The Dynamics of Flattened Tuition Gradients: Why Does Tuition Outpace Inflation and Can Endowment Really Help?

Status: RECORDED on APR 01, 2015
Certification Credits: 1 IACP

$156 Non-Member

[$143.00 Gold Member]

For years, independent school expenses have increased beyond the rate of inflation. Tuitions have followed, sometimes substantially increasing beyond CPI+2. Whereas the gap between private school increases and CPI has been narrowing over the past 50 years, some have surmised that the practice of raising tuitions above inflation is making our schools unaffordable. They further hypothesize this is eroding demand and cannot be sustained. To reverse the trend schools should;

    -reset their tuition at an “affordability range” based on local demographics (which should result in a lower tuition),

    -refrain from tuition increases above inflation (and ideally would be “stable”)

Two methods to “pay for” holding tuition increases at a rate lower than school-related inflation are to:

    -Reduce dependency on tuition by increasing endowment

    -Find significant alternate revenue streams

This Webinar will use equation modelling and examples to demonstrate the intense pressure that taking a price-averse approach to tuition setting can have on your school’s ability to keep a balanced budget.You will leave with four basic conclusions that will help you shape how you approach establishing the right revenue mix at your school.

Run Time: 60 minutes; 45 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes for Q&A.

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Connect with ISM: