School Choice & Charters

School Bucks Tide With Tuition Freeze

November 06, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With the costs of attending many independent schools climbing sky-high, one Boston school has declared a year off from boosting tuition.

Early this year, the Roxbury Latin School said it would freeze tuition at $17,900 for the 2007-08 academic year.

Kerry P. Brennan, the school’s headmaster, said that even though this figure is less than what many independent schools in the area charge, he worries that the cost was getting too much for middle-class families.

“It’s still a daunting figure,” he said. “And sometimes people who would benefit from our school and contribute to it are simply ignoring us,” because they think the price is so high.

He said the tuition freeze may well have spurred greater generosity from donors: Annual giving rose 35 percent, to $2.3 million in the fiscal year ending last summer. For the first time, all families of current students gave to the annual fund drive. Alumni also stepped up giving. “I think the alumni saw us keeping faith with the school they love,” Mr. Brennan said.

Across New England, the median tuition at independent schools is $21,268 at the 8th grade and $25,300 at the 12th grade, says the Washington-based National Association of Independent Schools. Roxbury Latin serves grades 7-12.

For independent schools nationally, tuition costs between January 2002 and June 2007 rose by about 12 percent at the 8th and 12th grades in inflation-adjusted dollars, the NAIS says. Nearly 20 percent of independent school students get need-based aid.

Mr. Brennan said a key reason his school has kept tuition down is that “it’s always been a school that relied on financial discipline. We’re not a fancy school by any means.”

Still, Mr. Brennan said that the school, founded in 1645, places a priority on paying teachers well. The median salary is $100,000. The school has a large endowment, $140 million, which helped in being able to freeze tuition.

Myra A. McGovern, a spokeswoman for the NAIS, said many schools have struggled with how to keep their schools affordable for a broad spectrum of families.

“Sustainable financing is really a major issue for independent schools, and schools are looking at the issue from a variety of different angles,” she said.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Massachusetts. See data on Massachusetts’ public school system.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 07, 2007 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson,
4 min read
Student with backpack.