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How are independent schools grappling with the question of affordability? “We are in an experimental mode,” said NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields in a recent podcast with the Enrollment Management Association. “What will allow [schools] to secure sufficient resources to compensate faculty equitably and honor the commitment they make to school and students?” he asked. “The mission runs right through them.”
In a wide-ranging discussion with Peter Baron, EMA’s chief member relations officer, Shields noted that schools are doing everything from reconsidering class size to putting all families through the financial aid process to artificially restraining tuition. Make the last move with caution, Shields said. It’s “just as unsustainable as 10 percent tuition increases.”
Business officers can get more involved with admissions by helping to make the independent school business model more transparent, Shields explained. As with small liberal arts colleges, independent schools generally “don’t do a great job explaining finances.” Further understanding could help boost the value proposition for some families. Conveying net tuition can also help mitigate sticker shock.
Listen to the podcast with the Enrollment Management Association for further insights from Shields on independent school affordability, the next generation of business officers, challenges for small schools and more.
What Is “Affordability” for Independent Schools?
Which Price Is Right? Tuition Proves Its Elasticity Again
New Approaches to Indexed Tuition
The New Guard: Profiles of 12 New Independent School Leaders
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