In Annual Rite, Tuition Stops Paying Choate’s bill

Many students at Choate may assume that the School runs off of the funds that come from students’ tuition alone. However, tuition only provides the funds for about half of the school year. Mr. Matt McDonald, Director of Financial Aid and Associate Director of Admissions, said, “Students pay a tuition, roughly $57,000 for a border and $45,000 for a day student, but that doesn’t cover the total cost of attendance.” Chief Financial Officer Mr. Rick Saltz explained that after the money from students’ tuition is used up, “the School relies on some money from the endowment, annual fund money from donors, and money from summer programs and rental facilities.” Therefore, all students at Choate, whether or not they are aware, are receiving financial assistance from the School about halfway through the school year.

This transition is called “tuition run-out day” and occurred this year on January 25. Although a seemingly simple idea, tuition run-out day poses a series of complications — the School must carefully balance the money coming from students’ tuition with that of the School’s endowment. Specifically, the School must ensure that tuition is not too high in order to stay competitive on the market. One of Choate’s main goals is to make sure that the best applicants accept their invitation to Choate regardless of their financial background. However, the School only has a certain amount of money that it can take from the endowment each year. Mr. McDonald explained, “The bigger the endowment, the safer the School is in the long run.” He added, “An endowment is there to help a school survive any downturns that may occur.”

Mr. Saltz explained that the School runs off of students’ tuition from around July 1 until January 25, more than half the year. After this point in the schoolyear is reached, the School makes the transition of turning to funds from the endowment. This is a sum of money that the School has collected and invested, generating a percentage of interest to ensure long-term sustainability.
However, the amount of money from tuition and from the School’s endowment changes every year. The tuition increases annually so that the salaries of faculty and staff can also increase. Mr. McDonald said, “The tuition rises each year, but under 3%, which is one of the smallest increases year after year compared to our peer institutions.” Mr. Saltz explained that this relatively small increase is because “Dr. Curtis, the Board of Trustees, and I have decided to keep the tuition as low as possible.” In terms of the exact amount of money taken from the School’s endowment each year, Mr. Saltz would only say that the number comes from a very specific formula that incorporates each aspect of the School’s needs.

Mr. McDonald concluded, “When you look at everything Choate offers, it’s an affirmation that we are in a good position. We are really lucky to be in a school that does everything it does.”

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