Catholic School Tuition


In the thread about whether it was sinful not to send a child to the local parish school one poster said that tuition was $15,000 per year in Florida.

Why is the catholic tuition so much higher in Florida than the average catholicschool tuition by such a magnitude?

Also, one would think that fundraising, tuition assistance and endowments would offset at least some of the associated overhead, keeping tuition costs down.

Here is a link to catholic school tuition costs:

Average Tuition and Per Pupil Costs

Mean parish school tuition: $2,607. Per Pupil cost: $4,268.[/LEFT]

Mean freshman tuition: $6,906. Per pupil cost: $8,743.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]Based on the average public school per pupil cost of $8,310, Catholic schools provide a 19.3 billion dollars a year savings for the nation.[/LEFT]

Student Ethnicity
The percentage of minorities in Catholic schools has more than doubled in the past 30 years. In 1970, minorities accounted for 10.8% of the Catholic school population, in 1980 it had increased to 19.4% and in 2007 it is at 25.7%. Minority enrollment patterns are: Hispanic, 11.0 %; African American, 6.7%; Asian American, 3.9%; Multiracial, 2.8%.


From this data:

More than 25% [1 in 4 students] is a minority, which seems to be a good thing :slight_smile:

The average elementary [k-8] tuition is $2,607 with the actual cost being $4268 so the subsidy to the parent is $1,661 coming from fundraising, endowments, scholarships, parish subsidy from the Sunday collections, etc [roughly 1/3] …

The average secondary [high school] tuition is $6,906 with the actual cost per pupil $8,743 for a subsidy of $1,837

There is a huge difference between $15,000 and $4,268 or $8,743 even if the latter is an average …

This data does illustrate that parishioners have and do support the catholic school system [at least in the past; noting that those pareishioners from the past paid to build the existing schools, set up the endowments and scholarship funds, etc.

Now I realize that there was less wages for teachers when there were more nuns and religious working in the schools and fewer lay persons but one has to take into the ealier costs the initial building of these schools [my parish began building the present school building in the 1940’s - two classrooms at a time. While the teachers were nuns, the tuition costs [less than todays] plus building funds makes the total costs per student more in line with today …

So was there just greater support for the local parish schools then? Were parents just more willing to sacrifice in order to provide the parochial school for their children?

I was not a catholic then and never attended a private school. My grandson goes to our local parish school … it is a wonderful place, providing a top notch educational experience in a christian environement :thumbsup: . I am happy to support fundraisors and we thank God daily for the endowment and other resources…as that assistance ake possile his education.


so where is the link to tuition cost in Fla?

DD pays almost 15G for 4 children in Catholic school in OH, and that will jump next year when the oldest startes HS.


For our Catholic High School… tuition is $8,030 per year for affiliated students and $10,340 for non-affiliated students. The K-8 tuition isn’t much less, really - I think it’s between $5-6K/yr per child. Considering we have four children, one of whom is in High School, we can’t afford to send our children to Catholic school here. I’d love to, but the tuition is just too expensive. :frowning:

(I’m in FL, btw.)


I pay $3600 per year for 2 children in a certain Chicago suburb. There is one family fee per year of $50 for books and supplies. Ihave to pay $125 for drawdown tickets, or sell them. I have to pay $125 for chocolate bars, or sell them. I don’t count lunch in the tally because either way, the girls would need lunch. I don’t count uniforms, because if I sent them to public school, they would actually need more clothes, better quality, and more cost. So, $3900 a year.

These are the rates I found in the Diocese of Tampa without revealing school names, where a tution rate was listed (I have the links if you want to check for yourself):
Tampa, Stewardship parish, no tuition per say, contributions expected at a certain rate, sales and ACH participation mandatory.
Brandon, $150 registration, $50 background check, $4220 for first parish child, $7340 for 2 parish children, $9850 three parish children, $12320 four parish children, $14,550 for five children or more. Diocese has funds in place to assist families with tuition, up to $10,000 per family.
Spring Hill, parish has strong homeschooling group with assistance for those who choose to do so.
Clearwater, high school, $8665 for one “affiliated” student, up to $24,261 for three or more “affiliated” students. $625 registration, which includes EVERYTHING. $350 for junior and senior year in International Baccalaureate, senior grad fee $225.

And in Pensacola-Tallahassee:
Pensacola, high school, $4668 for one student, up to $12,996 for three or more students. Laptop lease of $39 per month. $75 registration. $20 PTA. Financial aid available and encouraged.
Pensacola, $75 registration, $100 after a certain date. $3700 for one child, with $800 subtraction for parish child, making it $2900. Two or more children, with parish grant and diocese grant, $4850. Three children with grants, $6500. Four or more children, $7850.
Panama City, parishoner rate, one child $3710, two children $6148, three children $7950, four or more children $9220. Grants and aid available AFTER children start school.

Archdiocese of Miami (no direct links, so it took me some time- one of the worstdiocse sites I’ve ever used):
I found ONE elementary school willing to tell on its web site how much per year. I did find out that Archdiocese of Miami schools take no federal money whatsoever. I found out most elementary schools SEEM to be sliding scale. I found ONE school in Miami with tuition rates clearly posted. They wanted $4900 for one child at the parishioner rate, $8600 for two, $11,500 for three, and $15,000 for four or more. They also assess a buildings improvement charge of $1500 this year per family.


We pay $3,000 for tuition ($100 off for additional students)
$100 curriculum fee, plus uniforms, fundraisers, etc
they are working on raising the subsidy for having more than 1 child. That’s my sole reason for being on the PTA.
We also have a diocessian education assistance fund that is needs based.

We pay about the average for this area. High school is another matter. 8-10k plus fees. I’m not very impressed with the Catholic high schools. They seem to be Catholic in name only, unfortunately.


I was the one who commented on the $15k–which was a rough estimate.

For the poster talking about Tampa Bay–if you exceed a certain income, which my dh and I do, financial assistance is not that forthcoming.

Three Catholic high schools in Tampa Bay area:

Academy of Holy Names-- $13,660 per year/per student–and this is ONLY tuition, not uniforms, and extras…There are discounts for sending more than one child, but my son is the only one in high school, as of now.

Jesuit Academy and Tampa Catholic are up there as well–and again, offer financial assistance if you are eligible.

I researched sending our kids to Catholic school, before our move to Florida–and these were some of the findings. Elem and middle were more feasible, but not remotely close to where we live. We reside 15 miles north of Tampa–and with traffic, etc…it might take 2 hours one way, to transport to one of these schools. It’s definitely more expensive here in Florida for private schools in general–not just Catholic. I have a few friends who send their kids to private ‘Christian’ schools, and wow…the tuition is over $15k in some cases. So, it’s not a Catholic thing here in Florida, it’s a privatization thing.


I say it every time we have this discussion, the answer is tithing. Tithing parishes typically are able to provide Catholic education full or generous subsidy for every parishioner who wants it. the future of the Church depends on good Catholic schools and well educated Catholics. failure to ensure the quality of the schools, and to tithe to support them is IMO one of the most grievous pastoral failures in today’s Church in America.


AMEN! Our parish back in PA–had a separate tithing program for their school that was adjactent to the parish. They were hurting also, but…it seemed to help keep the school thriving without exceedingly high tuition rates. Good point annie!


We’re in Florida… suburbs of Orlando…
We’ve registered our 5 year old at our Parish for Kindergarten for the fall… but we’re still torn as to whether or not we can afford it…

The fees are… (K-8 school)
Tuition rates for the 2008-2009 school year are as follows:

Catholic Rate: $5,650
General Community Rate: $6,700

If I weren’t pregnant it would be a no-brainer… but I’m due in July…
So our choices are to either pay for 3 (2 in daycare, 1 in Kindergarten), or to go to public school…

Tough choice for us.


Annie, I almost always agree with you, but not this time.

I think the future of the Church does, indeed, depend on well educated Catholics, but Catholic school is not the way to do that.

Religious schooling of Catholics stops at elementary school for most. Unless one goes to Catholic high school or joins the youth group or CYO, one’s view of the faith is that of a sixth grader.

Adult education, starting for people in their twenties, is how to produce well-educated Catholics. These are the people that don’t understand why the Church teaches what it teaches. These are the people that are making decisions that their faith should have an impact on, but, with their religious education stopping at sixth grade, they aren’t well equipped.

I’m not talking about short series of talks about specific subjects that are attended by the same 20 people every time (who are also the volunteers, the catechists, etc). I mean education from the pulpit. Education in the bulletin. Dare I say it - Sunday school for adults.


good points also.
I will add to that, that it’s not just a parenting issue. There are less priests and nuns teachig these days, and thus, lay teachers who get paid higher salaries, are needed to teach, thus driving up the tuition rates. I agree with Paul in the respect that there does need to be better education for adults–not googling it up on the internet on our own–but the RCC could do a better job teaching things straight from the pulpit every week, as well. I never hear about NFP, birth control, abortion, etc during the homily. It’s all very light, which is good, but so many Catholics don’t know what the CCC teaches, and I think that the Church needs to take some responsibility in getting things right again in that regard. It takes a partnership, in other words.




you have actually supported my point to a degree. Catholic education is the duty of parents up to the age of majority and does not stop in middle school or after sacramental initiation. It is moreover the mission of the parish and local Church to support the parents in this essential work. Evangelization and catechesis are as integral to the mission of the Church as is the sacraments and liturgy, and is indeed lifelong learning and formation.

Habits of learning and formation are learned in childhood, and much more difficult to attain as adults if not introduced and nurtured throughout childhood. and solid orthodox Catholic school is the incubator for that nurture.


Regarding tithing and parish subsidies . . .

Not all Catholic schools are parish schools. Here in Baltimore, most of the high schools are run by orders.

The preK - 8 school where I will soon be teaching is also run by an order.


Assuming rates don’t change in the next 2 years, we will be paying $4,000 for 2 kids in elementary school. Not too bad considering the “life skills” that they learn there as compared to public schools.

We haven’t thought much about High School yet. That’s 8 years away.


For some reason our pastor wants our K-8 school to be “financially independent”… (he was in Finance before becoming a Priest… went to the London School of Economics, if that means anything)… :rolleyes:

We have no nuns as teachers… the few nuns that are at our parish work in other areas of parish life… not associated AT ALL with the school.

And our parish is relatively wealthy (probably one of the most wealthy in the diocese)… which doesn’t help when you compare the “average” parishioner to working schleps like me! There are so many families at the school who can send a family of 3 or 4 kids and STILL have the mom stay home…
I wish!.. because I really do love the school! The principal talks exclusively about having Christ integrated into the classroom at EVERY level. I would LOVE to send my kids there just for the “Catholic” exposure…

But we aren’t wealthy.


I completely agree with you Paul on this issue. Have you read Steve Kellmeyer’s book on this topic? It’s called Catholic Education in America: Designed to Fail

His main thesis is that Jesus cathecized adults, not children. It’s adults who will pass on the faith to their children. Not vice versa. By focusing on the children through a parish school, the parish loses it’s abilitity to reach out to adults, and the parish schools are an enormous drain on the finances of the parish, especially if the number of children attending the school represents a small minority of the parish population.

Our parochial schools in Northern NJ are struggling. There just isn’t the demand for them that there once was and the public schools are considered very good if not excellent. We also pay extremely high property taxes which make Catholic school not an option for your average middle and upper income family, who will have to pay thousands of dollars in tuition on top of property taxes which fund the public school. People tend to vote with their pocket books.


hi eliza:) where in jersey are you? i grew up in bergen county.

excellent post – good points.


parish tithing also can provide subsidies for tuition at regional schools and high schools, in a sort of voucher system.

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