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    Joined: Nov 2023
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    G
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    Our primary options for our daughter's high school are a competitive admission public school-based IB program and a lottery-based charter school. Our neighborhood school is not an option because it does not offer any advanced classes, and she would be miserably bored. I like what I hear about the rigor of the IB program, but I am not a fan of the narrowness of the curriculum, that is, how students get very little, if any, choice regarding classes they take. The lottery-based charter school has a few more choices and many clubs and a welcoming atmosphere, but a much lower level of academics, and I worry that she may be a bit bored there as well.

    Recently, I learned that money in a 529 college savings plan can be used for private school tuition in the years prior to college. I was thinking we could use this to pay for high school tuition at a local private school that is very expensive but offers much higher level of courses in all the subjects (through calculus 3, at least 5 levels of 3 different languages, dozens of science electives and advanced coursework. This seems nice because she loves everything and wants to be a chemist/writer/artist and loves a challenge. Anyway, they provide a lot of choices for students to tailor their schooling to their interests. The trade-off, of course, is the cost. I don't have a lot of experience with the school otherwise, so I'm not sure about whether the school would be a good fit in other ways. I need to take a tour.

    Should we even consider touching the 529? What factors should we consider in deciding between the private and one of the other schools? Is it worth the cost to give her access to these high level courses at the private school in the short-term? I should also mention that, for my daughter, online coursework is out of the question. Unlike my other children, she abhors online learning. She thrives being around people and is super hands-on oriented in her learning. So, supplementing curriculum that is less challenging with online curriculum would be a non-starter with her.

    She will be able to shadow at the private and IB schools in a few months, but the charter lottery school does not do shadowing (it's a lottery and they have 5 times as many applicants as spots, so they don't need to do this to get people to apply).

    Thanks for sharing any thoughts you may have!

    Joined: Dec 2017
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    I can't speak to whether or not you should use the 529, I believe you are able to use up to $10,000 for K-12 tuition but I would find out more about the private school. Many private schools offer financial aid to qualified students. They aren't loans that you have to pay back, they are essentially scholarships. They also may offer partial tuition coverage so you would only need to use a small part of the 529.

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    Thanks, lululo4321. I didn't know about the $10,000 limit. That's helpful to know.

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    I'm sorry, it should read up to $10,000 a year for K-12.


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