Trustees raise tuition for 2013-14 year

Julia Aizuss

Tuition for the 2013-2014 school year will rise three percent from $31,350 to $32,300, at the same rate as inflation, Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin said.

Chair of the Board of Trustees Christine Hazy (Steven ’00, Charissa ’03, Trenton ’05, Courtney ’11) officially announced next year’s tuition last Monday in a re-enrollment letter made available to parents  online.

The increase is the lowest in the past two decades, as part of what Levin called a “concerted effort” to keep tuition increase low, especially after the  high increases caused by the merger of Harvard and Westlake in 1991 and the recession that began in 2008.

At the beginning of last decade, the school’s tuition increases were about 10 percent.

“We’ve been working to bring that down ever since,” Levin said.

“To break even [during the recession] really we thought we needed a 10 percent increase,” Levin said. “But that’s the last thing you’re going to do.”

If the school had followed the same track it was on 10 years ago, next year’s tuition would be $40,000, he said.

“We’ve still gone from $20,000 in that time up to $32,300, but that’s very different from being at $40,000,” Levin said.

The school also has high percentages of parents, alumni and teacher donations to thank, Levin said. For four years, the rate of teacher giving has been 100 percent.

He estimated that tuition would be around $60,000 without giving.

“Basically the idea here is that people pay it forward,” Levin said. “Paying it forward” refers to the school facilities that are built using donations.

“This campus and that campus and every building on it were a gift to you from a whole bunch of people so even the student who is paying full tuition and whose family is giving in annual giving is still technically in some ways spiritually on financial aid,” Levin said.