Increasing Financial Aid Through Endowed Scholarships ($6 million)
Endowed Scholarships ($5 Million)
Every boy from every walk of life brings unique gifts and talents to St. Albans. Because this breadth enriches everyone’s educational experience, the school has, since Harriet Lane Johnston’s founding bequest, made financial aid a priority.
St. Albans believes that a family’s financial situation should not prevent any student from attending. To assure this, we maintain a need-blind admissions policy: each boy is assessed solely on his merits—without consideration of his family’s economic resources.
In 2016-17, St. Albans will grant $4.52 million in financial aid—representing 18.5% of our operating budget. Twenty-six percent of our students receive a scholarship, which last year averaged over $25,000. We take pride in offering one of the best financial aid packages among our peer schools—one that makes a St. Albans education accessible to families from virtually all financial backgrounds—from those with few resources to the middle and professional classes.
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain this standard. Our relatively modest endowment leaves us too heavily dependent on tuition revenue to fund financial aid. At the same time, a critical goal is to continue to moderate the rate of tuition increases, seeking to keep St. Albans affordable to middle and professional class families.
To remain need-blind—and to moderate the rate of tuition increases—the Governing Board’s 2013 Strategic Plan recommends that St. Albans seek substantial new scholarship endowment. Our goal for the STRIVE Campaign is to raise at least $5 million for that purpose. As of April 2017, we have raised $2.85 million towards our goal—an encouraging start—but we have work yet to do.
There is no gift more precious than education, and those who have studied here know the special value of attending St. Albans. Our hope is that alumni and parents will help perpetuate this invaluable gift by supporting the STRIVE Campaign’s effort to increase our endowed scholarships.
New Scholarships for Travel ($1 Million)
St. Albans has long recognized the value of broadening the perspectives and life experiences of our students, by providing opportunities to travel, study, play sports, and perform social service throughout our country and the world. Our students hone their hitting skills on spring break training in Florida, help rebuild hurricane-struck homes on the Gulf Coast, and participate in exchange programs at schools in Australia, France, the Czech Republic, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Almost 80 percent of our graduates will travel on an athletic trip during their St. Albans tenure; fifty percent will spend time abroad on a school-sponsored learning or service trip. Yet, we have never had a fund dedicated to ensure financial aid is available for travel by students whose families require assistance.
Instead, we have relied too heavily on the generosity of families who are able to chip in extra to cover the cost of other travelers. This is problematic, leaving some families reluctant to apply for trips in the first place, other families contributing more than they can truly afford, and the school community disappointed that it cannot provide an equally meaningful travel experience to any boy who wishes to participate.
By creating new scholarships to support financial aid for travel, St. Albans will have a generous and equitable policy that will ensure that every boy may consider himself a candidate for any school travel program.
Travel—whether it involves immersing oneself in a foreign culture, bonding with teammates at a 6 a.m. run up at mountain road, or reaching out to communities in need—strengthens students’ confidence and self-reliance while enhancing their understanding of themselves and their world. Through new scholarships, we will be able to extend these off-campus lessons to every boy who wishes to travel and learn.