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Tackling the Tuition Topic

May 18, 2018
By Kristine Porter

For a while now, I’ve wanted to start blogging about a variety of topics related to Holy Family School. With the cloud of unknown tuition hanging over all of our heads, I figured what better topic to start with than tuition.

Hopefully, you have all had a chance to read Mrs. Bruce’s letter in e-News last week and checked out the chart. If not, then you can check out the chart on the school’s website under Admissions. In the meantime, I’m going to talk about it. And just a quick note, if you want to pay your tuition in full and get the 5 percent discount, you must have your enrollment packet completed and submitted by June 1.

A few years back, our school adopted a flat rate tuition plan. Everyone, no matter who they were paid the same amount.  It sounded like a great idea. The problem is that when tuition is not high enough to cover the school’s expenses, then the church has to subsidize in order to keep tuition affordable. When a large percentage of your student body comes from families who are not members of the church, then the offering they contribute each weekend goes to the place of worship where they attend – not the church subsidizing their children’s education.

Over these past few years, the church has been subsidizing at an increasingly higher percentage. Between the Finance Committee and the pastor, they decided to go back to a tiered system. (This is where the Chart becomes handy.)

Before I go any further, I just want to say that am not a member of the Finance Committee, but I know how difficult this was for them. My goal here is to help you understand what they did, why they did it, and how you can affect your tuition rate.

The Cost to Educate is $5,400 per student next year. (They aren’t charging you that much.) When you subtract the Tuition from the Cost to Educate it equals the Church Subsidy, aka the amount the church is paying per student to help the school cover its expenses. The Church Subsidy equals $1,900 to $1,250 per student depending on the tuition rate.

 The first group and lowest tuition ($3,480) is for families who are active members of Holy Family Church. We would love to say the parish priests can remember all of our faces when we walk through those church doors, but in reality, they can’t. There are thousands of parishioners at Holy Family Church. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t go back to the rectory after Mass and tally up who they saw sitting in the pews. So how does the church know if someone is actively coming to church? Envelopes. Don’t put cash in the offering basket, because the number on your envelope tells the office that you contributed that week.

In order to get the lowest tuition rate, you have to be an active member of Holy Family Church. In order to determine that from a monetary standpoint, each family is asked to contribute $15 per week in the offering, which equals $780 for the year (June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 for next school year). I know it is a sacrifice for some people, but I also know that when my husband and I go out to a restaurant, it typically costs $15 just for one person’s meal. My point is that it doesn’t take long to find money in your expenditures if you want to meet the minimum offering. It might mean one less trip for a latte each week or putting your offering on automatic pay. It’s called Online Giving and the parish business office can help you set it up.

What is intrinsically more important than meeting the minimum offering is your relationship with Christ or God if you aren’t Christian. I’ll be frank with you, go to church.  What’s missing here? You are! We worship Jesus Christ our Savoir as a community of believers. That is a glorious thing to do!  Not only will you be a fantastic example to your children by witnessing to them the importance of Christ in your life, but also your soul will be nourished through the Eucharist and listening to the scriptures. Standing together as a community in church strengthens our convictions to stay faithful to Christ in our Christian life and hopefully in our behavior toward one another. As the Baltimore Catechism teaches, God created us to know, to love and to serve Him. Simple. He doesn’t ask for grand gestures, just our love.

The second tuition tier is for families who are active members of another Catholic church or are members of Holy Family Church, but are not active parishioners. The tuition is $3,900. If you are a member of another Catholic church and your pastor will agree to cover the subsidy being paid by Holy Family Church, then you can qualify for the active parishioner tuition rate. If the pastor won’t and you would be interested in registering as a member at Holy family Church, then let me know.

The third tuition tier is for families who are not Catholics. The tuition is $4,150. Before you gasp for air, it is actually only $670 more than the lowest tuition rate. The subsidy being paid by Holy Family Church is $1,250 per non-Catholic student, which is almost twice as much as the tuition increase. There is a way though for these families to qualify for the lowest rate. Like our non-member Catholic families, if your minister, rabbi, pastor, etc. agrees to cover the subsidy being paid by Holy Family Church for your child, then you can get the lower tuition rate. I am very willing to talk with your pastor, etc. to help explain the request to him or her.

We love having all of you as members of our school community and we want you to be with us the whole way through until your child graduates in eighth grade. Holy Family School is a gem. You know it. Few schools begin teaching Spanish to 3-year olds and continue in each grade through eighth grade. Our teachers forego higher incomes in public schools, because they love teaching in a faith-based atmosphere. They love working with the children to enable them to meet their individual highest academic capabilities. And they challenge their students to put what they learn into practice through interactive projects.

We offer a comprehensive education with multiple opportunities in athletics, art, drama, music and academic competitions. And our students go on to academic successes in high school that place them in a position for academic scholarships and success in college.

Catholic education – faith and values, discipline and determination, and a responsibility to oneself and others. We have it all.

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5/18/18 - By Kristine Porter