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About three years ago, we launched Variable Tuition at Eastern Christian School. The basic premise was simple: make an amazing Christian education accessible to as many Christian families as possible. Three years later, our school has grown by 125 students, and other families have been able to make the decision to stay with Eastern Christian School when they might not have otherwise been able to.

Today, three years later, I’d like to pose three questions: What is Variable Tuition? Why do we have this program at Eastern Christian School? and What does this have to do with you?

What is Variable Tuition?

The video above is really the best explanation that I can give you. Some highlights:

  • EC doesn’t have one set tuition- we have a range. Where your family falls on this range depends on your income and many other personal factors.
  • This tuition range spans from 40% to 80% of the actual cost of education.
  • A private third party confidentially helps to determine where your family would fall on this range.
  • NO STUDENT at Eastern Christian School pays “Full Tuition.” Everyone in our school gets a 20% “discount” just by walking through the door!
  • The key to making this entire thing work: Donors, Foundation, and Supporting Activities. Donors and supporting activities make up this 20% difference between tuition and actual cost of education.
  • Every time you contribute to the Annual Fund, or attend the Auction Gala, or Beefsteak, you’re contributing to this program. Generous generations before us established the EC Endowment which kicks in $450,000 every year to help make this possible! And our supporting activities like our ditto Upscale Resale store and Eagle Solar contribute hundreds of thousands more each year.
  • This means that we have an amazing community… and that our education is a tremendous value!

Why do we have Variable Tuition at Eastern Christian School?

Variable Tuition is the most recent expression of something that has been at the heart of the mission of Eastern Christian School since our founding in 1892. For 125 years, we’ve been performing a balancing act between two of our Core values: Excellence and Community.

On the one hand, excellence is a non-negotiable for our parents and students. If we want to live up to our mission of transforming the world for Jesus Christ, we need to teach our students to think Christianly… and therefore to be the very best that they can be. That means a rigorous, excellent education. And an excellent education ain’t cheap!

On the other hand, Christian community is a non-negotiable for our parents and students. This community has always been about educating as many students from Christian families as possible. Our mission statement calls us to assemble “a diverse community.” From many perspectives, EC is a diverse community. Diversity is definitely prevalent in the form of socio-economic diversity.

Excellence requires an amazing academic program, first-rate facilities, top teachers, technology, and more. All of those things require substantial annual financial investments. By the way- EC does an amazing job at providing excellence at a fraction of the cost of other local schools. It would be easy for Eastern Christian School to turn our backs on the community side of the coin and only pursue excellence without thinking about the tuition impact on families. This has been the model for many private schools on the East Coast. But what makes Eastern Christian School special is that we strive to do both. Variable Tuition, with the help of generous donors and our innovative supporting activities, helps us bridge that gap.

What does this have to do with me?

Our tuition model benefits all Eastern Christian families. No matter what your family’s financial situation, you are welcome to apply for Variable Tuition. Even if you qualify for the “Exit range,” you’re still the beneficiary of an amazing 20% discount. Everyone will qualify for something between “Entry range” and “Exit Range” and no one will pay the full cost of an excellent Christian education. And that’s good news for everyone!

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