I you're considering investing in private education for your child, the cost is likely a big factor. In this article, we'll help you understand the average cost of private school tuition in Toronto, where the money for private education really goes, tax deductions, scholarships, and other important financial questions.
Private school attendance on the rise
A subset of parents in Toronto choose private schools, expecting that small class sizes, personalized education plans and curricular variety will give their children opportunities unavailable in many public schools. While both private and public schools employ dedicated teachers, support high academic achievement and engender positive student engagement, the intimacy and community found in small private schools is attractive and compelling.
The pandemic also catalyzed interest in private school education. The disruption across all learning platforms motivated many parents to consider education options for their children they had not considered before. Some discovered they were not comfortable with what their children were experiencing regarding physical distancing, and sought other educational options.
How much is private school tuition in Toronto?
On average, private school tuition in Toronto costs between $17,000-$26,000. However, tuition fees vary depending on the type of school, the age of its students, and other factors.
Average private school tuition in Toronto by school type:
Liberal Arts Day School: $22,767
Liberal Arts eSchool: $8,378
Montessori Day School: $17,174
Progressive Day School: $26,359
Traditional Day School: $19,977
IB Day School: $21,925
Reggio Emilia Day School: $15,847
Private Boarding School: $55,836
Private and independent schools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and these differences influence the price of tuition. Boarding schools, where the tuition covers the cost of living, are the most expensive.
What does private school tuition go towards?
The majority of private school tuition goes towards dedicated and skilled teachers, facilities, tutoring services, extra guidance, and modern resources and equipment. However, there are also costs that are not typically included in school fees, such as registration fees, trips, and extracurriculars.
Private school tuition fees will vary from school to school, so it's important to understand exactly what is included when you're considering your options.
What's typically included in private school tuition
Staff salaries and support specialists
Facility improvements and maintenance
Transportation and meal services
What's typically not included in private school tuition
Is private school tuition tax-deductible in Ontario?
There are no explicit private school tax deductions or tax credits for private school tuition. However, there are some tax credits that may apply depending on the school you select.
*The following is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice.
Schools that are registered as charities or are associated with registered charitable organizations may issue tax receipts for a portion of the education that is dedicated to religious training.
According to the Canada Revenue Agency, under this method, the net cost of operating the secular portion of the school is to be pro-rated over the number of pupils enrolled during the school year to determine a "cost per pupil" for the secular training. An official donation receipt can be issued for that portion of a payment that is in excess of the pro-rated "cost per pupil" for academic training.
A portion of private school fees that relate to childcare services may be deductible as a child care expense. If you are the only person supporting the eligible child, you can claim child care expenses you incurred while the eligible child was living with you.
According to the Child Care Expenses Deduction for 2020, these include payments made to any of the following:
caregivers providing child care services
day nursery schools and daycare centres
educational institutions, for the part of the fees that relate to child care services
day camps and day sports schools where the primary goal of the camp is to care for children (an institution offering a sports study program is not a sports school)
boarding schools, overnight sports schools, or camps where lodging is involved
The Canada Revenue Agency also states that people with learning disabilities may be eligible for some tax relief. "Individuals who are appropriately medically certified as learning disabled can be eligible for a disability deduction (tax credit) and claim school tuition as a medical expense. Based on the date of certification of the disability, a taxpayer can request amendments for up to 10 years."
You will need a doctor to support your claim in writing by filling out form T2201: Disability Tax Credit Certificate. You can get a copy of this form online at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca
Other means of paying for private school tuition
Many private schools in Toronto offer financial aid to qualifying families. Even if you think your income is too high to qualify for financial assistance, it's always good to understand your options.
Local community scholarships can also be a promising avenue to explore. Small communities in Toronto often help pay to send local students to private schools, especially if their own educational options are limited.
At CaST School, we understand that navigating questions related to private school tuition and the application process can be overwhelming. If you have questions about the process, or want to learn more about CaST School in Toronto, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 647-205-7656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.