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Overdue Private School Fees

Hi ladies this might be awkwardly worded but stay with me as I really need some advice. So my kids go to a catholic school (I have 3 kids). Since the kids started there I lost my job and am having trouble financially as you can imagine. My ex pays half the school fees (doesn't pay child support though). This past term I've been meaning to apply for financial hardship but I have bad depression and anxiety and haven't done much about it. Today I received an email from a debt collection service for my share of the first semester's tuition. I still have to apply for financial hardship but I doubt they'll take this into account. I'm genuinely doing it tough and I thought the school realised. The financial aid lady sounded mean on the phone today so I just asked her to send home a form for financial hardship. But who do I go to for help or advice about the fees? Should I go over her head? Like to the principal? I just need some advice and not judgment on how I got stuck in this situation.

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Answers (4)

It's actually as simple as get off your a*s and speak to the school. Sorry to be blunt, but I think you need the reality check...

 Reality check is this, stop being a pretentious snob and just send your kids to a public school.
Some types are not cut out to be in the private system.
You and your children will fit better and be happier for it.

helpful (0) 

Hi sweetie, I'm in a similar situation. And the best advice I got was from my MIL (who's been part of the catholic school community for the last 25 years so she knows her shit). She said you need to make an appointment with the burser and the principal and be completely straight up honest with them about everything. The principal has the power to not only extend your time frame and lower your fees, but also to give you info on any other services you might need (small low interest loans, counselling, outreach programs for employment if needed). It's a really hard thing to do, but you need to pull up your boot straps and do it. And the sooner the better. The burser at my kids school was so understanding. They've lowered the fees for me, and we have extra time to pay it off week by week. Whether it be $10 a week or $30 whatever we can manage. She also reassured me that whatever happens, as long as we communicate with them, they can be flexible. I broke down in tears when she told me. I had been stressing so much that I couldn't eat or sleep trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do.

OP Thankyou for your advice. I think I was struggling to communicate with them because I'm so embarrassed to be in this situation and I was expecting a bit more sympathy or advice and help. I thought being so religious they'd be nicer about it. And I've just not had that experience from the staff.
helpful (1) 
 That really sucks that their attitude has been so negative. I expected that sort of response too, which is why it moved me to tears when they were so helpful. I was also embarrassed, but hey, it happens. You're not trying to skip town or run some kind of scam. You just need a little help. Which is exactly what you should be able to get from the church and parish community. I explained our situation and really bared my soul to them. I even offered to clean the school or work in the school in some way to help pay it off. Whether that meant cleaning the classrooms, mowing the grounds, cooking for the canteen, working the uniform shop, whatever. She actually had a giggle when I said I'd mow the grounds, because I'm currently pregnant and would be mowing with a toddler strapped to my back as well as the belly full of arms and legs. Haha. Try again, and tell them that you're embarrassed. It's easier to relate to someone who's upfront with their discomfort.
helpful (0) 
 If they were really nice to everyone about it everyone would slack off the fees
helpful (2) 
 Not everyone in the school is going to them for financial help though. So if you communicate openly with them, they shouldn't be arseholes about it. It's the not letting them know what's going on that is the kicker.
helpful (1) 

You don’t say how old your kids are but have you thought about sending them public and save for high school private fees instead? Most public school fees are not compulsory so if you experience hardship it is not a problem.

 Not the OP, but in some areas the chances of being accepted into the religious high school after attending a public primary, is very slim. In my area the public high schools are all very.... unsavoury. So everyone wants their kid to go to the local catholic high school. As such, they're very selective and first priority is always given to the catholic primary feeder schools. Then it goes to the white collar catholics (doctors, solicitors, teachers), military families, and then the rest of the catholic kids. At the very bottom of the rung is the non catholics who attended public schools. Just to give you an idea.
helpful (0) 
OP Hey. My kids are 7, 9 and 10. It's a bit complicated to move them so suddenly. And my ex would blow his stack. I guess it's a temporary financial crisis because I do hope to get a job again soon but it's stressing me out now and owing a term is weighing on me.
helpful (0) 

The more involved you are in the church the better your chances of getting cheaper fees.

 I came here to write this, you need to put on your Sunday best and go to church honey! Every religious school is the same, Word of your situation will spread fast and your fees will be paid or waived.
helpful (0)