Tuition and Fees for the 2018-2019 Academic Year
Western Academy uses FACTS Grant and Aid Assessment to process financial aid requests. When you are ready to apply for tuition assistance, please use this FACTS link to login or create a new account, and proceed with the financial aid application.
- Financial aid applications are due by February 2, 2018.
- Admission to Western Academy is need blind.
- All financial aid is need-based and confidential.
- Upon applying for admission to Western Academy, you may apply for financial aid.
January 8, 2018
I am writing to inform you of a forthcoming shift in Western Academy's tuition levels over the next four years. At Western Academy, we care a great deal about each one of our families, and decisions that require a greater degree of commitment and sacrifice from you in regard to tuition are put to the highest levels of scrutiny and deliberation.
This decision is the result of a diligent study by Western Academy’s Board of Directors, Finance Committee, and Administrators. This shift will move Western from its current operating deficit of 31% down to 16% in the next four years, while maintaining the diversity of families able to enroll in the school. This has been an intensely difficult decision to make, but it is necessary to ensure our long-term stability.
The following tuition rate adjustment over the next four years will obtain this end:
Four-Year Tuition Rates
The three major factors driving the tuition adjustment are (1) the need to decrease our operational deficit while (2) fully staffing our school and (3) fairly compensating all faculty and staff.
For the first time in our young school's existence, Western Academy is at full capacity with 225 students and growing waitlists. This positions us to transition from a start-up school with initial seed money, to a sustainable institution, covering our annual operating expenses with tuition revenue, annual drive, special events, and foundation gifts. We are realistic about our achievable fundraising goals considering our community’s current economic state, and we are optimistic that with our fundraising strategies we can achieve this.
Our largest expense is the compensation of our faculty and staff. Eight short years ago, a small number of men taught the first classes of Western Academy in rooms painted by parents and garages with concrete floors. Most of these men agreed to teach with modest salaries and in multiple cases no salaries. While we know this level of dedication and sacrifice is necessary to begin any worthwhile enterprise, long-term dependence on such is unsustainable. Historically we have run a lean organization with salary and benefits below the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) averages. In 2016-17, our administration’s salaries trended around 25% below this average, while our entire organizational compensation and benefits trended average compared to ISAS. The ISAS detailed reports can be found at the following link: https://www.nais.org/statistics/pages/independent-schools-association-of-the-southwest
With these tuition rate increases we will be able to meet our staffing requirements and fairly compensate our educators, while continuing to run a cost-conscious operation.
As we approach the end of our second quarter of the fiscal year, our financial picture and cash flow is stable, and we are trending favorably per our 2017-18 Financial Plan. Now that we have a firm grasp of the operational expenses of a full student body and the requisite faculty and staff, this tuition plan will solidify our financial stability and ensure the continuation of this authentic, personal way of educating our sons.
It is also important to note, for the sake of transparency and understanding, that this year there were some one-time, unanticipated expenses relating to building code compliance. We were able to cover these costs with donations and debt financing. The tuition increase is unrelated to these costs. Future costs regarding building code compliance have been accounted for apart from the tuition increase.
We are confident that this tuition shift will secure the operational stability of Western while we look to solidify our campus for 225 students. A subsequent capital campaign will allow us to make necessary facility and financial improvements, including an auditorium/gym, security gate, land acquisition for our own sports field, debt retirement, and a cash reserve fund.
At Western Academy we will always strive to keep tuition as low as possible because we understand the burden tuition increases put on our families. For those who require financial assistance, we are still very committed to our strong financial aid program—our goal is that no one leaves Western Academy due to financial reasons. We are available to speak with you at any time about this.
This year’s State of the School Address will be dedicated to better understanding this tuition increase. We know that many questions will arise; therefore, we hope you will be able to join us on January 25 at 7:00 pm. Kindly RSVP here.
You, the families, are the reason our school exists. We have a beautiful reality in Western Academy. Our goal is simply to ensure it may continue now and for generations to come, so that our boys will become great men, capable of transforming the world because they are able to see what is true, do what is good, and love what is beautiful.
Jason Hebert Jeff Sattler
Headmaster Chairman of the Board of Directors