Inspired by the conviction that our mission begins and ends with the child, Pilot School’s trustees are committed to increasing the school’s tuition aid so that a family whose child requires Pilot’s curriculum can receive the educational value the school offers.
Pilot School’s mission is to provide therapeutic intervention to children with normal intellectual potential who are experiencing language-based learning problems regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Parents do not elect to send their child to Pilot because they can afford to pay tuition costs. Rather, these parents are compelled to consider Pilot because of their child’s learning challenges. While any family may apply for tuition assistance, grants are based on need and determined on a case-by-case basis.
The actual cost to educate each child this school year is $40,000. However, because tuition is $31,100, in effect all students attending Pilot receive tuition assistance. This significant cost differential is made up by contributions to the Annual Fund and interest income from the school’s modest endowment.
But in addition to these annual commitments of revenue, Pilot also typically receives more than $1,400,000 in qualified tuition aid requests. Approximately $1,000,000 in tuition aid grants were awarded this year to 50 families – a third of Pilot’s population. Yet even with this $1,000,000 commitment, there are other unfortunate outcomes from the school’s inability to offer the necessary level of tuition assistance.
1. Particularly when tuition must be increased, even minimally, parents withdraw their child from Pilot, i.e., they simply can’t afford the increased debt.
2. From conversations with potential applicants, administrators are cognizant that some interested parents never even apply.
3. The Board is forced every year to make difficult choices between the need to increase tuition aid or to budget for other critical aspects of Pilot’s program such as raises for the faculty to stay competitive within this highly specialized field or critically needed equipment in science labs or physical therapy rooms.
To augment funds available for tuition aid while relieving the pressure on the school’s budget, significantly increased revenue is being sought to make Pilot School a fresh start for more deserving families whose child needs help.