Tuition Guarantee Program
We are listening to our families and continuing to work hard to identify ways to make the educational experience affordable. This new program offers our families the opportunity to lock in a guaranteed tuition rate during the years their student(s) are in a particular division (Early Childhood, Lower School or Middle School).
Several U.S. colleges and universities have adopted this innovative business model to help their students, and their families, with the rising costs of education. Committing to Good Shepherd through a Divisional Contract is not only a financial benefit to your family, it is also a commitment to the consistency and effectiveness of a Good Shepherd education. The alignment of learning across grades within a division, and across divisions, is key to a student's overall educational experience.
- What is the difference between a Divisional Contract and the traditional Annual Contract?
- How does the Tuition Guarantee Program work?
- What are the benefits of the Tuition Guarantee Program, and how much money will this save me?
- How do I qualify for a Divisional Contract?
- What happens if a student leaves Good Shepherd, only to return later?
- What happens if I have a job loss during the term of the contract?
- Would my family still be eligible for tuition assistance if we choose a Divisional Contract?
- What if I chose to leave Good Shepherd and don’t qualify for release for extenuating circumstances?
- How can Good Shepherd offer this program without a sacrifice to its cash flow, educational excellence, quality faculty and staff, and current or new, innovative programming?
- Why can’t Good Shepherd lock in tuition for a student for his or her entire ten-year experience?
Traditional Annual Contract is the historical contract agreement we have had with our families. It is a one-year, binding contract with the parents and their student for a single school year.
Divisional Contract is a new, optional contract agreement families will be able to choose beginning in the 2018-2019 re-enrollment season. A Divisional Contract is a multi-year agreement in which parents enroll their student for the duration of the student's grade level division and Good Shepherd agrees to honor the tuition cost at the time of signing for the duration of the contract.
Families may choose to opt in to a Divisional Contract (and, therefore, a set tuition rate), rather than the traditional Annual Contract, which will remain in effect for the years the student is in the division. When the student is promoted into the next division, our families will have the choice to opt in to a new Divisional Contract for those upcoming years in that next division or choose a traditional Annual Contract. Tuition may be paid annually or throughout the year, in the same way our annual contracts are paid.
Early Childhood Division: PreK, Kindergarten, and the option of Primer (potentially a three-year term)
Lower School Division: First-Fourth grades (four-year term)
Middle School Division: Fifth-Eighth (four-year term)
A family will know the total tuition cost for the years their student(s) stay(s) in the division. For a student enrolled in the program from PreK through 8th grade, the cost savings for that family is estimated to be just shy of $25,000 per student. For families with more than one student, the savings can be significant.
For a family to qualify for a Divisional Contract, they must be planning to stay at Good Shepherd for the entire division term. If a family expects to apply out each year, they will need to choose a traditional Annual Contract. If a family applies out in a year they have selected a Divisional Contract, the contract will automatically convert to an Annual Contract for the entirety of the term at the higher tuition rate, and additional charges could apply.
Students who leave Good Shepherd for extenuating circumstances, and then return, would have the option to continue to pay the same tuition rate upon their return to Good Shepherd if they return within the same division. If they return and the student is enrolled in a new division, then new tuition rates would apply. Extenuating circumstances would include: 1) a move outside a 35-mile radius of the school; 2) identified learning differences the school has determined are unsupportable; 3) severe medical condition of the student that prevents attendance; 4) death of a parent or the student.
Choosing a Divisional Contract will not impact a family's eligibility for tuition assistance. The Tuition Assistance program will continue to be an annual evaluation of a family’s represented need for the upcoming school year. As such, you will continue to apply for assistance each year, and awards will be determined, and tuition adjusted annually, based on the school year and the amount awarded.
Our efforts in evaluating this new Divisional Contract option has been focused on ensuring this is a sustainable model for the school both now, and into the foreseeable future. We completed conservative-financial modeling scenarios that look forward, years into the future, to ensure we will be able to continue the quality, growth, and innovation you have come to expect. Rest assured, there was never a scenario that included increasing class sizes or current optimal enrollment levels. These models included anticipated salary and benefit increases, possible new programming, and other factors critical to a healthy school.
As noted above, our tuition model must be a sustainable model for the school to ensure the excellence that you have come to expect. Because we must attract and retain quality faculty and staff, a lock-in tuition rate across an entire ten-year timeframe isn’t a sustainable option for us. Our families’ tuition dollars make up as much as 93% of our entire annual revenue budget. Salaries and the corresponding benefits make up as much as 75% of our operating costs each year. Increasing costs for these line items, alone, prevent us from making this a feasible option at this time.