The St. Peter School Annual Fund provides critical support for programs that allow us to carry on our mission to teach, nurture and model Gospel values in the Catholic tradition while promoting academic excellence and respecting personal development. Generous support of the Annual Fund allows our students to continue to experience the benefits of a modern education within an atmosphere of Catholic values. The Annual Fund supports the strong legacy and tradition of St. Peter School, which has been in operation since 1927.
The True Cost of Catholic Education
Did you know that the current tuition, even though it can be challenging for larger and middle income families, does not cover the full operating expenses of our budget? Catholic schools have always sought to maximize our resources on the proverbial “shoestring budget” and have proven to be remarkably resourceful! Even still, we continue to experience a shortfall between the tuition revenue received and our net operating expenses. Fortunately, this annual shortfall is overcome by the generous subsidy provided by the Diocese of Camden, contributions from our local parish (St. Peter), the fundraising initiatives of the PTA, and your generous support of our Annual Fund.
To help clarify the tuition shortfall, the current tuition rate for all first children at St. Peter School (2016-2017) is $5,100, while the rate for non-Catholics is $6,450. Yet both of these figures fall below the estimated $6500 needed for the first child in order to balance our budget strictly with tuition. Further, these figures fall well below the approximate $18,495/pupil budget, for instance, in the local Merchantville School District (2014-2015). Even though we receive various taxpayer funded allotments to cover some of our nursing, textbook, and technology costs, our total cost per pupil remains much lower despite the great financial sacrifices that our parents make to pay their tuition.
Our goal has always been to keep tuition as affordable as possible without compromising the quality of education that parents expect from St. Peter School. Yet this requires extraordinary effort on the part of the parish and the school to not only maintain, but even improve the affordability of St. Peter School.
Here are some ideas that we recommend:
- If you are tuition paying parents and are of greater means, please do consider contributing the difference between the true cost and the first child rate to our Annual Fund ($1,400). This would entail a voluntary way of paying the true cost of tuition for the good of the school for those parents who have the means to do so.
- If you are a parishioner without children in the school, please consider sponsoring a student by contributing either the current tuition rate or the true cost rate (see above) to the Annual Fund.
- Consider a small monthly donation ($15,$25, etc.) to our Annual Fund
- If you are a local business owner, please do consider donating to our fund, since our promise is to produce students who will one day be outstanding citizens, employees, and business owners themselves.
- Please note that all contributions are tax deductible
What will my contribution go towards?
All contributions made to St. Peter School’s Annual Fund go directly to St. Peter School and are used only for St. Peter School. Here are the five general ways that we will use your contributions:
- Building maintenance and improvements. Our building is very old and is in constant need of updating: improvements in our heating system, windows, and general maintenance of the building.
- Technology: we want our children to have the latest access to technology and to fund S.T.E.M initiatives that prepare students for employment in the 21st century (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
- Catholic resources: Faith-based textbooks and resources are not covered by our NJ Non-Public Allotment for textbooks; we pay out of pocket for high quality texts that reflect an authentic Catholic worldview. We want to ensure that our textbooks are not only high quality, but reflect a truly Catholic worldview.
- Tuition Assistance: contributions may be used to support families who face unexpected hardships during the school years, or large Catholic families who otherwise would not be able to afford Catholic schools.
- Security Upgrades: Even though we receive significant allocations from NJ to fund upgrades to our security system, we can always use more funds to update our school security system.
Most importantly, please consider that contributions to the Annual Fund stay 100% with St. Peter School. These contributions are not “redistributed” by the Diocese of Camden nor by the parish. Further, we are not required to offer a certain percentage of our Annual Fund to the local parish or the Diocese. Your contribution strictly supports St. Peter School.
Please do consider donating today!