How much does Montessori school cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does Montessori school cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does Montessori school cost?

$12,000 – $18,000average annual tuition cost
$200 – $2,500additional fees & supplies

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$12,000 – $18,000 average annual tuition cost

$200 – $2,500 additional fees & supplies

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Tara Farmer
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Average cost of Montessori school

Montessori schools cost $12,000 to $18,000 per year for tuition. Montessori school prices also include $200 to $2,500 in annual non-tuition fees for application, registration, and school materials. Montessori tuition is higher for elementary and middle school due to the costs of certified teachers and specialized materials for older students.

Montessori school prices
Factor Average annual cost
Tuition $12,000 – $18,000
Registration fee $100 – $400
Application fee $25 – $100
School materials fee $75 – $2,000
Total annual attendance cost $12,200 – $20,500

Montessori tuition

The average annual tuition for Montessori schools is $12,000 to $18,000, depending on the student’s age and grade level. The popular age range to begin Montessori education is between 2.5 to 6 years old. However, many schools now offer nursery and toddler programs as well as elementary and middle school education.

Montessori cost
Program Ages or grade levels Average annual tuition*
Nursery program 6 weeks – 1 year $13,000 – $18,000
Toddler program 1 year – 2.5 years $11,000 – $16,000
Preschool (Primary) 2.5 years – 5 years $12,000 – $18,000
Kindergarten 5 years – 6 years $12,000 – $18,000
Lower Elementary Grades 1 – 3 $13,000 – $20,000
Upper Elementary Grades 4 – 6 $13,000 – $20,000
Middle school Grades 6 – 8 $14,000 – $28,000

*Average cost for full-time students

Montessori school tuition is often more expensive than public school, preschool, and private school. However, the quality of education and tailored learning experience Montessori offers may justify the higher cost.

Montessori school non-tuition prices

Tuition covers the core cost of instruction at a Montessori school, but there are several other non-tuition fees you might face, including:

  • Registration fees: Most schools charge students a non-refundable registration fee of $100 to $400 to hold a spot for the upcoming school year. Some schools waive this fee for current families.

  • Application fees: Some schools have a separate application fee of $25 to $100 on top of the registration fee to cover the cost of processing your application materials.

  • Annual supply fees: On top of tuition, many schools charge an annual materials and supplies fee ranging from $75 to $300+ for preschool students and up to $2,000 for school-age student classroom materials, supplies, testing, textbooks, insurance, and other fees.

  • Activity fees: Some schools have additional fees for extracurricular activities like music or sports.

  • Late payment fees: Most schools charge $5 to $10 per day for late tuition payments and $25 to $30 for returned checks.

  • Overtime fees: Many schools charge $5 to $10 per hour, per child for late pickups. Some schools increase the charge to $1 per minute if parents are more than an hour late.

  • Tuition assistance programs: Many schools offer financial assistance scholarships for qualifying families to encourage social and economic diversity.

  • Sibling & referral discounts: Most schools offer a 5% to 10% discount for each additional child enrolled. Discounts for referring new families are also common.

  • Payment schedule: Paying in advance rather than monthly can reduce your tuition costs. One-time or semester payments can save you 3% to 5% in some schools.

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Montessori schools cost factors

Several factors can influence the cost of Montessori schools:

  • Student age: Most schools charge higher rates for nursery programs that require a higher student-to-teacher ratio for babies. Schools also charge higher tuition rates for elementary, middle, and high students to cover the salaries of qualified teachers.

  • Full-time vs. part-time: Most schools offer part-time programs where students attend 2 or 3 days per week at a lower price than attending full-time 5 days per week.

  • Half-day vs. full-day: Schools reduce tuition for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who attend half-day programs.

  • Montessori materials: Most schools add an annual supply fee to cover the cost of specialized materials used in Montessori education.

  • School location: Schools in urban areas with a high cost of living are usually more expensive than those in rural areas.

  • Facilities & resources: Schools with better facilities like gymnasiums, science laboratories, and dining halls are usually in higher demand and have higher tuition fees.

  • Class size: Smaller class sizes, which are common in Montessori schools to facilitate individualized learning, can contribute to higher costs.

  • School reputation: Established and reputable Montessori schools may have higher tuition fees due to their quality of education.

A teacher working with students in a Montessori school
A teacher working with students in a Montessori school

Additional Montessori school costs

Apart from tuition, materials, and administrative fees, Montessori schools often provide extended care services, transportation, and meal options which can raise attendance costs. Additionally, schools may offer supplementary programs like spring break and summer camps during non-school periods for an extra fee.

Montessori school add-on costs
Program Average cost per school year
Before-school care $800 – $1,800
After-school care $3,000 – $5,500
Bus transportation $700 – $2,700
Optional lunch program $500 – $1,000
Spring break camp $200 – $600 per week
Summer camp (June – August) $2,000 – $6,000 per summer

How to save on Montessori school tuition

While most Montessori schools are private institutions that have high tuition and added fees, there are ways to manage these costs.

  • Ask for a comprehensive fee schedule: Request a detailed breakdown of all the fees associated with the program you're interested in. This will help you get a clearer picture of the total cost and better manage optional expenses.

  • Inquire about school-based aid: Many Montessori schools offer financial aid for qualifying families to help offset the cost of tuition and fees. These programs consider factors like income and family size.

  • Research external scholarships: Several external organizations offer scholarships specifically for Montessori education. Search online for scholarships offered by Montessori societies, parent organizations, or foundations in your area.

  • Employer benefits: Some employers offer Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) that allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for childcare expenses, including Montessori tuition.

  • Consider enrolling part-time: Opting for a part-time program (if available) can reduce the overall cost.

  • Negotiate fees: Some schools may be open to negotiating fees or offering financial aid. Discuss fees with the school administration to explore any available discounts or payment plans.

  • Look for used Montessori materials: Montessori materials are known for their durability. You might find gently used materials at online marketplaces or garage sales, potentially saving on the materials fee.

  • Try Montessori at home: Rather than formal schooling, you can implement Montessori principles at home for younger children, which can reduce education costs.

  • Volunteer: Some schools offer reduced tuition in exchange for volunteering your time to help with classroom activities or administrative tasks.

FAQs about Montessori schools

What is a Montessori school?

Montessori school is an education method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. The program emphasizes self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play with mixed-age groups to allow younger children to learn from older ones. Montessori attempts to create a love of learning rather than relying on grades for motivation.

Are Montessori schools free?

No, most Montessori schools are not free. They are private institutions funded by tuition and fees. However, there are a growing number of public Montessori schools funded by local governments that do not charge tuition.

Are Montessori schools good?

Ultimately, the effectiveness of Montessori education depends on the individual needs and preferences of the child and their family. The following table details the pros and cons of Montessori education.

Montessori school pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Self-directed learning where students develop independence and motivation by choosing their activities
  • Learning through exploration and discovery
  • Mixed-age groups where younger students learn from older ones, fostering social interaction and emotional development
  • Focus on intrinsic motivation rather than relying on external rewards like grades
  • Teachers who value and respect each child as an individual
  • High tuition fees compared to other preschools and private institutions
  • Limited standardized testing can be challenging for parents preferring traditional academic benchmarks
  • Inconsistent reviews on the effectiveness of Montessori education
  • Lack of structure can be a struggle for some students
  • Transitional challenges for students leaving Montessori for traditional schools

Are Montessori schools religious?

Montessori schools, in general, are not religious. While some Montessori schools may be affiliated with religious institutions or incorporate religious teachings, most are secular. In many cases, Montessori education emphasizes inclusivity and respect for different beliefs, aiming to provide a non-denominational learning environment.

How are students graded in Montessori school?

Montessori schools typically use a different approach to grading compared to traditional educational systems. Instead of traditional letter grades or numerical scores, teachers use observation and narrative evaluations to provide detailed feedback on the child’s academic and social development.

Other assessment methods include student portfolios that showcase a child’s work over time, self-assessments in which students reflect on their progress, and milestone assessments with specific benchmarks students are expected to reach.

Tips for choosing a Montessori school

Use the following tips to help you select an authentic and suitable Montessori school that aligns with your child's educational needs and your family's values:

  • Schedule tours at several Montessori schools in your area.

  • Look for a clean, organized classroom that is well-stocked with Montessori materials.

  • Ensure the school has certified Montessori teachers.

  • Seek a school that fosters a genuine Montessori learning environment.

  • Opt for schools that have mixed-age classrooms to support holistic development.

  • Choose a school where you and your child feel comfortable and connected, as this is crucial for a successful school-family relationship.

Questions to ask a Montessori school

Ask these questions during your tour of a Montessori school to gain valuable insights into the school's environment and teaching practices:

  • Are the teachers school certified through a MACTE-accredited program, and how long have they been teaching at the school?

  • How much outdoor time do students typically have during the day?

  • Are parents allowed to observe the classroom, and what are the protocols for doing so?

  • What does a typical daily schedule look like for students, including work periods and activities?

  • How is discipline handled at the school, and how are frustrated children supported?

  • What is the make-up of the classrooms in terms of ages and number of students?

  • What specific activities like outdoor play, art, and music integration are part of your program?

  • What are the expectations for parents volunteering at the school?

  • Are there any requirements for homework?

  • Does the school provide parents with student progress reports, opportunities to view student work, and conduct parent-teacher interviews?

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