How much is your tuition going up this year? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 02-10-2005, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ours is going up a whopping 7% with indications that it will go up this much for the next several years. There are a lot of upset parents.
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#2 of 19 Old 02-10-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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We (I say "we" because I'm a board member) raised tuition 5% next year. This is lower than most recent years' increases, which have averaged 6-8%.

David
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#3 of 19 Old 02-10-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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I don't know what the percentage is : Guess I could figure it out...

K is going up 600$ per year. Ds will go to 1st grade though, don't know how much of an increase the grades had, just know that we'll be paying 1300$ more next year.
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#4 of 19 Old 02-11-2005, 12:33 AM
 
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$450...the board said we could increase 3-5% and do 60% of the things we wanted or 5-7% and do all the things. I think it's about 5%. But it's gone up that much each year...sigh...but they gave the parents a chance to speak up and give their opinion. I guess the ones that spoke up felt that was a middle of the road choice. Our school is fairly new, so in years past, the tuition was fairly low. It's definately going up, though...

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#5 of 19 Old 02-11-2005, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I expect tuition to go up every year at least 3%. My salary, if I am lucky, goes up that much. Because of the poor econmony, I have had several years where there was no salary increase, but we got to keep our jobs.

The 7% just seems high especially year after year. I worry about driving away our middle class families and families with multiple children. Also, it is forcing many stay at home parents to get a job if they want their child to go to Waldorf. I wish we had charter Waldorf schools here. I feel so maxed out sometimes.
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#6 of 19 Old 02-11-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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Believe me, I am one of those families. We want to enroll our other daughter in the 3 day kindergarten program next fall, but yikes! Tuition is twice that of the other preschool that's popular around here. We are so extremely lucky that we get a state funded scholarship that gives us $2000 and then our school provides a tuition adjustment. Between those, we end up paying half ($3200) of the regular tuition ($6400). But, there's $450 worth of fees, plus service charges if you pay monthly like we do.

This may be the last year we qualify for the state scholarship. I don't know how folks pay full tuition. Especially for more than one child! It's just a difficult challenge. Of course our school needs to cover their expenses, and our school is still less than other private schools in the area, but with prices going up every year, I worry about it all the time.

So it turns out the $450 increase is closer to 7%. I just hope we qualify for financial aid again. Thanks for letting me rant...Megan
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#7 of 19 Old 02-12-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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To Rhonwyn, if the board is predicting hefty tuition increases for multiple years, they should be able to point to what they'll be doing with the money, which offers a chance to think about other ways to accomplish the goals.

In general, though, Waldorf schools have traditionally undercharged for the education (my opinion) and, in response, underpay their staff terribly, do not provide benefits appropriate to a skilled professional, and/or do not properly staff things like administration, facilitties, maintenance, or remedial.

Mature waldorf schools have pointed out to me that a waldorf school with a strong, rich program has more subjects taught to grade school students than most other schools, which suggests higher staff/student ratio, which implies higher costs. The idea that tuition should be much lower than other nonparochial private schools doesn't really fit.

I realize none of this makes it any easier to pay tuition, and certainly some families "hit the wall" financially. It all comes down to priorities on both sides; the school has to decide what its needs are in delivering education that families' contract for, and each family has to decide how badly they want waldorf education, and in some cases that may mean making compromises like taking better paying but less rewarding jobs, at-home parents having to work for money, starting businesses "on the side", or having to apply for and accept reduced tuition grants.

Charter schools may help on the family financial side, but they introduce a whole new can of worms, in my mind; the idea of people at a waldorf school who don't feel a sense of strong connection to the school, who are there just because their lottery number came up.

David
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#8 of 19 Old 02-12-2005, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canndw
Charter schools may help on the family financial side, but they introduce a whole new can of worms, in my mind; the idea of people at a waldorf school who don't feel a sense of strong connection to the school, who are there just because their lottery number came up.

David

I agree with you that Charter schools present a whole nother can of worms but I get very frustrated when so many families who want Waldorf education for their child can't afford the tuition even with assistance. Assisatance basically helps the working poor and maybe the lowest group of the middle class. We risk losing our middle class families and families with multiple children. There are some Waldorf schools that have become stratified where you are either very poor or very rich if you go there because the middle class has been shut out.

We are asking for a detailed account of why the high increase is needed and where it is going. Also, several parents have looked at other schools and if we keep increasing tuition like this we will join the ranks of the high end academic schools that are going for ivy league graduates in the end. We aren't that and I don't think we want to be that.

Also, several parents have looked at these high end schools and comparable tuition schools. In almost every case, these schools offer assistance to more people. I think we may have to change how our tuition is set and how we can increase assistance.

Just for the record, our tuition is:
2004-2005
Pre-K/Kindergarten
5 days/wk $6,850
4 days/wk $6,050
3 days/wk $5,200
Kindergarten Year $6,850
Grade School
Grade School $9,200

Next year I think it is $9800 for grade school.

Lastly, there doesn't seem to be any tie between fund raising and tuition levels. No goals such as raise this much and the tuition only goes up this much, so parents get frustrated and burnt out with the fund raising.
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#9 of 19 Old 02-12-2005, 01:14 PM
 
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Our tuition is quite close to your school's ($9000 this year, 9450 next for grades), but we're quite a bit smaller (145 students in eight grades and two nursery/kindy rooms). I guarantee I could give you a long list of unfunded needs that we have!

My thinking (which I can't prove with numbers) is that the "full" tuition for our school given how far we have to go in improving compensation, benefits, and unfunded needs is much higher than we charge. Haven't put a number to it, but something like $11,000 or $12,000 feels right. To get there, though, we would clearly have to do more with reduced tuition programs (we generally allot around 16% of gross tuition to needs-based requests).

For now, though, we're focused on trying to get sited in new buildings on twenty-eight acres we just purchased.

For comparison, well-established nonparochial private schools here generally charge between $15- $20 thousand, we we're going to be way below the "market" tuition for a long time.

David
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#10 of 19 Old 02-16-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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Ok... I was feeling a bit put out at the tuition we pay for our son to attend our Waldorf inspired school here (4,000/yr for 4 days/week....the school is only open 4 days for all grades)....but we pay much less than those figures mentioned....and our tuition didin't go up...in fact they are hoping to give discounts to families that have 2+ kiddos there....We do come for a very poor state and community though so maybe that is it....plus our school is still small after 9 years and 3 of the 4 founding teachers are still teaching!

Waldorf can be so elitist simply because of the tuition factor....but I really do understand the point that many schools are much more tuition wise.....

Thank goodness that our nana is our benefactor or this would never be possible.
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#11 of 19 Old 02-16-2005, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think the schools start out wanting to be elitest. There are just so many things they want to do and it takes money to do them. Also, there is a desire to pay the teachers a decent salary which also costs money.

If you look at what many states spend per child on education, you will see that tuitions are often less. I just wish our school could do more so more people could have Waldorf who want Waldorf. It makes me wish for Vouchers because I can't get this education in a Public School.
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#12 of 19 Old 02-16-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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i'm sorry...i don't mean it is the school's intention to be elitest....it is the often times unfortunate end result....not many people can afford to pay that type of $ for ed unfortunately....and you don't...again unfortunately... get waldorf caliber ed for free...at least in most places....Dh and i feel very fortunate in that the school is very aware of this and tries to do what they can to make it possible for those that want to to attend...whether it be throgh trade, volunteering, etc

my difficulty with paying for school...or in my case allowing my mom to do it is that i am torn btwm this wonderful school and home schooling....but that is a whole new subj entirely
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#13 of 19 Old 02-16-2005, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just wondering Earth Angel how the schools seem to get lost along the way. Our school actually started with the intent of having affordable Waldorf education. Those parents are long gone and we have a different board now. It breaks my heart every year to lose families because they don't qualify for help but they can't afford it.
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#14 of 19 Old 02-17-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
I was just wondering Earth Angel how the schools seem to get lost along the way. Our school actually started with the intent of having affordable Waldorf education. Those parents are long gone and we have a different board now. It breaks my heart every year to lose families because they don't qualify for help but they can't afford it.
Start up, smaller schools are very different from well-established, larger schools. Upper grades curriculum costs more to deliver (more subjects), part time positions have become full-time, you need full-time professionals in key administration positions, you probably need (even if you don't have them) remedial/skiils teachers, and you need to be able to attract new teachers to your area.

In addition, public school teacher pay increases have led to a trend toward increased private school pay.

People starting a school just don't know what further expensess they'll have in several years, after they've grown beyond a start-up; thus, the vision and principles they establish in the beginning may not be achievable when the twenty-five student "children's garden" becomes the 130 student school through grade six (or eight).

David
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#15 of 19 Old 02-18-2005, 10:39 AM
 
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Our tuition in CT went up very little. About 4%. Grades 1 thru 8 is now $10,500. We also have the option to pay the full amount to educate your child $11,950 and take the addt'l $1,450.00 as a tax deductible contribution.
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#16 of 19 Old 02-18-2005, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuqui
Our tuition in CT went up very little. About 4%. Grades 1 thru 8 is now $10,500. We also have the option to pay the full amount to educate your child $11,950 and take the addt'l $1,450.00 as a tax deductible contribution.
Do you get many that do that? We have a bridge the gap fund but I don't think many actually do it. I did one year when my kids were in Kindergarten but now with two in the grades it is difficult to add anymore.
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#17 of 19 Old 02-18-2005, 12:36 PM
 
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Rhonwyn,
Last year was the 1st time our school offered this and they got a majority response. Not the entire 8% from all who participated but some amount.
I added the 8% but my dds were in 5 day Kinder and 3 day nursery, in Sept I will have one in 1st and one in 3 day kinder. I haven't decided yet but I think I may do the 1st grader 8% and the kinder 4%.

I would love to do more but my real estate taxes are over 14k, 90% of which goes to the public school we do not use. I would love vouchers. I'm so glad that my DH is on board with this decision but it's really hard to deal with sometimes.
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#18 of 19 Old 02-18-2005, 02:09 PM
 
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Rhonwyn....I'm not sure but they surely do seem to get lost....My friend's son went to a start up school outside of LA then they moved to Eugene and he is at the Waldorf school there....She has said it is so much different and that she preferred the start up school....She also shared an experience about a meeting with the board to get financial aid....folks were very snooty with her to say the least (not to say that is the trend...just an example of the way the ideals of this type of ed for everyone gets lost along the way). I feel that as long as the founding members of our school are here the ideals that they have set forth will remain....however they won't be there forever....but they are still young so hopefully they are feeling that they have a long time left!!! That said...we are having growing pains right now (90+ children pre school - 8th with waiting lists for pre school and K and few if any openings for the grade classes) so it will be interesting to see what happens next year....

Our teacher right now is from Hungary and the schools there are free....She said she could never afford to send her child to our school if she wasn't working there and it was no charge....I have also noticed posts from folks in other countries that say that at least for pre school the ed is free....sure must be nice....

I'm not too sure where we'll end up when Ds#2 is ready for school....$1000.00 per month is a pretty hefty bill for school IMO (I know others pay more but for me the idea of that is a lot to digest!)

cuqui...that must be very frustrating to pay that amt in taxes for schools you don't even use. In that respect vouchers sure would be helpful
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#19 of 19 Old 02-21-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Cuqui, I sent you a PM related to your school. Thanks, David
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