Roanoke's Community High School slashes tuition in half - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke's Community High School slashes tuition in half

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Community High School of Arts and Academics in Roanoke has slashed tuition by more than half for the 2013-2014 school year. Students will now be paying $5000.

Administrative Director John McBroom says the school's current enrollment is 42 and they have a capacity of 60.

We'll have more on this story tonight on WSLS.

Here is the news release from Community High School of Arts and Academics:

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

Community High School of Arts and Academics is fortunate enough to be in a strong financial position. Our board has decided therefore that we can afford to honestly reduce tuition rather than to inflate both our costs and our financial aid packages. 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.

We have always been committed to meeting our families' financial needs; we have never turned a student away because of money. Now we are additionally cutting tuition without cutting financial aid. We are doing this while maintaining an academically and professionally accomplished faculty, a commitment to providing early access to college education and educational trips, and a commitment to nurturing the cultural landscape of Southwest Virginia at large. The cost of these commitments is considerable; our current rates do not cover the cost per child at CHS. Private education, on all levels, requires outside support. Generally this support is used to subsidize costs in confusing and opaque ways. For example, private colleges generally have very few students paying "the sticker price"; the financial difference between that price and a family's actual bill is often severe, and is reconciled with a potentially precarious package of "merit-based" scholarship, need-based grants and loans. It seems to us that there is a lack of honesty and transparency in this system. Therefore, we intend to change the conversation and the way we use our outside funding.

On March 7th the Community High School board unanimously voted to drop the tuition for 2013-14 from $10,200 to $5,000 per student. In addition to this reduction, we will still have ample financial aid reserves.

We, and our sustaining funders, are intent on making CHS available to more deserving students, and to reforming outmoded fiscal and pedagogical models in education. Two years ago we moved to our state-of-the-art, permanent home in a repurposed historical building in downtown Roanoke complete with laboratory, gallery, theater spaces. Thanks to an innovative cooperative development model, we were able to do this without substantially altering our costs of operation. Thanks to similarly innovative thinking and thoughtful management, we are now in a position to fulfill the parallel goal of fiscal accessibility.

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