A major problem facing a majority of Christian schools is affordability. Hard economic times examine the field and reveal those schools that have a strong financial plan. Much of what we do in Christian schooling, we do because that's the way we've always done it. I'm sure you agree - that is not a good reason for why we ought to do things at all.
Nonprofit organizations, according to Judith Sharkin Simon, go through typically five stages of development. Christian schools are no different. These stages should be of great importance to leaders so they can better recognize the trajectory of their school.
Christian schools are looking for leadership that is biblical, professional, full of integrity, and focused on bringing potential change and vigor to stagnant missions and stalling enrollments. The challenge is great. Key leaders are not located around every corner, and schools are faced with a great dilemma … “who is to lead the school forward”.
For some of us, when it is time for our annual discussion, “should we raise our tuition,” the discussion may look more like an argument, particularly if the discussion takes the form of, “I do not feel as if parents can afford what we are charging now.” The discussion may also include, “we have to keep our prices low enough so that everyone can afford a Christian education.” An even more suicidal approach may be, “can we find out what the average tuition is in our community and charge a little less?”
It is estimated that 50% of Christian schools in the US are out of compliance with their 501(c)3 requirements. Why do we say this? After surveying hundreds of Christian schools across the US, we have learned that while most schools (96%) give out some sort of financial aid, only about half use a formal application.