For clarification of any school policies on costs, parents are invited to call or email the admissions office at any time.
The 2012-2013 tuition schedule is available here.
The 2013-2014 tuition schedule is available here.
Your Costs at Runnels:
Principles and Payment Plans
At Runnels we work very hard to adopt, and follow, principles concerning costs that are reasonable and serve, ultimately, the best interests of the students at Runnels. Chief among these principles are: fairness (to all), minimum possible costs to parents, compensation levels for teachers, material resources needed for instruction, small class size, long-term stability of the school, maximum planning time for the school and parents, and the fact that money received earlier is worth more to the school.
Clearly, on any given issues, these principles do not all point in the same direction. In fact, on just about any issue there are several principles pointing in opposite directions, and balancing those opposing valid principles is one of the main functions of the Runnels School Board of Trustees. But the single principle that receives the greatest consideration is the first one, our constant efforts at fairness. Consistent with the fairness principle is the traditional Runnels approach to costs: they are all stated from the beginning and cover all required costs so that there are no surprise assessments to upset your family budget in mid-year. The costs are also stated as early as possible. Various fund-raising efforts that arise from different (worthwhile) school activities are required to be low-keyed in nature, to be truly optional and voluntary on the part of the parents.
The basic payment plan is the plan that calls for twelve monthly payments on the tuition, beginning in June prior to the start of school; this basic method is called the "Monthly" plan. There are also three different advance payment plans whose total costs are less than the monthly plan’s; balancing the lower cost, however, is the earlier payment of the funds and the reduced ability to change your plans without financial penalty. The three advance payment plans are called the “Annual,” “Semi-Annual” and “Multi-Year” payment plans.
Regardless of the plan adopted, there are three components to the total costs: the (one-time) Enrollment Fee, the (annually assessed) Resource Fee, and the Tuition itself (the largest component). The two “fees” and the “tuition” components are treated quite differently in two respects: fees are (a) not discounted for early payment or multiple children in a family and are (b) never refundable or cancelable. Tuition, on the other hand, is clearly discounted for early payment (and is discounted more the earlier the payment), and under certain clearly defined circumstances tuition is (at least in part) refundable or cancelable. There are also tuition discounts for second, third, ... , children in the same family.
In deciding which payment plan to elect, parents should consider carefully the various plans’ timing of payments and their rules about refund/cancellation. By balancing the different plans’ advantages and disadvantages, parents can determine which plan best meets their family's unique circumstances.
When are payments due?
For new students enrolling after February 1 in any class with an opening available for the school year beginning in August of the same year, both fees (Enrollment Fee and Resource Fee) are paid when the Enrollment Agreement is executed. The Enrollment Agreement can be completed once the admission requirements have been met, and must be completed shortly after admission has been granted. Parents will be informed of the amount of time available; it is usually five days, but can be shorter in some circumstances.
For new students enrolling before February 1 for the school year beginning the next August, once admission has been granted, the Enrollment Fee is paid when the Enrollment Agreement is completed. The Resource Fee may also be paid then or it can be deferred until February 1. The school accepts a few enrollments for school years beginning more distant in the future than the following August. These are called Pre-Enrollments and are limited in number. The Enrollment Fee is paid when the Pre-Enrollment Agreement is accepted by the school; the Resource Fee is paid later, once the normal admission requirements have been met. If the admission requirements, including academic testing, are not met, the prepaid Enrollment Fee is forfeited.
Students who reenroll by February 1 for the next academic year avoid paying any Enrollment Fee. Reenrollment during the month of February must be accompanied by half of the Enrollment Fee, and after the month of February by the full Enrollment Fee. The Resource Fee for reenrolling students may be spread into three payments, due the first of February, March and April.
For students paying on the Monthly Plan, there are twelve (12) monthly installments on the year's contract, beginning in June before the start of school in August. School, of course, is not in session for twelve months. Optional summer camps and other programs are usually offered each summer, but these involve additional fees.
Payments are due on the first of each month, June through May. Statements are mailed on the 20th of the prior month, and a late charge is assessed for payments not received by the 10th of the current month. Enrollment is subject to cancellation if an account becomes two months past due.
It is a convenience for the school to have the year’s tuition paid at one time, in advance, and therefore the school grants discounts to parents who prepay the year’s tuition. Since the value to the school is greater for earlier payment, the discount is greater for earlier payment. This is the basis for the chart of annual tuition payment amounts, the amounts changing every half-month.
The chart of annual tuition amounts is adopted by the Board of Trustees near the beginning of each school year for the following school year, permitting parents the option of paying the next year’s tuition as early as September of the current school year, or to select an annual payment date as late as June (for the school year beginning in August). There are annual payment amounts for July and later for new students.
The semi-annual plan is basically a variation of the annual plan, still calling for the full year’s tuition to be paid prior to the start of school, but in two payments: February 1 and August 1.
The most aggressive tuition strategy for parents is the multi-year plan, whereby tuition and fees are prepaid in full for two years or more with significant discounts (ranging from ten to fifty percent, depending on the number of years prepaid). This is the Runnels version of what is called “tuition futures” in some circles. Offsetting the large discounts, however, are severe limitations on cancellations/refunds, and consequently parents should consider those limitations carefully before “investing” in a multi-year tuition contract.
Cancellations and Refunds
All schools dependent on tuition for their financial bases are very restrictive on the subject of cancellation of contracts and refunds of payments. Policies could not be otherwise and still permit sound planning and fiscal stability. Parents should read these policies carefully before signing the Enrollment Agreement. They may be found in full on the reverse side of the Enrollment Agreement and are summarized below. The dates included in those policies are not arbitrarily selected but reflect rather the realities of the mutual selection process that parents and nonpublic schools undergo each year.
As stated earlier, the fees (Enrollment Fee and Resource Fee) are never refundable. Tuition, however, may be partially refundable -- or completely nonrefundable -- depending on (a) the timing of the request for cancellation/refund, (b) the reason for the request, and (c) payment plan specified in the enrollment agreement. When refunds are due, they will be issued within four months of the termination of the contract.
Prior to April 1 of the school year beginning in August, the Enrollment Agreement can be canceled for any reason, for any payment plan other than the multi-year plan. No further tuition payments will be assessed and refunds will be due in accordance with the provisions of the individual plans. Catastrophic illness of the student is grounds, at any date, for cancellation of the remainder of the enrollment agreement; see the individual plans for details of the refund provisions. From April 1 forward, there are no provisions for cancellation/refund for any reason other than catastrophic illness or transfers from Baton Rouge.
Requiring the greatest consideration are moves from the greater Baton Rouge area, with notification given the school on or after April 1. The most liberal from the parents’ standpoint is the monthly payment plan, whereby tuition is simply prorated. On the other hand, with the annual or semi-annual plan, on or after July 1 prepaid tuition payments are nonrefundable even in the event of moves from Baton Rouge. (During April, May and June annual prepayments are partially refundable -- see the plans’ refund provisions for details.)
Catastrophic illness is the only grounds for cancellation of a multi-year enrollment contract. To determine the refundable portion of the amount prepaid, the tuition earned by the school for the period actually attended is recalculated at the regular (nondiscounted) rates.
For clarification of any school policies on costs, parents are invited to call the business office at any time (225) 751-5712.
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