Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Private Roanoke School To Lower Tuition More than Half

Kids gather in the lobby before school to talk.
My favorite little Roanoke high school, Community High School of Arts and Academics, is once again jumping ahead of the competition and setting a standard based on what Academic Director Josh Chapman calls a "moral imperative."

CHS exterior.
CHS' tuition for the 2013-2014 academic school year will drop by more than half from $10,200 to $5,000, making it affordable by the majority of middle income families. This is a high-end education that compares favorably with that of North Cross School, whose costs will be nearly triple those of CHS.

Community has traditionally gone after good students whose families were not rich. "We've never turned down anybody because they couldn't afford tuition," says co-founder Linda Thornton. That base will broaden even more now. Community is able to drop tuition because its financial underpinning is stable, says Chapman. “We are doing this because we can do so without fear of fiscal instability and because we feel that it is a moral imperative to make progressive college preparatory education available to as many people in the valley as possible.”

American college and university tuition increases have been radically outpacing general inflation for many decades and private secondary education costs have been progressing at a similar rate.  A liberal arts education that was within the means of most American families at mid-century is no longer.

Let me strongly recommend that you talk to CHS if you have a high school age kid who's interested in school. The kids who don't fit other places, fit nicely at CHS and they thrive. I've seen it up close and personal and I love what these lovely people do with education.

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