attend Subiaco Academy at the high end.

40. Idaho

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,396

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,897

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,594

Idaho has a below-average median household income of $50,985, which makes the relative cost of attending private school higher. The average family can expect to set aside 12.54% of their income to send a kid to private school. The private school with the most expensive tuition in Idaho is Community School, costing $28,000 per year. This compares with the $2,400 annual tuition to attend River of Life Christian School, which offers the lowest tuition in the state.

39. Ohio

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,528

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $9,255

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,877

Ohio’s median income is $52,407, meaning it takes 12.46% of the average family’s income for a child to attend private school. The private school that charges the highest tuition in Ohio is Western Reserve Academy — one of the oldest boarding schools in the nation — with a tuition of $58,500. Meanwhile, Lutheran High School East offers tuition at $1,089, which is just under 2% of the cost at Western Reserve Academy.

38. South Carolina

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,564

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,750

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $6,093

For a state with a median household income of $48,781, which is on the lower end compared to the rest of the country, South Carolina residents need to set aside a relatively high portion of their earnings for private school costs. The average family will have to fork over 13.46% of their income to send a child to private school. Tuition at Trident Academy is the most expensive in the state, at $28,800, while The Goddard School offers South Carolina’s cheapest private school tuition, at 1,100.

37. Minnesota

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,613

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,032

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,326

Minnesota has an above-average median household income of $65,699, but residents will still have to pay 10.07% of their income to send a child to private school. The state’s most expensive private school tuition can be found at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, with an annual tuition of $46,800. On the low end, attendance at Zion Lutheran School only costs $1,100 per year.

36. Louisiana

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,660

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $7,733

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,882

At $46,710, Louisiana has one of the lowest median household incomes in the country, meaning that private school costs take more out of incomes by percentage. The average family will pay 14.26% of their income to afford a private school education for their kids in Louisiana. McGehee School charges the highest tuition in the state, at $20,000, while St. Mary’s Assumption School charges the lowest, at $2,365.

35. Kentucky

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,728

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $7,778

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,818

Kentucky has relatively expensive private school costs for a state with a low median household income of $46,535. Families can expect to pay 14.46% of their income to send a child to private school — or even more at Forest Hill Military Academy, which charges the highest tuition in the state at $25,000 per year. Kentucky’s most affordable private school is Valley Christian Academy, which offers an annual tuition of $1,650.

34. Indiana

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $6,887

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,612

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,188

With a median household income of $52,182, Indiana residents typically need to put 13.2% of their income toward private school tuition. Culver Academies charges the highest tuition in the state, at $52,135 per year. That’s about 44 times the amount it costs to attend St. John The Baptist School, which has an annual tuition of just $1,185.

See: 15 States Where Private School Costs More Than College

33. Alaska

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $7,028

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $6,118

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,533

At $76,114, Alaska has one of the highest median household incomes in the country, which allows the average family to spend just 9.23% of their income on a private school education. Additionally, tuition at Pacific Northern Academy, the most expensive private school in the state, is a relatively low $18,468. Far North Christian School offers the cheapest tuition, at $2,800. Tuition costs at private elementary schools exceed that of private high schools in Alaska, which is unusual.

32. Michigan

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $7,111

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,862

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $4,527

At $52,668, the median household income in Michigan falls in the lower half of the nation. This means private school tuition costs eat up 13.5% of the average family’s income. The Leelanau School charges one of the highest tuition rates in the country, at $63,650 per year. At the other end of the scale, St. Paul Lutheran School charges just $1,200 annually.

31. Alabama

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $7,164

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $7,544

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $6,325

Alabama has the fourth-lowest median household income in the nation, at $46,472. This makes private school relatively expensive for the average family, requiring 15.42% of their income to cover tuition. Lyman Ward Military Academy charges the highest private school tuition in Alabama, at $24,255 per year. The private school with the lowest tuition in the state is Prichard Preparatory School, costing $2,150 annually.

30. Kansas

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $7,563

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $9,584

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,253

Kansas’ median household income of $55,477 translates to the average resident contributing 13.63% of their income to send a child to private school. The most affordable private school in the state is Bible Christian Academy, which charges $2,450 per year. The private school with the most expensive tuition in Kansas is Horizon Academy, costing $26,450 annually.

29. Illinois

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $7,936

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,863

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $6,058

A relatively high median household income of $61,229 helps keep private school tuition costs to 12.96% of the average Illinois resident’s annual income. The private school with the priciest tuition in the state is Brehm Preparatory School, with an annual tuition of $68,900. The cheapest private school tuition belongs to Creative Montessori Learning Center, costing just $1,040 per year.

28. Montana

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $8,289

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $7,467

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $9,796

Montana is one of the few states where private elementary school tuition is more expensive than private high school tuition, on average. Overall, tuition costs for private school take 16.32% of the $50,801 median household income in Montana. The private school with the highest tuition in the state is Bozeman Field School, which costs $18,500 to attend. The private school with the lowest tuition is Treasure State Academy, which charges $3,000 annually.

27. New Mexico

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $8,615

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,288

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $6,909

New Mexico’s low median household income of $46,718 amplifies the cost of private school, requiring a burdensome 18.44% of the average resident’s income to pay for tuition. An affordable option is Grace Baptist Academy, which offers the lowest tuition in the state, at $2,690 per year. On the highest end, Albuquerque Academy charges $24,795 per year.

26. Florida

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $8,684

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $9,377

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,868

At $50,883, Florida’s median household income is below average. The typical resident must use an onerous 17.07% of their income to fund a private school education. Northdale Lutheran School charges $65,000 annually, which is the highest tuition in the state and one of the most expensive rates in the nation. The private school with the lowest tuition in Florida is Hope Christian School, where students pay $1,500 per year.

25. Oregon

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $9,003

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,238

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,452

Oregon has a median household income of $56,119, which means private school tuition costs take up 16.04% of the average resident’s income. Private school tuition in Oregon is the highest at The Delphian School, which charges $28,270 annually. The cheapest private school in the state is Sonshine Early Learning Center, with a tuition of $1,525.

24. Texas

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $9,254

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,755

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,594

At $57,051, the median household income in Texas hovers around the national average. Residents can expect to pay 16.22% of their incomes to put a child through private school. Costs are much higher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, which charges the highest private school tuition in the Lone Star State, at $57,840 per year. The most affordable private school is St. Paul Lutheran School, with an annual tuition of $1,170.

23. North Carolina

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $9,262

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $9,766

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,154

A low median household income of $50,320 means North Carolina residents can expect to spend 18.41% of their income to put a child through private school. The least expensive private school in the state is Trinity Baptist Academy, with a tuition of $1,850. At the top end of the scale, you’ll pay $57,650 per year for your child to attend Asheville School.

22. Missouri

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $9,597

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $12,251

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,253

Missouri residents can expect to use 18.62% of their income to send a child to private school, based on the state’s median household income of $51,542. The private school with the highest tuition in Missouri is Agape Boarding School, which costs $41,000 per year. The private school with the lowest tuition is ABM Ministries Lighthouse Christian Academy, costing $1,750 annually.

21. Tennessee

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $9,648

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,079

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,833

Tennessee’s median household income is just $48,708, which means a whopping 19.81% of the average resident’s income goes toward private school tuition. Tuition at Baylor School — the most expensive private school in the state — exceeds the average income in Tennessee, costing $50,300 per year. The private school with the lowest tuition is Jesus Only Academy, charging $2,340 annually.

20. Nevada

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,045

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,536

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,910

At $55,434, Nevada’s median household income is only slightly below average, but private school tuition costs are high. It takes 18.12% of the average resident’s salary to send a child to private school. Students at Liberty Baptist Academy pay the lowest annual tuition in Nevada, at $3,355. However, it costs $42,000 per year for a student to attend Northern Nevada Teen Challenge — the highest rate in the state.

19. Utah

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,633

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,862

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,735

Sending a child to private school in Utah requires 16.28% of the state’s median household income of $65,325. The private school with the most expensive tuition in Utah is Wasatch Academy, charging an astronomical $62,300.

18. Washington

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,743

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $12,580

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $9,906

Incomes are high in Washington — the state’s median household income is $66,174 — but so are private school tuition costs, which can eat up 16.23% of residents’ salaries. Although the private school with the cheapest tuition, Newport Children’s School, charges an affordable $1,450, the private school with the most expensive tuition, The Northwest School, charges $35,605.

Related: Here Are the 50 Most Expensive High Schools in America

17. Georgia

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,772

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $11,936

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,854

Darlington School in Georgia requires the highest private school tuition in the state, at $51,280 per year. The private school with the lowest tuition is Decatur Montessori School, charging $1,042 annually. For a child to attend private school in Georgia, the average resident earning the state’s median household income of $52,977 will need to fork over a whopping 20.33% of their annual salary.

16. Arizona

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,814

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $18,538

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $5,857

On average, sending a child to private school in Arizona costs 20.21% of the state’s median household income of $53,510. However, Arizona is also home to Sedona Sky Academy, which charges $83,000 annually — one of the most expensive rates in the country. Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori offers the lowest private school tuition in the state, at $1,125 per year.

15. Delaware

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $10,937

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $10,890

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $10,971

The median household income in Delaware is above average at $63,036, which helps knock down the cost of private school to 17.35% of the average resident’s salary. Delaware is one of the few states where private elementary school tuition tops that of private high schools. Tuition costs peak in the state at Tower Hill School, which charges $29,500 per year. The most affordable private school is Milford Christian School, with annual tuition set at $4,000.

14. Pennsylvania

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $11,128

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $15,228

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $7,981

Sending a kid to private school in Pennsylvania requires 19.54% of the state’s median household income of $56,951. The private school with the most expensive tuition in Pennsylvania is Perkiomen School, which costs $62,300 per year. The private school with the cheapest tuition is Grace Academy, with an annual tuition of $1,170.

13. Colorado

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $11,353

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $14,976

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,122

Colorado has an above-average median household income of $65,458 but also high private school tuition costs, amounting to 17.34% of residents’ salaries, on average. Cheap tuition can be found at Willows Child Learning Centers, which charges just $1,011 annually. At the upper end, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School levies sky-high tuition of $58,600 per year.

12. Hawaii

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $12,145

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $14,633

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,827

Hawaii has one of the highest median household incomes in the country, at $74,923. This helps cover the substantial costs of sending a child to private school, which amounts to 16.21% of Hawaii residents’ income, on average. Hawaii Preparatory Academy charges the highest tuition in the state, at $53,000 per year.

11. Maryland

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $12,822

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $16,650

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $10,023

While attending a private school in Maryland is expensive, the state’s median household income of $78,916 is the highest in the nation — which means the cost of private school averages 16.25% of residents’ salaries. The most affordable private school in Maryland is A Child’s Place, charging just $1,150 per year. Meanwhile, the most expensive private school in the state is St. Timothy’s School, where tuition costs $58,300 annually.

10. New Jersey

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $13,237

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $17,926

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,983

New Jersey’s median household income of $76,475 is the second highest of any state, but private school tuition still consumes 17.31% of that income, on average. In New Jersey, the gap between the private schools with the highest and lowest tuitions is immense. The Lawrenceville School charges $66,360 per year, while it costs $1,036 annually to enroll in Apples and Books Learning Center.

9. Virginia

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $13,930

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $16,462

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $11,142

At $68,766, Virginia has a median household income that’s well above average, but the average private school tuition typically takes up 20.26% of that income. It costs $63,000 annually to attend Accotink Academy Therapeutic Day School, the private school with the most expensive tuition in Virginia. Southeast Academy, the most affordable private school in the state, charges $1,155 per year.

8. California

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $14,026

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $19,169

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $11,096

The private school with the priciest tuition in California is A+ World Academy. With an annual cost of $70,000, the school charges more than the state’s median household income of $67,169. The private school with the least expensive tuition is Sage Academy, which costs $1,075 per year to attend. The average earner in California needs to fork over 20.88% of their salary to provide their child with a private school education.

7. Rhode Island

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $14,983

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $26,606

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $10,417

Average earners in Rhode Island can expect to pay an extraordinarily high 24.54% of the $61,043 median household income for their child to receive a private school education. The private school with the highest tuition in the state is Portsmouth Abbey School, which charges $60,050 annually.

6. New York

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $17,917

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $24,224

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $12,364

If you’re earning New York’s median household income of $62,765, you can expect to use 28.55% of that money on private school tuition for your child. New York hosts the private school with the most expensive tuition in the nation, Think Global School, which charges $94,050 per year. At the low end of the spectrum, The Seed Day Care Center has an annual tuition of only $1,280.

5. New Hampshire

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $19,779

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $28,339

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,650

Private school tuition in New Hampshire will eat up 27.74% of the $71,305 annual income that average earners make. Exeter Day School offers the lowest private school tuition in the state, at $1,520 per year. But it takes $63,000 per year to attend Holderness School, the private school with the highest tuition in New Hampshire.

4. Maine

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $21,058

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $29,490

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $8,130

Private school tuition is very expensive in Maine, but the state has a below-average median household income of $53,024. As a result, average earners have to pay 39.71% of their income to afford annual tuition — the worst rate in the country. The private school with the highest tuition in Maine is Kents Hill School, costing $61,950 annually. The private school with the lowest tuition is Living Waters Christian School, charging $1,067 per year.

3. Massachusetts

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $21,084

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $31,555

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $12,685

At $74,167, Massachusetts residents earn one of the highest median household incomes in the country. The average earner will fork over 28.43% of their income so their child can attend private school. The private school with the cheapest tuition in Massachusetts is Immaculate Heart of Mary School, costing $2,500 per year. On the other end, Riverview School has one of the highest tuition costs across the nation, at $83,720 per year.

2. Vermont

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $21,870

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $33,702

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $9,624

At $57,808, Vermont’s median household income is very close to the national average, but private school costs in the state are among the highest in the country. To send a child to private school, the average earner in Vermont will have to give up 37.83% of their income. The difference between the average private high school tuition and the average private elementary school tuition in Vermont is huge — more than $24,000 per year. Similarly, the gap between the private schools with the highest and lowest tuition rates is vast, with The Greenwood School charging $83,000 and the International Children’s School costing just $1,200.

1. Connecticut

  • Average private school tuition in 2018-19: $23,962

  • Average tuition for private high schools: $31,413

  • Average tuition for private elementary schools: $15,598

At $73,781, Connecticut has a high median household income compared to the rest of America. That’s a good thing for residents, as the state also has the costliest average private school tuition in the country. For Connecticut residents earning the average income, private school tuition will typically eat up 32.48% of that money. Franklin Academy, the private school with the most expensive tuition in the state, charges $79,950 per year — one of the highest tuition rates in the U.S. At the low end of the scale, Litchfield Montessori School costs just $1,550 per year.

The Most and Least Expensive States for Private School

In many cases, the most expensive states for private school also have the largest median household incomes, which helps residents afford the cost of tuition. However, this isn’t always the case. For example, Maine’s median household income is below average, but private school tuition in the state is high, requiring residents to pay nearly 40% of their income to fund a private school education.

Overall, states with the cheapest private school tuition bills tend to cluster in the South and Midwest, while states in the Northeast carry the highest cost burdens. If you’re determined to send your kids to private school but you’re faced with a whopping $23,962 tuition bill in Connecticut, the $3,352 that Nebraskans pay, on average, could be enticing enough to consider a move.

Also, keep in mind that private elementary schools tend to be much cheaper than private high schools. You’ll find that college preparatory schools or boarding schools for high school students are often the most expensive private school in each state, whereas the private school with the lowest tuition is typically geared toward early education. So, after your child gets older, you might want to consider moving into the public school system to save money or shopping around for affordable private high schools in different states. The key is to research which schools will offer your children the best education while still fitting within the family budget.

Click through to see the most affordable private college in each state.

More on Saving Money and Education

Average private school tuition costs for 2018-19 were sourced from Private School Review and are accurate as of July 22, 2019. The median household income for every state was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013-17 American Community Survey.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Extraordinary Cost of Private School in Your State