Sacré-Cœur-Griffon freezing course for the next three years


Sacred Heart-Griffin High School is freezing tuition fees until at least 2025.

This means the new class of freshmen will no longer see tuition fees increase while they are at Catholic Prep School on the West Side of Springfield.

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Tuition fees for Catholic students for the upcoming school year are $ 9,650 per year. It was raised from $ 9,300 earlier this spring.

The school made the announcement in a letter to parents last week.

Cost a brake for some parents

SHG president Sister Katherine O’Connor said she hired a group of independent school consultants from Westport, Connecticut, and a survey of parents showed costs may be a barrier to getting there. sending their children to SHG.

“The first thing that came up (in the poll) was that it was too expensive,” O’Connor said recently. “It didn’t surprise me.

O’Connor said she contacted teachers before the announcement was released to assure them salaries would not be frozen. O’Connor said SHG’s programs will not be cut either.

The whole response so far, O’Connor said, has been positive. The move gives families the opportunity to do financial planning, she added.

O’Connor said the generosity of alumni and donors in contributing to the school’s annual fund also influenced the freeze decision.

O’Connor said she and the school board, which also approved the freeze, would explore “different models of tuition fees”, although she did not specify what this might entail. .

Cost of other Catholic schools

SHG tuition is the most expensive among Catholic high schools in the central Illinois region and the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, which includes 28 counties extending all the way to the Metro East area.

Marquette Catholic High School in Alton is the second most expensive at $ 7,640 per student per year.

Some areas don’t have Springfield’s living expenses and schools don’t offer the SHG level of programming, O’Connor said.

Other schools have different support models. St. Anthony of Padua High School in Effingham, which charges $ 5,073 per year, is supported by a Catholic parish.

SHG has been the only Catholic high school in Springfield since the abrupt closure of the Ursuline Academy in 2007.

The young Chesterton Academy recruits students and teachers for its ‘rigorous classical curriculum’. Last month he made an agreement with St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish on the north side of town to be housed in the old primary school there.

Decreasing registrations

O’Connor, a Dominican sister from Springfield who lives in Elkhart, said SHG is closing 500 students for the fall. The school had a large class of graduates in May – 163 students – and only 110 to 125 students are expected to enroll in first year.

The numbers are also falling in Catholic elementary schools in the area, O’Connor said.

About 17% of SHG’s workforce is made up of students from other religious traditions. They are expected to enroll in Catholic theology classes and attend church services at SHG, O’Connor said.

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School at 1200 W. Washington St., Springfield

While tuition is $ 9,650, the actual cost of educating a student is around $ 12,650, a cost that is underwritten, O’Connor.

“If tuition is really an issue, we can attract more students,” O’Connor said. “We have a fabulous product and we just want more people to participate in it.”

Dr Christopher McDowell, chairman of the SHG board, agreed.

“People see the SHG as an investment in their child’s future and I think there are many ways to see how this investment pays off,” said McDowell, medical director of the Memorial Center for Learning & Innovation and physician. emergency physician, who will have two sons and a daughter at SHG this fall.

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“I think for many of us this is very important in being able to pass on our Catholic faith to the next generation. It is important for us to prepare our children for the next college level (and beyond) and to be able to provide an education that meets these needs.

Grants and financial aid

About 30% of students at SHG receive some form of financial aid, O’Connor said. This takes the form of scholarships and direct financial aid, which comes from the interest of the school’s endowment.

O’Connor did not publicly state where SHG’s endowment was, although she did add that the school only used 5% off endowment interest each year. O’Connor also declined to say how much the school’s annual fund has raised.

Seven SHG students, O’Connor added, earn full tuition this fall thanks to Empower Illinois, a 501 (c) (3) that gives low-income and working-class families access to scholarships private studies.

“The tuition assistance that we provide to families each year has been built into this plan,” McDowell said. “Our goal and aspiration, at the end of this process, is to be able to meet the needs of every family who wants their children to receive a Catholic education at SHG.

“I think this is a message to families that we are trying to be careful what it is for you to manage your time with us. We understand that at least now it makes it a bit easier to budget this to. What will the next few years look like by understanding what this tuition fee structure will be like. “

The first day of classes at SHG is August 16.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788,,

Tuition fees in other Catholic high schools in the region:

  • Routt Catholic High School *, Jacksonville, $ 4,400
  • Father McGivney * Catholic High School, Glen Carbon, $ 7,500
  • St. Teresa High School *, Decatur, $ 7,500
  • Quincy Notre Dame High School *, Quincy, $ 5,875
  • Peoria Notre Dame High School, Peoria, $ 7,600
  • St. Anthony of Padua High School *, Effingham, $ 5,073
  • Marquette Catholic High School *, Alton, $ 7,640

– Tuition fees are per Catholic student and do not include fees. * Indicates that the school is in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield. Source: State Journal-Register research.


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