| Sarah Heinonen
WILBRAHAM – Wilbraham & Monson Academy (WMA) is reducing one hurdle to private education by lowering its tuition.
Beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year, tuition for Upper School (high school) day students will decrease from $42,500 to $34,000. The change will affect both new and returning day students, but not boarding students, who live on campus.
“Nationally, the cost of secondary education has been a concern for a while and it isn’t going away,” said Director of Marketing & Communications Teddy Ryan. She said the Board of Trustees has been thinking about the adjustment for some time and approved it when they met in January.
“WMA understands the need to address this gap and believes it is our responsibility to share the Wilbraham & Monson Academy experience with as many deserving students as possible,” Head of School Brian P. Easler said in a press release. “Through a detailed process of financial and budgetary modeling, and analysis of our day market, we determined that we could ‘reset’ our day–student tuition to balance revenue and aid at a lower price point. Nearly 10 years ago we went through a similar reset with our Middle School tuition, and this is the next natural iteration of that process.” The Middle School tuition is currently $23,000.
The tuition adjustment is not a reflection of enrollment levels, Ryan said, which has been steady. The Upper School has 323 students enrolled, 43 percent of which are day students.
WMA is also rolling out a new five-day boarding option for Upper School students to coincide with the Upper School tuition drop.
Ryan assured Reminder Publishing that the change in tuition revenue will not impact the quality or quantity of academic offerings at the school.
“Everything should be the same. Our program is not going to change,” Ryan said, citing a history of financial responsibility and two recent $10 million bequests as evidence of the school’s financial stability.
In fact, while adopting the 20 percent tuition decrease, WMA is moving forward with its master–plan, which includes the recently constructed library, named the Athenaeum, and a new 4,800-foot STEM lab.
“There are a lot of good, positive things coming,” Ryan said. “We’re making our WMA education more attainable.”