How One Family Overcame Financial Challenges of Three Boys in Private High School

three boys jumping
Emily, mom of three Spartans and active parent volunteer

As a family of six and committed to faith-based education, we knew that the transition from grade school to high school would be difficult financially. Since our two oldest are twins, we knew it would be an extra challenge to have two in high school at once. When our oldest was in sixth grade, he came to us asking about De Smet. We hadn’t looked at schools, discussed it, or even visited at that point. When we asked why De Smet, his response was, “Because I think it will help with my relationship with God.” That statement had a powerful impact on us, and we began looking at what De Smet Jesuit would mean for our family.

When we investigated high schools, De Smet felt like home. It fit our family, and it was a community we wanted for our children.

We knew we’d have to commit fully to make it financially happen for our children.

The first decision we made was not to move from our North County starter home to pay tuition. Instead, we put some bedrooms in the basement and settled in for at least six more years. We cut out some extras and put projects on hold. We knew if we moved as we wanted, tuition money would not be an option. The second decision was that we’d have to apply for financial aid. The boys qualified for work study, which made De Smet manageable. Work study also allows the boys to contribute to their tuition and understand the work and sacrifices we’ve made for their education. These decisions allowed the boys to begin at De Smet.

My husband was laid off in August 2017 when our twins were starting their junior year. We contacted De Smet and explained the situation. They assisted with adjusting our payment plan and with the late fees so it didn’t become insurmountable to catch up. I taught extra classes, and my husband's temporary work helped us to get through the seven months of unemployment. De Smet’s willingness to work with us allowed our children’s education to be uninterrupted and minimized the chaos.

This year, we have 3 boys at De Smet. We knew it would be our most challenging year financially but once again, work study has helped.

My husband and I both work a job and a half to pay tuition. We live in our small house. We don’t have a lot of extras. We volunteer when we can to contribute to the De Smet community and to model service to our children. We do this because we believe in the foundation De Smet gives our boys, and we see how they’re growing into young men. 

We've thought of the things we could have had, the trips we could’ve taken, and the house we could’ve bought. Then we talk about our kids, who they are and who they’re becoming, and realize that our investment into them is paying off.

We wouldn’t change a thing.

Emily, mother of three students at De Smet Jesuit

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