This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Is It Better to Spring for Private High School or College?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) Most families have a limited amount of funds to put toward their children's education. With prices on the rise for tuition at private primary schools and colleges, paying for both isn't usually an option. So where should you invest your education dollars on a private prep school or on college tuition? Experts weigh in on how best to spend your education cash.

Blowing all your money on a private primary or high school is a risk, says Brad Pine, wealth adviser and president of Bradford Pine Wealth Group in Garden City, N.Y.

"The most sensible strategy is for the student to do well academically in a good public high school with the goal of being admitted to the college of their choice," Pine says. "Parents may risk spending a lot on private high school tuition and not see their child gain admission to their desired college."

While some private high schools are so-called "feeder" schools for high-level colleges, it's definitely not a guarantee that attending one will earn you admission. Also, where someone attended high school rarely comes up in a job interview, Pine explains.

"Private schools are great. You get a great education, and they may prepare you a heck of a lot more for college, but they don't offer guaranteed entry to the college of your choice," he says.

Families with limited funds would be wise not to "gamble" that a private school will be their child's ticket to a full ride scholarship at the university of their choice.

"I wouldn't take my chances paying for private school because, then, if you get into an Ivy League college that costs $60,000 a year, now all of the sudden you can't afford the college your child wanted to go to, even with student loans. In that case, if the scholarship doesn't come through, you just can't go even if your child is smart and does well, they aren't guaranteed merit scholarships," Pine cautions.

Oftentimes, the worthiness of the investment in private schools depends on where your child wants to go to college it's hardly worth spending the money on a private primary school if your child has their heart set on attending a state university.

With that said, private schools aren't just vehicles for good education they also provide important connections your child can use professionally once their college years are long passed.

"Private schools offer tremendous connections and bonds that can help you find future jobs there are benefits to who you know," he says.

Of course where you spend your money may have a lot to do with geography, too if you live in an area where the public schools aren't doing their job, it's time to seriously consider investing in a private education, says Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management.

"If you go to a poor public school where you simply don't get the basics, then you're going to be at a disadvantage. If your school is not providing your child with the raw materials they need, if they aren't getting the fundamentals, then private school becomes a necessity," he says.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs