It may seem early, but it is time to start thinking about re-enrolling at MCA for the 2023-24 school term. Making sure that your enrollment is completed early is going to be more important this year than it has been in the past. Here’s why.
Most Grades are At or Near Capacity
From Pre-K3 through 5th grade, MCA’s classes are either at or very close to their enrollment cap. What this means is that there are only a few spaces for new students to enroll. We have already received multiple applications for our open spots, and those who have paid their enrollment fee will be placed in a class on February 1. If those students fill the class, families who haven’t yet enrolled will be put on a waiting list for that grade level. Right now, classes that we anticipate to fill up by February 1 would include Pre-K4, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade.
If you currently have a child in First grade or Third grade, we are expecting that both second grade and fourth grade will go over the enrollment capacity for a single class. The decision to add a second class at each grade level depends on how many students we have who enroll early, plus any new students that apply for those grades. Enrolling before February 1 is the best way to make sure you’re in. If we reach capacity for a single class on February 1, we will put anyone who hasn’t enrolled at that point on a waiting list. We need at least five students over the enrollment cap to consider opening a second class. We only have classroom space to add two additional homerooms, so once that has occurred everyone else will be on the wait list.
We have had considerable interest from new students and their families with many of them already having paid their deposit, especially for Kindergarten, so it is possible for MCA to have to close several grades to enrollment on February 1st. To make sure you’re in, you need to enroll before that date.
Right now, sixth grade is the only middle school grade level that has a possibility of being full by February 1.
We have approved a slight increase in tuition and fees for 2023-24. Obviously inflation has had an impact on the school’s costs. We are anticipating giving our teachers their first raise in at least five years. Our highest tuition rate is well below that of the other religious-based private schools in our part of Chicago, and well below both the state and national average tuition rate for Christian schools, which is over $14,000 per year.
We are able to offer a lower tuition rate, for one reason, because we own our property, it is debt-free and we do not have to worry about an annual lease or rent. In addition to that, Midwest Bible Church provided almost $400,000 for the renovation of what is now known as the Vernon Lee Memorial Building and other donors contributed more than $200,000 to the renovation of the gym and parking lot. Regular contributions from multiple alumni and friends of the school also help keep our costs low. We estimate that the church’s in-kind and regular donations to the school save our parents more than $2,000 per year, per student in tuition and fees. Average tuition in a Chicago-area private, religious-based school is over $13,000 per year, and across the country, the average in Christian schools is just over $14,000, so MCA offers a high quality education at a very reasonable cost.
Teachers at MCA have not had a raise for at least 5 years, and that is a budget priority for 2023-24. We have had excellent staff retention over the past five years, and that is the key to maintaining a strong academic program. Our teachers make the same kind of financial sacrifice to work here, as a ministry calling, as parents make to send their children here. We need to be good stewards of their service and calling, and help them provide for their families, as they provide for yours.