Is School Fundraising Replacing Tuition Hikes? That’s a question that’s being asked more and more.

We have heard from lots of parents lately who tell us that their schools are requiring more and more school fundraisers rather than raise tuition. They complain has been that this practice is really a stealth way of raising tuition without calling for increased tuition rates. We can understand why some schools have chosen to do this but there might be a greater lose of good faith than a loss of revenue.

Consider this story that we found in The Beacon. It discusses how one school approached this dilemna. You judge whether this was a good strategy or not:

Early this year, the parents of St. Boniface school children received a letter from Erin Karl, President of the St. Boniface School Advisory Council. Thanks to a 10 percent increase in enrollment for the 2011-12 school year, the school has managed to find the finances to keep going. That appears to be in jeopardy for the 2012-13 school year…

…According to Karl and the School Advisory Council, they need to acquire $100,000 to fund the school next year. Each family who has a student at St. Boniface has been asked to raise $3,500.

Sandy Heschel said her jaw dropped when she saw that number. “What am I going to do?” she asked. “I picked myself up off the ground and decided to do whatever it may take to make this happen.” Parents have been encouraged to contact relatives, neighbors, friends, employers, co-workers, local and area businesses and St. Boniface alumni. Karl emphasizes that all donations are tax deductable and will be earmarked and returned to the donor should the funds not be used for school operations.

Now we do not know how much annual tuition is at St. Boniface. Based on the $3,500 per student shortfall we can only assume it is not inexpensive. Regardless. You can sense the reaction that we would surmise was more common than not. The parents are shocked. They feel misled.

So Is School Fundraising Replacing Tuition Hikes? The answer, unfortunately, is yes for many parents. Many of those parents would prefer the school simply tell the parents what the tuition cost needs to be for their child to attend and stop using fundraising ideas for tuition replacements.

Most parents understand cookie dough fundraisers or candy fundraisers to fund the extra needs but most parents do not want to pay high tuition and then supplement tuition costs with unexpected fundraisers.

Posted on 13 February 2012

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