Cheshire Academy, one of the oldest independent boarding schools in the country, has recently announced that they will be making big changes in the coming months, not just to their pricing, but also to their campus.
For Head of School Julie Anderson, this change is all about equity and responding to the hardships of families who live in the area.
“We understand that, when families look at schools to send their children to, the price of Cheshire Academy can cause a family to overlook the school for their children,” she said. “We spent a lot of time discussing this with our peer schools, financial advisors, alumni and board of trustees and we decided that we would take this leap of faith in lowering our fee structure.”
For the 2022-2023 school year, Cheshire Academy will reduce by a third its traditional tuition for day students — from $42,320 to $29,850. Seven-day boarding tuition will also be reduced by 10%, from $63,600 to $57,250.
“We really took into consideration what would be more reasonable for families in our area here, and we still will offer financial aid and need-based aid to those who qualify for it,” Anderson explained. “This really feels like we are doing the right thing.”
According to Anderson, the changes are designed to make Cheshire Academy more appealing to families in Cheshire and around the world who are struggling financially.
“We understand that COVID-19 took a toll on all of us, and COVID-19 really made us rethink our priorities, which is why we are also changing a number of things on campus as well,” Anderson said.
In addition to the fee-structure change, Cheshire Academy is also going to be adding a variety of new campus additions to help ensure that sports practice and other activities are equitable.
“We are planning on installing a new turf field and improving the one we currently have, so we will have two turf fields available for use by our sports teams,” Anderson added.
Currently, Cheshire Academy only has one field, making it difficult for both men and women’s teams to practice or schedule games.
“We really wanted better equity for our teams,” Anderson explained. “This will allow for better access to the fields, which really reflects the college model we are trying to replicate.”
In addition to the new turf field, Cheshire Academy also has plans for three new tennis courts and the construction of a new $25- to $30-million field house and theater complex to address the needs of not only students who are involved in sports, but the arts as well.
“We want to improve the experience of our students and give them what they will need for their future aspirations. We also want to improve the experience of our female athletes,” she detailed. “We hired three new female coaches, from Vassar College, Central Connecticut State University, and Eastern Connecticut State University.”
In order to make these new improvements happen, Anderson said Cheshire Academy will be utilizing funds received from their alumni and Board of Trustees.
“We received a bequest and a substantial endowment from two individuals who we are incredibly grateful for, but we are not going public with their names at this time,” she added. “We really have the most amazing people supporting us and our vision of what we feel is right.”