Tuition, Fees, Scholarships and Philanthropy
Families are responsible for a small enrollment fee (currently $200), incidental costs, and transportation to and from school (at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as the fall or spring break). Families are also responsible for providing their students with the required gear as outlined on the “What to Bring” list. Note that specialty items like tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags are available for check-out from the school.
Conserve School’s founder, James R. Lowenstine wanted deserving students to benefit from the unique Conserve School experience regardless of financial means.
Most schools have similar goals of making their programs accessible to students from a broad range of economic backgrounds. To achieve their goals other schools use financial aid programs that require families to provide extensive financial records and then the school tells families what the families can afford to pay. Most schools have limited financial aid budgets so not all accepted students who qualify for financial aid are able to receive it.
While financial aid programs can be critical in providing schools with the funds they need to operate, the need to go through a financial aid process can prevent qualified students from applying for many reasons.
Inspired by the philanthropy of Jim Lowenstine and with the belief that Jim’s example will inspire others to financially support Conserve School as they are able, the Conserve School Board has created the Lowenstine Honors Scholarship Program to remove the barrier that concerns about affordability creates. Every accepted student is awarded a Lowenstine Honors Scholarship. The scholarship is valued at $25,000 and covers full tuition, room, and board.
In lieu of tuition revenue, Conserve School relies on tax deductible donations from the families of its students, its alums, and its friends, to the Conserve School Annual Fund each year.
During the year students attend, Conserve School encourages families to donate the amount that they would have been willing to pay in tuition, had Conserve School put them through a financial aid process.
When considering the size of a first year gift, families are asked to consider the value received from a Conserve School semester in comparison to other opportunities such as summer camps and vacations that the family has previously spent money on.
During the year that their child attends, it is Conserve School’s hope that most families will be able to donate at least $2,000 to the annual fund. It is hoped that families with greater means will consider a donation of at least 4% of their yearly income up to Conserve School’s full tuition value of $25,000.
In future years it is Conserve School’s hope that most families and alumni will join Conserve School’s “Inspiration Leaders” campaign by donating at least $120 / year to the Conserve School annual fund.
Through the Conserve School Annual Fund individuals are able to partner with Conserve School and insure that Conserve School will be able to inspire young people to environmental stewardship through academics and engagement with the forests, lakes and wildlife of Lowenwood in perpetuity.
In this way, we all play a part in assuring that the Conserve School experience remains affordable for the students who follow in our footsteps.