I figured I would present one reader's way of working out tuition with their children's school. I know that not one school in my on area would agree to this method. Read on and leave your comments. Nonetheless, I always love hearing the experiences of those who have found their own personal solutions.
When my first child started school a number of years ago I sat down with the executive director and had a discussion about what I could afford to pay. My wife and I both work for large non-jewish companies and our complete annual earnings are directly reflected in our W-2's.
I showed him what I make and offered to pay a percentage of our net income. He was more then happy to accept it. It was not the full tuition, but was a relatively large portion. 5 years later and with more children in yeshivos I am still using this method. It has worked in different yeshivos as needed.
One of the biggest challenges the yeshivos face is the inability to adequately gauge an individuals ability to pay vs their willingness to pay. There are still many out there who believe that vacations, pesach in a hotel and 2 leased cars come before paying full tuition. In addition, many work for themselves or work "off the books" and come up with ridiculius numbers of what they actually really earn.
If you are willing to come forward with a fair solution and are willing to be completely open and honest, yeshivos will act in kind.
When the debate centers around what is a fair price
to charge you will never find an answer