Cost of Christian education: Tuition and the Christian Family’s Budget
Why do families consider Christian schooling?
As parents, we consciously provide the best nutrition possible for our children’s growing bodies, whose current and future health likely depends significantly upon the quality and example of our choices in nourishment. Similarly, the intellectual and spiritual health of young minds and souls depends significantly upon the quality of intellectual and spiritual nourishment we provide. Good schooling should include
- Both academic challenge and exercise of critical-thinking skills
- Patient, consistent cultivation of ethical and moral character and good decision-making
- An appropriate, inspiring “living curriculum” in the lives of their faculty
- The respect each child – unique in personality and blend of gifts, abilities and limitation – deserves as an “image-bearer” of God, maker of each.
For these reasons, and the face of subtle, complex pressures inherent in our culture, parents seek Christian schooling to help nurture a Biblical worldview in children.
Who sends their children to a Christian school?
The community of families which make up a healthy, visionary Christian school contains a surprising diversity, representing various education, socio-economic, and professional backgrounds, sharing a common awareness that their young children have but one opportunity to experience quality schooling. In spite of costs which might seem to be prohibitive to some parents, even single-parent families, families choosing single-income lifestyles, others with several children to educate, or those under economic stress (erratic employment, medical bills, etc.) can attend.
How do young parents pay the tuition for private Christian schooling?
Many parents simply assume that their budgets cannot afford tuition for quality Christian schooling. Sometimes, however, family or friends offer to help (i.e. grandparents or Godparents) with the cost. Occasionally, churches contribute a subsidy directly to a school for students from their congregations. Advance financial planning can even allow tuition to be paid with pre-tax dollars, reducing the impact upon a budget.
What if a family still cannot afford quality Christian schooling?
Some young families – those 1. with single-parenting, 2. with one income, 3. with several children to educate, or 4. in special circumstances of crisis – still need yet more assistance. While using gifts to their operating budgets to control tuition costs for all families, most Christian schools offer some other type of financial aid – usually in the form of multiple-child discounts, etc. – which offers a modest degree of help to limited budgets. Some families are, however, still excluded by the cost.
Increasingly, however, visionary schools in pursuit of further quality are recognizing that tuition assistance must be used not to keep schooling “affordable” but to make schooling “available.” These schools budget for and implement a college-type income-and-need-based tuition-assistance. Calculated by a third-party agency in a confidential process, it allows each family to pay what a family’s budget can afford. Thus Classical Christian Academy can offer its visionary program of classical, Christian schooling to its growing community.
How does offering tuition assistance to families benefit the school?
Every student and family in a Christian school benefits from tuition assistance provided to eligible families on a family-income, need-basis. How?
- Tuition-assistance at a Christian school enables students to attend whose families could not otherwise afford full tuition, bolstering a sense of shared Christian community and mission on behalf of covenant children.
- Instead of a community comprised primarily of financially “comfortable” or affluent families, a much broader socio-economic range of families – one more characteristic of a healthy congregation and of the Body of Christ – can receive quality schooling integrating faith and learning to establish a Biblical worldview through a curriculum both historically classical and Christ-centered.
- Tuition assistance enables children to occupy seats otherwise empty, adding what a family can pay, thus advancing a school financially, lowering the average costs per child, and extending the reach and influence of its Vision to families otherwise excluded from the school community.
- The concomitant increase in the pool of students allows a school to develop more rapidly its programming, both academic and co-curricular. Additional students and revenue bring more individualization for students as well as opportunities to discover and exercise their God-gifted abilities and talents.
If you would like to learn more about our distinctive classical and Christian curriculum or our college-type tuition-assistance program (1st-12th) for your children, please know your call to Classical Christian Academy (208.777.4400) will receive a warm welcome!