by Rod Boyer
In my last post, I discussed the first three of six readily-encountered misconceptions about financial aid at Pike. As I noted then, given how central financial aid is to our success as a school – both in terms of financial sustainability and in regards to student learning – I’m pleased that community members are engaged in these conversations. In Part II, I provide data and background for three more common myths:
Myth 4: Financial aid and racial and ethnic diversity are connected at Pike
Families applying for financial aid at Pike come from the widest range of social, ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds, and we are proud that all families who demonstrate need have access to our financial aid resources. At Pike, the purpose of financial aid is to allow us to enroll students who are the strongest fit for Pike, and the only kind of diversity that financial aid directly supports is socio-economic diversity.
Myth 5: Pike spends more money on financial aid than our peer schools
Pike spends less money on financial aid as a percentage of our budget than most of our peer schools. For INDEX schools reporting on the 2015-2016 school year, the median financial aid budget as a percentage of overall budget was 10%. Pike’s financial aid budget represents approximately 8.7% of our overall budget.
Myth 6: Financial aid doesn’t benefit those students whose families pay full tuition
At Pike, our commitment to financial aid has always focused on intentionally gathering classrooms comprised of strong students who challenge and teach one another. Why? Studies have consistently shown that a student’s peer group greatly impacts the learning outcomes of that student, almost as much as the quality of the teacher!
And this isn’t an abstract notion, especially when it comes to making difficult admissions decisions. Sometimes the strongest applicant to Pike comes from a family that can afford full tuition and sometimes they don’t. Being able to offer financial aid means that we can consistently enroll best-fit students to ensure that our classrooms, divisions, and school are as strong and vibrant as possible. Every child at Pike benefits from that approach.
I look forward to ongoing conversation on this important topic. Post a comment, question, or thought.
The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit pikeschool.org to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership.