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At private schools, another way to say ‘financial aid’

Shannon and Jefe Lubiano, with their daughters, Corrine, 6 (right), and Lillian, 3, who attend the private Duke School, in Durham, N.C.
Shannon and Jefe Lubiano, with their daughters, Corrine, 6 (right), and Lillian, 3, who attend the private Duke School, in Durham, N.C.Travis Dove/New York Times

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Shannon Lubiano never dreamed she could send her children to the Duke School, an independent elementary school in Durham, N.C., where the tuition is $15,000 for prekindergarten, rising to nearly $18,000 for eighth grade.

But then a friend told her about the school’s indexed tuition plan — essentially a pay-what-you-can model for a private education — and that made all the difference for her.

“When I tell other people about it, they are shocked,” said Lubiano, whose husband, a chef, owns a restaurant in town. “They had looked at the Duke School in the past and got run off by the cost.”

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