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6.2.3 Tuition and Fees​​​

​​​​​Tuition and fees are charged for the following types of activities:

No single rule applies to setting tuition and fees in locations or for events because of the wide disparity in communities served and the programs offered. However, achieving a balanced budget, with a reasonable surplus, is essential. The following elements should be considered:

  • Demographics of the sponsoring location or entity

  • Financial resources of the sponsoring location or entity

  • Other sources of revenues

  • Fund-raising ability

  • Actual cost of the education or services provided (e.g., wages and benefits; maintaining physical plant, utilities, and insurance; supplies and materials; technology costs; and location and travel costs); see Chart of Accounts

  • Comparison with other entities providing similar services

  • History of charges and increases at the location

6.2.3.1 School Tuition Assistance Policy

Within the parameters of the annual budget, the archdiocese encourages schools to give tuition assistance to the students whose families demonstrate financial need. Each school must have guidelines that govern the distribution of these funds.

In determining eligibility, the school should require a formal application and parent/guardian financial statement. Schools should use the same requirements as the Catholic Education Foundation when determining eligibility for school assistance. Schools may not require parental/guardian service hours in exchange for tuition assistance. Normally, the maximum amount of tuition assistance to be awarded should not exceed 50% of the tuition.

The Catholic Education Foundation provides tuition assistance to students who attend archdiocesan schools and who qualify according to financial guidelines established by the Catholic Education Foundation. The Catholic Education Foundation annually publishes the policies and procedures governing the program.

Schools may seek other sources for tuition assistance such as through private foundations and grants; all agreements with such foundations or grant-making organizations must be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Counsel​ and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for approval.

6.2.3.2 Negotiated Tuition

The entire Catholic community is responsible for the financial support of parish and school programs for the education and formation of children and youth. However, the primary financial responsibility for the education and formation of the individual child resides with the family, through the payment of tuition and fees.

Families who are unable to pay the published tuition rate are required to negotiate a written payment plan that will enable them to pay a negotiated rate in full during the school year in which the child attends the school. This payment plan must be signed and dated by the parents/guardians, the principal, and the pastor for parish schools, and placed on file in the principal's office. The principal is required to review and enforce the plan and if the parents/guardians do not meet the terms of the agreement, they may be required to withdraw the child from the school.

Other fees charged by locations may be negotiated at the discretion of the person in charge.

Negotiated tuitions have to be reflected in the school budget as a separate line item to show the impact of reduced tuition on total school revenue.

6.2.3.3 Employee Tuition Reduction

Employees of the archdiocese or locations may apply for financial aid or scholarships at preschools, elementary schools, and high schools on the same basis as all other families. If their entitlement for scholarship assistance is identical to all other applicants and is generally based on financial need or other criteria the school establishes for scholarships, the aid has no tax consequences to the employees.

If employees are provided tuition reduction because of their employee status, whether or not the reduction is based on need, the employee tuition reduction is taxable compensation to the employee receiving the reduction. This reduction must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and to the State of California by including the information on the employee's annual Form W-2 as income received, with adjustments if federal and state income taxes have been withheld.

If a school elects, it may develop a written qualified tuition reduction program for all its employees as a non-taxable employee fringe benefit. Schools considering such a program must first consult with the Office of Financial Services and the Department of Catholic Schools.

Preschools and Elementary Schools

Preschools and elementary schools establish the rules and amounts for any employee tuition reduction, in consultation with the pastor/administrator. Consult with the Department of Catholic Schools for guidance.

Parish and archdiocesan elementary schools are urged to provide at least 30% of scholarship assistance to children of full-time faculty and staff members of any archdiocesan or parish elementary school or high school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, provided parents/guardians use the application process at the school site and have a genuine need.

High Schools

Archdiocesan high schools have established a policy that provides tuition reduction for children of their own employees of at least 30%, up to a maximum of 80%, provided parents/guardians use the application process at the school site and have a genuine need.

Archdiocesan policy provides that its high schools offer at least 30% scholarship aid to children of employees of other archdiocesan or parish elementary schools, provided parents/guardians use the application process at the school site and have a genuine need.

6.2.3.4 International Student Policy

See the archdiocesan policy on tuition and fees for international students.

6.2.3.5 Tuition Management and Collection

Every school must have a tuition/enrollment contract that specifies tuition, fees, and other terms and conditions for student enrollment and parent/guardian involvement. The contract must identify if and when tuition and other fees are non​​​refundable.

Regular collection of tuition is a necessary component of financial management. Each school must have a stated policy for tuition collection. The archdiocese recommends that every school have a tuition management system that may, depending on local circumstances, include a collection service. A number of commercial providers manage tuition billing and collection on a fee-for-service basis. The plans and costs vary according to the services used. Information on these services is available from the Department of Catholic Schools.

Tuition management services allow families to pay tuition and other regular fees through automatic withdrawal from bank accounts or other cash remittance agencies. This service reduces the need for the school to handle cash or checks, which requires heightened security measures.

Tuition management services provide real-time reporting to the school concerning whether families are meeting their financial obligations, allowing the school to pursue collection from families who are delinquent. Whether or not the school is using a tuition management service, oversight of tuition collection is an essential requirement for school viability.

Every principal must:

  • Be fully informed on the status of tuition collection

  • Make sure that the parents/guardians are contacted when tuition is in arrears by one month

  • Personally contact parents/guardians who, after six weeks, have failed to meet the initial request for payment and must inform the parents/guardians of the actions to be taken by the school if payment is not made (i.e., suspension)

Consult with the Department of Catholic Schools before refusing to allow students to take examinations because of payment delinquency. This step is allowed only if the above processes have been followed and all other avenues for obtaining payment have failed.

6.2.3.6 Unpaid Delinquent Tuition Accounts of Former Students

Unpaid tuition accounts of former students should be annotated and maintained separately so that, before requests for transcripts in later years are honored, tuition status can be confirmed. If there is an unpaid tuition account, transcripts may not be withheld from another requesting school for kindergarten through 12th grade, but transcripts, report cards, diplomas, and other reporting forms may be withheld from parents/guardians, students, and post-secondary institutions. See Withholding of Records.


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