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Who Should Pay For Private School Tuition?

Mommy Dearest: OK to Insist on Paying For Nephew's Tuition?

Mommy Dearest,

I loved school, but my brother and sister-in-law were never into academics. Their son (my nephew) is going into third grade and always talks about how bored he is in class. His test scores are extremely high and though his teacher recommended placing him in a nearby private school where he would be challenged, my brother isn't interested because of the cost. He hasn't even looked into scholarships which I can't understand. I make a good living and want my nephew to take advantage of the opportunity because I know he will do well at the school. Is it out of bounds for me to talk to my brother about footing the bill?

— Auntie Who Wants to Pay

Dear Auntie Who Wants to Pay,

I don't think there's any harm in extending the offer to your brother and sister-in-law. It's very generous of you, but be prepared in case they decline. There might be reasons (aside from academics) that they want their son to stay at his current school — friends, demographics, his comfort level, etc.

— Mommy Dearest

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lickety-split lickety-split 5 years
What a lovely and generous offer! If you offer to provide for his education in a way that is inviting to THEM, you stand a better chance of getting a "yes". Everyone wants their kids to have the best, more than they did, etc. Don't assume they will say no.
MissSushi MissSushi 5 years
My aunt helped my sisters out when they were going to school with various things, and they were apreciative, but it was a differnet situation. Poverty vs a lack of interest in their education. I would offer, but i doubt he will accept. Even if he does, he may bow out later when it comes to all of the things that come with private school like stephley mentioned. I hope things work out.
stephley stephley 5 years
I don’t think there’s any harm in extending the offer but if they accept, be prepared for complications. Your brother might not be supportive of his son’s efforts at school, and that could undermine your help. How long are you willing to pay for the boy’s schooling, and are you sure (relatively sure) that you will be able to? Private schools have loads of fees and extras: books, uniforms, testing, field trips etc. - would you be able to cover them if your brother won’t? It’s really generous to offer to help your nephew, but I’ve seen several friends practically have their arms ripped off after offering to lend a hand.
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