Tuition for 2020-21 is set to increase but less than previously projected.
A letter sent to Lab families June 29 detailed the decision to reduce tuition increase from 5.2% to 2.73% along with other budget restrictions in order to ease the financial burden on families as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuition for 2020-21 will range from $23,879 at the nursery school to $36,933 at the high school.
The letter sent by Daniel Abebe, University of Chicago vice provost, and David Magill, Laboratory Schools interim director, said the decision to reduce the tuition increase was made out of concern for the financial wellbeing of Lab families.
“We are deeply concerned about members of our community who may find themselves in a place of serious hardship, and we are working to help in a variety of ways,” the letter stated.
Some of the ways in which Lab has worked to ease the financial burden on families is by making additional financial aid funds available and by ensuring all Lab students have access to reliable internet and the required devices to learn remotely.
According to the letter, the 2.73% increase will cover increases to faculty pay as required by the collective bargaining agreement with the Faculty Association.
“Among a variety of prudent financial controls, in 2020–2021 all Lab non-union employee salaries will be frozen,” according to the letter, “and we are restricting non-essential and discretionary spending and implementing additional cost controls.”
The letter stated that the University and Lab are dedicated to maintaining education quality and fiscal stability similar to years previous.
Dear Lab Families,
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the health and well-being of people across the country and around the world. It also has had a significant financial impact on many families, including Lab families, and pushed some into difficult financial situations. We are deeply concerned about members of our community who may find themselves in a place of serious hardship, and we are working to help in a variety of ways. This spring, Lab made available additional financial aid funds and ensured that every Lab student had the appropriate device and internet access at home to participate fully in our distance learning program. We started the Lab Community Response Fund to help families in need and will continue to do our best to support all families during the pandemic.
As part of this effort, the University and Lab will roll back the 2020–2021 Lab tuition increase to 2.73%, from the previously announced 5.2% increase.
The 2.73% increase is just enough to cover Lab’s faculty compensation obligations, as contractually mandated by our collective bargaining agreement. Along with the University, we remain committed to meeting our mission and providing an excellent education to our students, while maintaining fiscal stability. Among a variety of prudent financial controls, in 2020–2021 all Lab non-union employee salaries will be frozen, and we are restricting non-essential and discretionary spending and implementing additional cost controls. With careful budget management and the hard work and commitment of our dedicated faculty and administrators, Lab will continue to deliver the outstanding educational experience that you expect and deserve while easing the financial burden on families at a very difficult time in our history.
The University and Lab will soon share more information about our return in the fall. Our planning and implementation teams, including University and Lab administrators and Lab faculty, are committed to meeting Lab’s mission and offering an education that promotes the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and families and reflects the highest levels of academic excellence. In the past few months, we have been inspired by how our community has united around common purpose under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. And it is because of you that we know that we will be able to navigate these times together.
Daniel Abebe, Vice Provost
David W. Magill, Interim Director