The Anglican Central Education Authority has offered parents of students attending their four institutions, the most attractive discount on tuition fees by any private institution to date – a reduction to 75 percent of the original amount of third term (Trinity Term) fees.
A letter dated May 25 and signed by Italia Davies, director of education, said parents who have already paid fees in full will be credited a 25 percent discount on the Michaelmas (September) Term fees. Parents of students not returning will be given a 25 percent refund.
“Our current payment plan, where fees are paid in advance at the beginning of the term, will remain in place,” said Davies. “Only students with a zero balance for the 2019/2020 year by July 21, 2020 will be allowed to register for the new school year. An alternate payment plan will now be available for those parents who are up-to-date with their fees and wish to take advantage of the option of paying fees in 10 equal installments. According to this plan, fees must be paid in full by the end of April 2021.”
Kendea Smith, mother of Malaya, eight, a second-grade student at St. John’s College, was happy for the discounted tuition.
“I’ve been in the dark, and I’m happy that we’re moving forward. Happy to receive any communication so we now know how to move forward.”
She was one of thousands of parents of students at Anglican schools who waited to hear if they would receive any financial relief at all, while other private schools announced discounts to parents.
According to the authority – which, along with St. John’s College, has responsibility for St. Anne’s School, Bishop Michael Eldon School on Grand Bahama and St. Andrew’s Anglican School on Exuma – if schools remain virtual, fees will be billed at 75 percent of the original amount. The other fees include student medical insurance at $30 per year, a computer lab fee at $50 per term, student assistance at $7 per term and Plus Portal at $5 per term. If a virtual platform is used, then the Plus Portal fee will be increased to $15 per term and the $50 computer lab fee will be waived.
According to the letter, the Student Assistance Program (SAP) fee and the medical insurance fees will remain in place.
“These fees are important as they will protect our children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. The medical insurance fee covers students 24/7 during the course of the school year and is essential for providing the option to access prompt ER (emergency room) services at private clinics or Doctors Hospital. The SAP offers access to counseling and mental health services which will assist everyone in coping with, among other things, the psychosocial issues associated with COVID-19.”
With the announcement of third-term tuition discount, the Anglican Central Education Authority joins the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) – Aquinas College, Sts. Francis & Joseph School, St. Cecilia’s School, St. Thomas More and Xavier’s Lower School; St. Augustine’s College (SAC); Temple Christian School (TCS); Queen’s College (QC); and Kingsway Academy – in offering discounts to parents faced with financial constraints.
St. Augustine’s College
For accounts paid in full, SAC’s board of directors gave the approval for discounts to be applied to term one for the 2020/2021 school year. Accounts that have already received family discounts, receive a further 10 percent discount on the March 1 billing if paid in full by June 4.
Student accounts that received a five percent discount for full payment in August, will receive a further 15 percent on the March 1 invoice only.
For student accounts that have already paid the March 1 invoice, a 20 percent discount will be offered on the invoice, according to the letter to parents.
For student accounts where the March 1 invoice has not yet been paid, a 20 percent discount will be applied in full by June 4.
For students with arrears on previous terms and where the account cannot be paid in full by June 4, they are offering a 10 percent discount on the March 1 invoice.
A payment plan is also available for outstanding payments plus the tuition for the 2020/2021 school year. Payments must be completed by May 1, 2021.
Temple Christian School
A letter dated May 20, addressed to parents and signed by TCS Administrator Samuel Rutherford, said that the school has given parents a tuition credit of 15 percent to be applied to accounts of students from K3 through Grade 11, in recognition of students not physically in school.
The discount is available to parents who have not yet paid until June 4.
Fees already paid for the third semester will receive a credit on term one tuition. The credit is only available to returning students and parents not currently employed with the school or church.
TCS said the tuition credit is non-transferable and will not be refunded as cash.
Where a student has graduated, they said, a refund will be made on Friday, October 2.
Catholic Board of Education Schools
For CBE schools, the board will apply a 20 percent discount against the fall term fees for students whose tuition has already been paid for the third term.
Parents who have not yet paid tuition for the third term will receive a 20 percent discount, provided tuition fees are paid in full by May 31.
Parents who have not yet paid tuition for the third term and who may also have other tuition arrears, but cannot complete payments by May 31, are being offered a 10 percent discount.
Additionally, a payment plan has been made available to allow for the completion of outstanding payments due for the 2020/2021 school year to be repaid by April 30, 2021.
QC parents/guardians who presently have official payment plans to pay outstanding fees by July 31, will have their payment arrangements extended to August 31. Parents who do not have an official plan with the school and wish to apply for a payment plan must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; accounts that meet the criteria for financial hardship – unemployment, reduced income, or other approved criteria, QC officials said, will qualify. School officials said all other accounts that have outstanding balances and do not have an official payment plan for the school are required to become current.
In its financial alleviation plan, the school said the $100 late fee previously applied to third-term balances will be credited to the 2020/2021 first-term statements for all returning students in September 2020.
A tuition credit of $200 will be applied to the accounts for all Phase 1 to Grade 11 students returning in September 2020.
All accounts for students graduating in June 2020 will receive a $200 credit towards third-term fees. Accounts that are eligible to be paid a refund after the $200 credit is applied will be processed by September 30.
A tuition discount, they said, will be applied if tuition for the 2020/2021 school year is paid by August 31. A five percent discount will be applied to the family accounts of parents who have three or more biological children enrolled at QC.
For the next school year, a nine-month payment plan will be made available to parents/guardians who qualify.
Kingsway Academy’s alternatives to parents for payment of the third term’s tuition fees for the 2019/2020 school year included an allowance for the term’s fees to be paid in 12 equal installments if parents started May 1 through April 1, 2021.
If term fees are paid in full by June 30, parents will receive a 20 percent discount. If term three fees are paid in full by August 30, parents will receive a 15 percent discount.
In a second letter to parents, Kingsway Academy’s committee of management extended a 20 percent discount to parents and guardians who had paid third-term fees in full on or before April 30. The discount is to be applied towards the first-term school fees for the reopening of school in September 2020.
For most private institutions, third-term fees were due at the beginning of March. The Bahamas confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 15, which resulted in schools nationwide closing to in-person classroom learning.
Education moved outside the four walls of the classroom to online learning as The Bahamas and the world battled to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With no idea when their children will return to the physical classroom setting, many parents of private sector-educated students questioned whether they still owed third-term tuition to schools, or if they would offer a discount, considering schools were shut just as the semester got underway.
The Bahamas had 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths, 46 recovered cases, six hospitalized cases, 43 active cases, and 2,026 tests completed as of yesterday.
Worldwide, there were 5,554,469 confirmed cases and 348,447 deaths.