Financial Transparency- Where your Tuition Goes
When you send your child to St Joseph Notre Dame High School, you’re making an investment. You’re trusting us to give each student the tools they need to succeed in life including: social-emotional development, spiritual growth, and, of course, academic excellence.
As we head into an academic year that will look very different from years past, there is a lot of uncertainty. Our commitment to each of our students remains the same. Yes, our teaching style and the ways we interact are changing, but our mission to develop confident, open-minded, and effective leaders who are ready to live joyful lives of faith, scholarship, and service is more important now than ever.
Where does your tuition go?
SJND is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, meaning that all of our assets are dedicated to a charitable purpose and as such we are required to spend all revenue for specifically-intended purposes. When we say our mission is education, not profit, we mean it - 62% of our students receive financial aid. In fact, if we were to rely solely on net tuition to cover our expenses we would be operating at a deficit every year.
Put another way: net tuition does not fully cover our operating cost.
Our largest expense each year is salaries and benefits. In 2020/21 it accounts for almost 70% of our operating budget. Due to the financial effects of Covid-19, we made several staffing changes in order to decrease our operating expenses the best we could.
While we have seen a decrease in expenses in some areas, we have unforeseen costs in others. In fact, we estimate our Covid-19 related net operating expenses to be at least $400,000 for the upcoming year. This includes sanitation measures and equipment, technology, additional personnel, and loss of income.
Our annual gross tuition per student is $19,660, however since we are providing a significant amount of mission-driven financial assistance our net tuition revenue is lower. Put simply, it costs $19,656 to educate a child at SJND, but that is not how much tuition we bring in per student.
Every year there is a tuition gap between the net tuition collected and the actual cost to educate a child. Our goal is to make the highest quality college preparatory education as accessible as possible. This year we project that the tuition gap between net tuition received and actual cost is $5708 per student or a 29% shortfall. This is the highest it has been in recent years.
Bridging the Tuition Gap
Without the support of our community, we simply would not be able to offer the level of education at the price we currently do. Every year we rely on donations to bridge the gap between our net tuition costs and actual costs.
This year we applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loan to help fund our payroll and utilities. While the PPP loan is much needed to pay for part of our operating expenses, it still does not fully cover the gap. That is why we will still be hosting virtual fundraising initiatives (like the Dream Flight Gala) and why we are unable to lower our tuition for the 20/21 academic year.
A lot of things are uncertain right now. We didn’t want our financial situation to be one of those things. Hopefully this financial transparency helps explain where every tuition dollar goes.