Tuition Tiff


Kelly’s daughter, Abby, was a month into kindergarten at a private school when Kelly got surprise phone call: Abby had gotten into a fabulous charter school, and could start the next day!

Since charter schools are tuition-free – unlike her very expensive private school – Kelly jumped at the chance to move Abby to the new school.

The dilemma? Kelly had already signed a typical “no-refund” contract with the private school – meaning that although she was leaving she was still contractually obligated to pay the tuition for the year.  Despite what she signed, Kelly now feels she shouldn’t keep paying once they leave the school – especially given how early in the school year it is! She is asking to be let out of her contract and has already had several heated arguments with the school about it.

Some of our friends agree that Kelly should be let out of the contract since the school year just started. Others feel that she should be held to it – since the school counts on expected incoming funds to make hiring and other expenditure decisions, losing that money after the fact could impact all of their children.  So – is a deal a deal? Or is a renegotiation warranted in this case? What do you think?

| Print

2 Responses to “Tuition Tiff”

  1. Sue says:

    Yes she has a contract. Is there possibility of negotiation maybe. I feel she needs to look at it from another perspective as well as those stated above. What if the school had a limited number of spots that were available and her daughter taking a spot kept another child from being accepted and now she wants to pull her daughter out because she can go to school for free. Since she signed a no refund contract and knew what she was signing, I feel she needs to fulfill her end of the contract. In court she would lose. The “heated discussions” that she has already had with the school could also work against her in trying to negotiate a lower amount with them as well.

  2. Summer says:

    Most schools will allow you out with 8 weeks tuition paid, however the contract she signed is binding. Depending on the amount of the tuition she could take her chances. They are unlikely to go further than small claims court (around a $5500 max I believe) just because the time and money are prohibitive. However I believe she signed a contract and she is obligated – at least until another new Kindergartner starts. This money is budgeted by the school and the contract was signed for a reason. Make sure you understand what you are signing – and negotiate BEFORE the need arises.

Any Thoughts?