At our winter Board meeting last week, St. Andrew’s Trustees voted unanimously to freeze tuition for the second year in a row. In addition, the Trustees unanimously approved a shared savings plan designed to apply this year to tuition accounts on a pro rata basis. In this letter, I would like to share the spirit, context, and intention of these two decisions.
St. Andrew’s supports its educational program and human community through three sources: tuition revenue (covering 52% of operating expenses), our annual draw on endowment (35% of operating expenses), and the Saints Fund (13% of operating expenses). Together, our annual budget provides for the work of the faculty and staff, the socioeconomic diversity of our remarkable student body, and the ambitious program of the 21st century St. Andrew’s.
Our financial model has sought to moderate tuition increases and to give parents a sense of the modest yearly increases they can expect during their child’s career at the school. For this particular period, we had assumed we would continue to have tuition increases of 3% each year.
However, the depth, severity, and duration of the pandemic have created serious and complex burdens on all of our families. We understand and recognize the pandemic’s effect on every aspect of life in the 21st century global world. In May of last year, we reversed our announced plan for a 3% tuition increase. We have held tuition flat again for the 2021-22 year.
The freeze on tuition will, we hope, communicate St. Andrew’s literal and symbolic recognition of the sacrifices parents, grandparents, and guardians make to provide their children the opportunity of a St. Andrew’s education during this turbulent period.
Our decision to freeze tuition for next year will certainly not affect St. Andrew’s ability and commitment to honoring and retaining our faculty and staff, sustaining and strengthening financial aid, and launching a new era in school history with our characteristic creativity, ambition, and intention. Our commitment to exemplary education never ceases.
Our tuition of $62,280 this year and for the 2021-22 year places St. Andrew’s in a strategic position we have steadily sought to achieve: our tuition (and policy to not supplement tuition with fees) places us as a school with one of the lowest tuition rates among our many peer schools. This ranking reflects our desire to mitigate as much as possible the challenge of affordability, while building our endowment strength through gifts and excellent investment management, and driving ambitious Saints Fund performance each year.
As the disruptive effects of the pandemic begin to dissipate, we anticipate that St. Andrew’s will in the future return to our policy of regular, modest tuition increases in the coming years.
Please contact Heather Daly, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about your ability to afford your child's tuition for the 2021-2022 year. Enrollment contracts for the coming school year will be sent on February 10. The due date for the signed contract and deposit is March 3.
Our 2020-21 shared savings plan seeks to provide tuition credits for parents through areas of campus services that were not active during our virtual winter session. We seek to share these savings from dining services, utilities, and winter programs with our families. The savings will be returned to you as a credit to your tuition account on a pro rata basis, with additional details provided by the Business Office in the weeks to come. As was the case last year, parents may choose to donate shared savings to the Saints Fund in your correspondence with the Business Office.
The credit will amount to a 15% reduction for the winter term portion of your total tuition paid; the credit will be allocated to tuition accounts on a pro rata basis. Families with multiple students at the school will receive a credit for each student.
To prepare the campus for the fall and spring residential sessions, St. Andrew’s spent over $500,000 for testing, campus improvements and renovations, and outdoor classrooms and technology. We covered all the above expenses through careful and efficient management of our budget during the course of this academic year.
This is my last tuition letter of my career as St. Andrew’s Head of School, and it comes to you as I call each and every parent this winter and spring to talk to you about your child, their experience at St. Andrew’s, and the exciting days, weeks, and years ahead in this community.
I have called III Form parents in December; I am talking to IV Form parents in January and February, and I will call V Form and VI Form parents this spring. These calls allow me to personally thank each of you for your support, encouragement, and faith during this complex time. St. Andrew’s will emerge from the pandemic even more strong, resilient, and ambitious than ever. We are very excited to welcome everyone back on campus very soon for a wonderful spring.
Merrill M. Stenbeck Head of School
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