Tuition to rise 3.3% next year

By Rebecca Nussbaum

Tuition for the 2012-2013 school year will rise by 3.3 percent to $31,350, the smallest percentage increase in 25 years, Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin said.  

Chair of the Board of Trustees Christine Hazy (Steven ’00, Charissa ’03, Trenton ’05, Courtney ’11) announced this number in a letter on the Parents’ Portal that opened re-enrollment in February.

As of last week, the vast majority of students had re-enrolled for next school year, Levin said.

This year’s small percent increase is due to the Finance Committee’s financial sustainability campaign which was launched in 2003, Hazy said.

“What we did this year is what we’ve been doing the last few years is a tradeoff between going the lowest we could possibly go and making sure we have a sustainable pace, because what we really don’t want to have is a bounce,” Levin said.

Harvard-Westlake slowed tuition growth less than neighboring schools over the previous years, but now as other schools are “bouncing back,” our tuition is more consistent, Levin said.

“We could’ve hit the brakes just a little bit harder and gotten away with it for a number of years, but we were very afraid that we would then have to rebound, and we didn’t want to do that,” he said.

In her letter, Hazy stressed the balance between keeping tuition affordable without lessening the Harvard-Westlake experience.

“We offer a student experience and personalized, caring environment that are unmatched anywhere,” she said. “When it comes to faculty, program and student support, we will not compromise. We will thus only keep tuition growth as low as prudently possible.”

“Please know that we will continue to do everything possible to temper the size of that investment and, even more importantly, to maximize its return,” Hazy said.

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