Cost of Homeschooling Compared to Public School

The cost of homeschooling a child compared to educating the child through the public school system is such a contrast in numbers that it is amazing!

One of the benefits to homeschooling is the unnecessary need to spend a great deal of money in order to have a good education. You will be shocked at the homeschooling statistics.

It doesn’t take money to provide a good learning experience. Research has shown that just because more money is given to the educational system in this country, doesn’t mean the results are better.

Cost of Homeschooling Study 1

In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America."

It was found the average cost per homeschool student is $546 while the average cost per public school student is $5,325.

Yet the homeschool children in this study averaged in 85th percentile while the public school students averaged in the 50th percentile on nationally standardized achievement tests.

Cost of Homeschooling Study 2

Similarly, the 1998 study by Dr. Rudner of 20,760 students, found that eighth grade students whose parents spend $199 or less on their home education score, on the average, in the 80th percentile.

Eighth grade students whose parents spend $400 to $599 on their home education also score on the average, in the 80th percentile! Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better, scoring in the 83rd percentile.

What this means

This study showed that students taught by the parents, on average, did much better than the public school students by about 30 to 37 points in all the subjects.

A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less.

The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile.

Table of Current Public Education Cost

Current cost per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools: 1961-62 through 2006-07
School Year

Current cost in unadjusted dollars

Current cost in constant 2007-08 dollars

1961-62 $393 $2,769
1970-71 842 4,489
1980-81 2,307 5,639
1986-87 3,682 7,007
1990-91 4,902 7,749
1995-96 5,689 7,796
1996-97 5,923 7,891
1997-98 6,189 8,101

1998-99

6,508 8,373
1999-2000 6,912 8,644
2000-01 7,380 8,923
2001-02 7,727 9,181
2002-03 8,044 9,351
2003-04 8,310 9,454
2004-05 8,711 9,620
2005-06 9,145 9,729
2006-07 9,683 10,041

National Center for Educational Statistics

Cost of Homeschooling Study 3

According to the Washington post, in the 2009 edition of Quality Counts, the EPE Research Center examined per-pupil expenditure levels for 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Using data from the 2005-06 school year, the research center found that 23 states and the District of Columbia spent more than $10,000 per pupil, adjusted for regional cost differences.

Vermont ranked first in the nation with $15,139 in spending for each student, followed by Wyoming ($14,126) and New Jersey ($13,238).

At the other end of the spectrum, Utah spent only $5,964 per student adjusted for regional costs, the lowest amount in the nation. The national average for per-pupil expenditures was $9,963.

We're often told that public schools are underfunded and need more money to educate the child better. In the District of Columbia...our nation's capital...the spending figure cited most commonly is $8,322 per child, but total spending is close to $25,000 per child!!

These homeschooling statistics are incredible considering I have 8 homeschooling children and have spent only $1500 for all 8 of them!!

More money does not mean a better education. There seems to be no real correlation between money spent on education and student performance. Money can never replace simple, hard work.


Read about more Homeschooling statistics where you will find out the number of students homeschooled, a comparison of homeschooling families with those of public and private school students, and the statistics on violence in our public schools.


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Return from Cost of Homeschooling to Pros and Cons of Homeschooling


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