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.
The Free Dictionary of Idioms defines the phrase, throwing good money after bad as “to waste additional money after wasting it once,” or “to spend more and more money on something that has already failed.”
Most Christian schools lose families when they raise tuition. They may not drop in enrollment, but they lose lower & middle-income families and gain higher income families. Why? Inadequate tuition aid. If your school is like most schools, you give away a lot of money – mostly to families with multiple children enrolled, or families who are employed at the school, or to pastor’s families. Tuition aid should be granted only for families who have demonstrated an actual need. How can this best be understood?
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.