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Results tagged “boarding school scholarships” from Boarding School Blog - onBoarding Schools

carpe-diem.jpgIn a piece for SmartMoney (The Private School Pinch), Neil Parmer makes the case for the current private school admission cycle as a buyers opportunity. He doesn't sugar coat the costs but he makes the case for- and provides ideas and examples- of the negotiating and buying opportunities available to parents.

Boarding and private schools need to fill their seats and beds and are open to all sorts of considerations, strategies and questions from parents regarding tuition- ideas and discussions that schools wouldn't have entertained just a year ago.

Schools are doing their parts trimming and containing costs and tuition and they are willing to work with parents under the same pressures.

"...But look around the country these days and you'll see that admissions math is in flux...

Recession specials have also been cropping up at schools around the country, with tuition discounts reported as high as 20 percent...

And while you won't see "bartering" listed in any of its official financial-aid literature, the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., has allowed a couple of folks to do just that. According to the school's head, Ann Pollina, several parents at the all-girls college prep have traded their professional services -- as technology and business-efficiency consultants -- for a little tuition relief...

In the past, of course, it's been the parents who have had to go to great lengths to get their children into the more elite schools. But since the economy went south, the game has changed; now it's the schools that are having to hustle -- and maybe even lower their standards. Instead of waiting for the applications to roll in, more are forced to actively beat the bushes, consultants say, to fill spots that have opened midyear. Even in the most competitive markets, there's talk of more "brokering" going on..." (SmartMoney)

If you're considering boarding or private school for student, an opportunity may be at hand.

Photo credit: Randy OHC

Diana Costello has written a snapshot of the school and family sides of the private school admission process in the lower Hudson River Valley for the Journal News and ("Parents still paying up for private schools").

She chronicles the thinking and decisions of families as administrators work to keep their schools full and parents cut and sacrifice to afford an opportunity they believe important.

"The Geber family of Nyack, for instance, is shelling out $55,000 a year to send two children to the Rockland Country Day School, where both have been students since kindergarten. One is in eighth grade, the other is a senior who has been accepted to Columbia University.

"It's like buying a Mercedes E-Class once a year and then driving it off a cliff," said David Geber, 58, a member of the board of trustees at Rockland Country Day who is also the dean of faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. He wasn't the only one to make that joke.

But, he quickly adds, he can't think of a better investment.

"If we don't spend our money on our children, what are we going to spend it on?" he said. "We do not drive fancy cars, do not go on vacations, we just make things meet." (

There's an unstated idea in this piece that strikes me- that few people seem to be acknowledging- schools and families seem to be making very resourceful efforts to meet each other in the middle regarding tuition and costs. I think there's still a way to go in terms of school lowering costs, but the opportunities and willingness to make changes and adjustments seem to be taking hold.

Walter Johnson, headmaster of The Hackley School in Tarrytown told the Journal News:

"People have made philosophical decisions to keep their kids in public schools, but if you have the sense that that decision is becoming more challenging because of the economic struggles your schools are facing, that's when you may start to consider something different." (

Photo credit: s_jelan

Jim Wickenden, principal of his eponymous firm, Wickenden Associates called out school heads in the name of shared sacrifice in his blog post titled "Setting an Example." Citing school cost cutting efforts, Jim notes the symbolic importance of school heads sharing in communal sacrifice and the message that a school heads public sacrifice would send.

"...And speaking of symbolism, I think this is a great time for independent school leaders to consider making a personal sacrifice as well. If, for example, the Head of School were to publicly reduce his or her own salary by an amount sufficient to fund one child's attendance or to save a position or program that would otherwise be on the chopping block, that would send a powerful message indeed. Furthermore, it would give the school's leadership more credibility when communicating with the school family about the "hard decisions" that have to be made."

Jim's argument echoes calls regarding shared sacrifice that we've written and highlighted:

Piney Woods School Faculty Practice Common Sacrifice

Some Thoughts As Boarding School Layoffs Mount

Photo credit: Wickenden Associates
If you believe in a boarding or independent school and you can afford to make a financial contribution, give now. Independent schools- just as colleges and universities- are working through endowment decreases and pressure. With increased financial aid demand, creating an even greater strain on institutional savings and finances.

If independent school is part of your or your family's nature and you can do it, make sure to make any gift possible this year.

The New York Times recently ran a piece titled "Colleges Ask Donors to Help Meet Demand for Aid." The higher ed situation and independent school situations are similar.

"Faced with one of the most challenging fund-raising environments anyone can remember, colleges and universities are appealing to donors to help meet the swelling demand for financial aid...

The incoming student body for the fall of 2009 will have higher financial needs than in the past," said Clay Ballantine, Hampshire's chief advancement officer. "I tell donors these are excellent students and we want to take financial concerns out of their decision-making process, and we're looking to you to provide a gift that will help us do that."

Photo credit: vanhookc

Ross School Offers Merit Scholarships

File this under the 'fantastic opportunity' category.

Ross School in Bridgehampton, NY "is offering $20,000 annual Merit Scholarships for students in grades 5-11 who demonstrate academic achievement and exceptional promise" in a number of areas.

Have a demonstrated talent for the Arts, Athletics, Community Service, Math, Media, Music (Jazz), Science, or Theater? This may be an opportunity to explore if you answered yes to any one of these categories.

I heard about this a bit late in the day (I read about it in the Independent Educational Consultants Association April/May Insights newsletter)- the deadline is May 1 and applications received post-May 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If you're interested, you can learn more on the school's site or submit an inquiry to school's admission office through their AQ admission inquiry form.

Blue Ridge School recently added its Affordability Plan to the school's web site laying out their commitment to affordability.

It includes both philosophical and concrete examples of the school's approaches and commitment. Among other items in the Affordability Plan, Blue Ridge has increased its financial aid budget by 30% over the past two years and, one item that I really like, the school makes clear that the tuition, room and board are inclusive of all school activities- including textbooks. This is more important than it sounds; for years, many schools have used extracurriculars and books as profit centers- charging and billing for activities and bus rides.

I like Blue Ridge's willing to publish their positions and thinking. They use one of my favorite terms transparency. Transparency allows parents and families to make the best possible decisions.

Michael Cooper, Brewster Academy's Head of School, sent the extended Brewster community (I'm a 1991 grad) a letter yesterday detailing a Lakes Region land gift valued at $6.3 million.

The gift, made by former Fidelity Investments President James C. Curvey and his family, consists of over 11 acres of lakefront property. The Curvey family intends the gift to provide scholarships to students in the greater Alton/Wolfeboro area.

Dr. Cooper wrote about the scholarship program and additional opportunities made possible by the gift:
Scholarships will go to three local students (in the greater Alton & Wolfeboro area) per year for their four years at Brewster, starting with the first three in the fall term of 2009. Ultimately, 12 students at a time will benefit from this gift.

In addition to honoring the Curvey family legacy of supporting educational opportunities for talented students, the donation expands the Academy's lakefront resources and provides the setting for more hands-on educational opportunities that will enhance current offerings such as Fresh Water Ecology, Environmental Science, Character Leadership, and other experiential learning programs.

Congrats to the folks at BA. The generosity of the Curvey family is sure to benefit the BA community over the years to come.
Because of the current financial crisis in our country, people are hesitant to consider applying to independent schools thinking they can't afford the tuitions. I am writing to tell the readers not to despair... all boarding schools offer generous financial aid to families who can demonstrate financial need.

Yes, the application process can be daunting, but the end result may be admission to a terrific boarding school program where your son or daughter can shine. And the great thing about financial aid is that your request for aid does not have any impact on admission to the school. Admissions decisions are separate from financial aid decisions. This does not mean that every family who applies for aid will get it. Schools usually get many more requests than they can meet. Sometimes your son or daughter may be accepted to the school but get put an a waitlist for financial assistance. In addition, aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and failure to meet the firm deadlines of the Financial Aid Committee may eliminate you from consideration. So be very cognizant of the deadlines. Priority for aid is oftentimes given to returning students.

All schools use the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) to collect basic information on income, assets, family size and the number of siblings in private schools charging tuition. SSS prepares a needs analysis which the school uses as a basis for its award. You can contact SSS for a copy of the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) at 866 387 2601 or online at Admissions Directors at the various schools and private Educational Consultants can help you navigate through the application process.

As stated earlier, don't give up on your dream of enrolling your child in an independent school because of finance. Take advantage of the generosity of schools through need based financial aid programs.

Good luck!!
NBC News recently produced a brief portrait of the Davis World Scholars Program. We've written before about the Davis World Scholars Program, but the new NBC piece deserves mention because you get to hear Mr. Davis speak about the program in his own words.  

"One of our goals is not just to educate bright international students, but it's also to educate Americans about the world through these students."

His financial and personal commitment to the program and his belief in cross cultural understanding support the notion that if we understand each other, we can work together to create and solve, not just for ourselves, but each other- making a difference " relationship at a time..." as Trudy Hall, Emma Willard school head remarks in a guest blog post for MSNBC's The Daily Nightly.

A Better Chance

If you're unfamiliar with ABC/A Better Chance and their work with students from under-resourced communities and schools, take a few minutes to read this Boston Globe article highlighting the experiences of some ABC students attending school in Topsfield, MA.  I've been fortunate to work the ABC and some of their students over the years.  The commitment- by everyone involved- students, schools, ABC administrators- demonstrates the persistent power of good works.

An Inspiring Story

We often write about and mention the potential of boarding schools to become the safe consistent environment for students.  With drive and a series of invested supportive adults, Shamila Kohestani made her way from Afghanistan to Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ.  

Read this great story in the NY Times about Shamila finding her way to and through an American boarding school and how the school and it's students reached-out to help and learn.

Update: Browsing the Time's site I found a video that accompanies the article. Figured I'd pass it along.

For the past few weeks Peter & I have worked on a side-project to compile a list of boarding school scholarship and loan opportunities for international students. We hadn't had much luck until we read a news story about the Davis United World Scholars (DUWCSP).  Committed to "building international understanding through education", the Davis program is open to international and domestic students at each participating school.  

Although very competitive, the DUWCSP provides impressive support for its recipients.

The Davis family and Davis United World College Program have extended international student support to a small number of American boarding schools in a pilot program.  Strong students at Phillips Academy Andover, Emma Willard School, The Lawrenceville School, The Taft School, and Westminster School can apply for financial support for the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, and PG years.  This funding will provide scholarships of up to $20,000.

DUWCSP will continue support of students beyond boarding school if these students elect to continue their studies at one of the 89 American colleges participating in the Davis United World College Scholarship Program.  Seven possible years of support represent an outstanding commitment and opportunity.  The DUWSP currently supports more than 1,100 college students from 126 countries.

Check out the web sites of the participating boarding schools for more information; each has news items posted on the DUWSP scholarships.

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