Do you think catholic education is overpriced?

Well, I go to a combined junior senior high… I am currently in 8th grade in the junior high and my tuition is 5,000 dollars not including lunch money, book fees ect. For the highschool it is about 10,500 dollars. Is this a cheap, average, or high price for a quality catholic education??

  Thanks in advance,
                   Trey C. :)

When considering the average family income, it is way overpriced. It reflects a major failure of the Church in our country. The Church commands us to send our children to schools which provide a Catholic education. The corollary is that the Church has to provide these schools to us (otherwise how can we ever follow the command).

Now, make no mistake about it, those prices certainly reflect less than the cost of a Catholic education (I have financial management for a Catholic school, so I know this). However, the Church has to find a way to provide affordable, good Catholic schools to all Catholic families. This entails a lot of things, but first among them should be to educate all Catholics on the importance of a Catholic education and how it is the entire Church’s responsibility to provide that education.

I think that it’s realistic. I mean, the Catholic schools get no public support, so the tuition and all has to cover all the expenses. College is the same way. There will be tuition, books and fees. While it takes a big bite out of the family budget, and many families can’t afford it, keep trying to do your best with what you have.

When I was a kid, St. Mary’s was free for grades one through eight. Lake Catholic HS cost no more than $500 per year in the early 1970s. What a change! Pope Paul VI (Fairfax, VA) is $12,310 for the first student. St. Andrew the Apostle (Clifton, VA) tuition is $5,420 for the first student. The rates I posted are based on Catholic students only.

The issue is how much is tuition and how much is the “all” (ie other means of revenue).

I will say from experience, that when a school (and then a diocese) gets really serious about providing a education for anyone based on their ability to pay, it can be done. I know of a family with 5 kids in our school who have less than 40K income/year. We had a pastor who decided several years ago that the school was available to anyone, and we figured out how to make it happen. And then the Diocese stepped in and started providing a large chunk (although under 1/2) of the funding for the financial aid and it has gotten easier.

High tuition is an obstacle to enrollment. Catholic parishioners need to see Catholic education as an investment worth much more than they will ever know. Many parishes could have a tuition free elementary school if parishioners would give 10.00 more per week. Not a lot really.

Perhaps, but I just interviewed for a teaching position at a local Catholic Elementary School. The starting salary there for teachers is only $19,000. You have to keep in mind that they do not receive government funds of any sort. They are dependent upon donations and tuition/fees from students.

Your $10/week number is a little low, but not by that much. We have around 1200 families a week attending Sunday mass, so that would be around 12000*52=624K. That would go a long ways towards subsidizing tuition enough to make education affordable to all (but not tuition free).

Nevertheless, you have made my point. The problem is solvable, if the Church provided the leadership and formation to make it happen. I will say it bluntly again, it is a failure of the Church in our country.

I will say this, I think some pastors and Bishops are starting to get it, at the parish level. Catholic high schools? The problem does not even appear to be on their radar screens.

I read that tithing is low to non-existent in America. Could there be a connection?

Not enough information. My kids are in a high school where the tuition is almost $12,000. I have seen some of the financials, the actual cost to provide that education is about $1500 per child more than that. The difference is made up with fundraisers and some donations.

We are a fairly new school so we don’t yet have an alumni network to solicit.

We are not attached or affiliated with a parish, so all of the above comments about the parishioners and pastor making more affordable education happen, don’t apply.

Even given all that, there is a significant number of students who receive finanicial aid either from the school or the diocese. The diocse does not directly provide support to the school but there are some shared resource.

According to our representatives, the average cost to educate a student in the public school is about $10K accross all grades. The average cost for Catholic school students accross all grades is much less.

It feels too expensive because we are already paying for the public schools with our taxes. But in terms of expense per student, it is not too expensive.

So, you want me to pay taxes to send the public school kids to school, and you want me to donate money to the Church to send the Church kids to school?

Would you like me fund yet a third option as well, if the other two don’t work out?

I’ve made the decision not to send my kids to Catholic school. Why would I send other people’s kids to Catholic school?

I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I don’t get this idea at all.

I also hear that there simply aren’t enough priests and nuns to teach in Catholic schools, religious to be supported by their orders of the church. Instead, the schools have to hire laity, which jacks up the price.

The tuition at our parish is approx. $5000 a year as well. Only about 1/5 of the families of the parish are able to afford to go to school. Most families are faced with the choice of larger family size or Catholic education. Meaning, in order to afford the school, they have one or two kids. Larger families cannot make it work, so they must use public school or homeschool. One additional problem…the school is more like a prep school with a weekly Mass and an RE component. But their entire curriculum is identical to either public or prep school. It has lost its Catholic identity. So we ended up paying a premium for a Not-so-Catholic education. Just one of the many reasons were are returning to homeschooling. :frowning:

I haven’t seen a priest or nun teach at a parish school in 20+ years.

OP - that sounds typical. My kids are in elementary school and tuition is $5,200 a year for the first child and $4,680 for subsequent children. This does not include uniforms, books, supplies and other expenses (field trip fees, yearbooks, lunches, etc.). The goes up about 15% in Jr. High.

Our facility is small and has always only supported one class per grade. If school were free, the student population would explode and we’d need a new campus. Or there would be one hell of a wait list. I think tuition keeps the families reduced mainly to those who really value a Catholic education, and not “barely practicing” Catholics who just want to use the private school. We have such a lovely community of faithful families. And we aren’t a wealthy school. Many families do get aid through CEF or work off some of their tuition on campus.

It’s such a wonderful school, all the teachers have a min. Of a Master’s degree, and it is so very Catholic. Even when times are super lean, tuition is just a priority.

Yes, but I don’t blame the schools. The drop in vocations means that Religious Sisters don’t teach anymore (basically for free) and lay teachers have to be paid a living wage (even if just barely), and since Catholics are horrible about tithing, parishes can’t subsidize the schools like they used to.

In Christ,

Well, I’ve made the choice not to send my kids to public school, but I still have to pay for that. I think it’s called loving your neighbor.

In Christ,

You have a point…except for the fact that everyone who sends their kids to Catholic school still pays for your kids to go to public school.

That isn’t a choice for us at all. We pay for both…private for our kids and public for everyone else’s kids.

Considering it would cost $9,000 to send our kid to kindergarten absolutely. The high schools are $14,000. I live in a major city, and the prices are the same at every Catholic School.

Surprisingly that is still cheaper than any other private school here. The non-Catholic ones are usually $5,000 or so more a year.

Because of the cost we homeschool.

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And not only do we pay tuition AND taxes, but we also put a heck of a lot more than $10 a week in the collection basket at Mass. Since when is tithing only for people with kids in school?

In Christ,

Then take this into consideration also, how many of these children/teens are even Catholic or even care about Christ let alone religion in general ? When most parents just want their child to be in a safe environment where there is no gang violence and major drug use, only to find that there might not be gang violence but the drug use an sex is probably just as much as in public schools.

So perhaps people are paying for two things, the ability to learn about the Catholic faith which can not be done in public schools, celebrate mass for those few who are actually Catholic, an probably the biggest part, safety, they do not want their children in a violent school.

There are plenty of support options for those who need financial assitance you just have to know where to look, or at the very least start asking.

Could the cost be better, yes, but until teachers in these private Catholic schools, want to volunteer instead of being paid, then prices will remain if not grow, as long as taxes and bills to keep the ac , electricity, an water running keep going up then there is another reason for prices.

It is all relative.

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