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Considering a Private School in Utah? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Private School Tuition More Affordable

Considering a Private School in Utah? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Private School Tuition More Affordable
The McGillis School - Kindergarten Students

by Kevin Hanson, Director of Finance


In recognizing that each individual family bears the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education cost, The McGillis School maintains a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community.  This article will outline various options available to families and used by the School to help make an independent school education more affordable and allow for a more diverse student body to enroll at McGillis. I will start by describing some of the more familiar options that are available such as multiple payment plans, help from close family contributions, tuition assistance awards from the School, and end with less familiar programs like the Carson Smith Scholarship and the Sallie Mae K-12 Family Education Loan program.


Payment Plans

The School has three payment plans available for the convenience of our families who are paying the tuition. While the enrollment contract is not a partial contract and the full financial obligation of tuition is due, the financial circumstances for each family vary and we want to be sure to accommodate as many as we can. We offer three payment plans; 1-pay, 3-pay, and 9 pay (monthly) depending on which plan is more convenient for you, and the multiple payment plans help make tuition payments affordable for families.


Family Contributions

Often assistance is provided from close family members to help make the tuition payments and allow a family to afford the tuition. Many close family members recognize the value of a good educational foundation and are willing to provide funding help.


Tuition Assistance

The Tuition Assistance program helps provide monetary assistance to those students who might otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attending an independent school. The School utilizes the National Association of Independent School’s School and Student Services (SSS) to aid in our financial aid process. This third-party partnership helps gather the financial information from the families to be used to determine eligibility and estimated amount.


The SSS website is where families log on and create a Personal Financial Statement (PFS), which consists of completing the application for household and financial information, uploading tax returns and other financial documentation, and provide any additional information or comments that they feel will be helpful for the School to determine whether financial assistance funds might be awarded to the student. To learn more, visit:


The following two methods described below are external programs that are not affiliated with The McGillis School, however may be utilized by families as needed and upon eligibility for the program. Any information can be found on the entity’s website or you can reach out to the McGillis Business Office.


Carson Smith Scholarship

The Carson Smith Scholarship (CSS) provides Utah residents with tuition assistance funds to eligible special needs students who are enrolled in eligible private schools. Those students who would qualify for some education and related services if they attended a public school may be eligible to get funding from this scholarship. Disabilities such as Autism, Development Delay, Intellectual Disability, Hearing, Speech/Language or Orthopedic Impairment, Learning Disabilities may qualify a student for some funding for this scholarship. The level of funding is determined by the level of assistance for the specialized services the student would have received if they were enrolled at a public school. Once conditions have been met and a student qualified for this funding, the funds are used to assist the family with the tuition payments. Receipt of these scholarship funds does not require the recipient to repay the assistance received. For more information, visit


Sallie Mae K-12 Family Education Loan

The Sallie Mae K-12 Family Education Loan is a program from Sallie Mae Bank. This program is intended to help pay for a student’s private school education expenses that are not covered by the more traditional methods described above. These loans have terms with low variable interest rate loans and repayment terms that can be spread over multiple years. While the rates and repayment terms are favorable, financial discretion is encouraged when a program like this is undertaken. For more information, visit


We believe each child deserves a high-quality education and it is our goal to utilize many options for making a private school education at The McGillis School possible to as many students as we are able. The Business Office wants to work with any family that enrolls or desires to enroll at The McGillis School and welcomes all conversations that explore these options that are available.