Where does your tuition money go?


Samantha Salamone

Many students have expressed curiosity about how their tuition dollars are spent. According to Head of Schools Christian Sullivan, about 76% of tuition goes toward teacher salaries, while the other 24% goes toward study material and the upkeep of the building.

The budget comprises 87% tuition, and the other 13% comes from other revenue sources, such as Annie Wright’s endowment – approximately $25 million saved over the last 134 years from which 4% is drawn each year – philanthropy, and other revenue sources, such as the summer program, and the program in China.

No tuition went towards the new construction around campus, which was funded by raised money and a loan from the bank. According to Sullivan, “When the bank looked at the proposition of us borrowing this money, they looked at our future revenue and could see that because our enrollment will grow, we’re going to be able to pay the loan off.”

Tuition is collected as a whole; it is not divided by division. The Upper Schools, however, are more expensive than the Lower and Middle Schools for reasons that include athletics, boarding, and the general cost of education as a private school.

Many people have raised the question as to why there was an increase in tuition across the divisions. Sullivan stated that this tuition increase, the most significant during his tenure, was driven by the determination to increase faculty salaries; it succeeded.

As for financial aid, 14.5% of gross tuition revenue goes towards financial aid, to, according to Sullivan “support kids that can’t otherwise afford the school.”

Although the increase seems to some excessive, Sullivan expressed that all the money is needed. “This is a really tough thing for parents to hear, but the tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of the education,” he said. “I think your tuition next year for the Upper School is $28,000. Believe it or not, it costs us more to educate you than that, and that’s covered by the endowment, the philanthropy, and the additional revenue streams.”