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#1 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 04:24 PM

Anyone here participate in CC as a director or tutor? My question is pretty general but the tuition price is a sticker shock for many people right now. Myself included as I have 6 children. Tuition alone would cost us almost $2000. plus the reg/supply fees which for my kids would be another $600 total, plus cost of our facility.

Is it possible to run a CC group and have everyone pay reg fees, supply fees, facility fees and that's it? Not charge tuition? If the tutors and I all agree to volunteer our time to direct and tutor and not get paid to do it in an effort to save us and everyone else $$ is this something we can realistically do? I asked our state manager and he said that the handbook basically says we HAVE to charge the tuition because CC says we have to, but that what we do with the $$ is up to us. I don't want their tuition money. I feel terrible taking it because I can't afford it either! {plus all the curriculum and everything else that I have to purchase!} The state manager did say something about offer someone a "scholarship"... don't know how to actually do that..

Any thoughts or ideas here? I love the CC group, curriculum, philosophy, and want to have our own community... but I am feeling reluctant to make it into my own business. I know that people value what they pay for and I get that. I have been a part of a number of co-ops where people were flakey, not responsible, didn't show up when they said that they would, etc. So I know how that would be affected. But I am more worried about not having a community at all for my kids due to the severe financial issues our community is suffering from.

Thanks everyone for listening!

#2 Samiam

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 04:37 PM

I think you have to charge a fee because the main CC gets a portion of it...it is how and why they are in business, how they ARE a business, you know what I mean, instead of just a "philosophy with a following".

#3 Steph

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

One of the reasons for a fee is for commitment. You can't have a successful program without it. The money helps families make a commitment. They value what they pay for - that makes a better program. It also allows the tutors to be paid for their work - they do a lot of work and deserve to be paid.

Personally, I hold the belief that money (the lack of money) shouldn't stop someone from participating. If someone wants to be part of CC and can't afford it, I will help them find away even if it means I pay their tuition. I feel strongly about not letting money stop someone from being part of this amazing group! But it's very important to distinguish between can't afford it and not wanting to afford it or it's not worth the money to them.

In other words, families who can't afford it - would have to choose between say food and paying for CC. Whereas other families may choose not to afford it would have to choose between CC and something else like taking a 10 day cruise or a 14 day cruise to afford it. That's probably a bad example. It's about priorities and choices. That is important to distinguish first.

It is worth the money. Sometimes it's hard to see that because it can seem like a lot of money, but it's really not a lot at all.

I have one family who thought CC was too expensive - the complained about it regularly. I talked to her about a scholarship thinking it was that they couldn't afford it.

Tuition is $13/week. One day as I was going over pizza money. I realized she spent more on buying pizza for lunch than she did on tuition for her child. 3 hours of class for $13 verses a pizza that is consumed in a few minutes. I realized if she could afford the pizza she could afford CC. She just didn't want to spend the money on CC, but she never questioned spending it on pizza.

In some areas, there is no way for a family to come up with the money, and I think it's up to you to decide how to handle that. If you want, you can pm me for what I do. We have given scholarships to many families.

And sometimes families use money as their excuse - it's easier to say we can't afford it than to share the real reasons they don't join.

#4 Renee in NC

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:19 PM

Steph, that is really, really good of you to help others figure out how to afford it. CC has always been "out" for us because even with tutoring it was going to cost a LOT more than we could afford. I am glad that you care!:D

#5 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:32 PM

Actually,from my training and what I understand CC does NOT get a portion of the tuition. The tuition money goes right back to the Director and the Tutors {Tutors get 40% and Directors get 60%}. CC only collects the registration payments which are $50. per child {That charge is in addition to the tuition fee.}

The $13/week analogy has been used everywhere I go. However that is not a realistic figure unless you only have one child in the program. If you have as many children as I do in CC, you are paying $78/ week PLUS the $50 reg fee PER CHILD, plus the facility fee {for us the facility fee will be $80/week divided by the # of families and our community is small so far}, plus the $50 supply fee PER CHILD. If you have 6 kids in the program like I do... that's $1872 for tuition, $300 for supplies and $300 for registration fee. Unfortunately you can try to break that up weekly to make the # look smaller but all that money is due UPFRONT! So $2472 for me for my kids. Unfortunately, that's about what we make in one month!

We have one family who at the Information meeting was stoked about the program and wanted to sign up that night, she also has 6 kids. Turns out that she can't afford it either. For 6 kids that's almost $3000 just for them PLUS the curriculum for everyone!!!! That's not a small amount.

Then, how do I offer a scholarship for this one family or offer to let her do something in exchange for tuition and make it fair for other families who CAN pay tuition or are willing to? I CAN'T even afford the tuition which is why I am directing and tutoring this year!

As far as whether someone can really "afford" it or not... there is no way to know that for sure without seeing how much they make versus how many dependents they have versus their expenses each week. And I feel totally uncomfortable being their judge of that as well.

So how do you make this fair for everyone? The family with 6 kids and my family would have to choose between food or tuition. Which is unfortunately the case for most people in our community right now. EVERYONE here is hurting financially.

Thanks for the ideas, guys. I am just struggling and at a loss at what to do right now. Already I have spent $800 for CC curriculum for my kiddos {all the recommended CC curriculum plus the tutor/director stuff I need to have} along with at least another $500 for math/language arts. It adds up quickly.

In the end it is the Director and Tutors who receive the tuition money, not CC. Just wondering how to make that work.. or maybe charge something cheaper ... like half of the tuition for the 1st semester and half for the 2nd. I don't know. Even that's a lot for a family with 6 kids.

Ugh,

Edited by jeffcolemanfamily, 06 August 2011 - 05:37 PM.


#6 Renee in NC

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:41 PM

I recently applied for a ballet scholarship for my 7yo and I had to provide 2 pay stubs, 2 months bank statements, proof of other income/assistance, last year's tax return, and a detailed budget. The preschool for my 2yo requires the same things.

#7 angela in ohio

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:50 PM

The reason for the money is accountability, both in parents and tutors. That said, I could no longer in good conscience be a Director of a Foundations/Essentials program because of the way it is structured (I was a Director and trained tutors and spoke for CC at the state level.) So I see both sides.

The way it worked on our campus, moms who can afford it pay, and moms who can't tutor. That doesn't mean you always get the best tutors, though. And sometimes those who can't afford it, as a pp said, can afford other things, so it just isn't a priority. That might show in the way they act in the program if you let them in cheap.

I think if money is an issue for everyone, you are better off just starting a co-op that is independent. Homeschoolers have been doing that for decades. You can use less expensive materials (that's where CC makes its money, and they are pretty expensive.) You can have local control over the materials taught. When you sign on with CC, you do it their way (including charging what they say, etc.) because you sign contracts saying you will.

Really, CC is a pricy "extra." If families can't afford it, there are so many other options (including just doing memory work at home.) I think people get swept up in worrying about their dc missing something and things get a bit crazy (tution or food?) after that.

And you might want to check with your SM again about the tuition... you have the breakdown backwards between Tutors and Directors. :D

Edited by angela in ohio, 06 August 2011 - 06:00 PM.


#8 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:16 PM

Oh geez, you're right... sorry about that! It's 60% to the tutors and 40% to the Directors. Eek. I knew that.... just put it backwards!

Thanks so much. You have given me a lot to think about!

#9 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:20 PM

One more question for you Angela... the way you did it in your group where moms who couldn't afford it tutored...did the other moms have a problem with that or did they feel it was fair that those moms were working for their kids' tuition?

I would love to chat with you more about your feelings on how CC is structured... thanks!

#10 angela in ohio

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:23 PM

One more question for you Angela... the way you did it in your group where moms who couldn't afford it tutored...did the other moms have a problem with that or did they feel it was fair that those moms were working for their kids' tuition?

I would love to chat with you more about your feelings on how CC is structured... thanks!


The moms who could afford it had no problem with it. They didn't want or need to tutor. Some of them had many other obligations, and they were happy to pay someone else to tutor. :001_smile:

#11 trailofsparks

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:35 PM

It's my understanding that up to 3 families can meet and thus are not required to collect tuition, etc. This arrangement can work in rotating houses each month. Families with similar age dc can meet and make it work - free of tuition, building costs, registration, etc. Any more than 3 families, according to CC policy, constitutes a community and must legally "build" a community.

#12 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

CJ that's interesting... I will go check my Director's guidebook and see if that was the cut off. I thought it was two families. hmmmm

#13 NayfiesMama

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:34 PM

It's my understanding that up to 3 families can meet and thus are not required to collect tuition, etc. This arrangement can work in rotating houses each month. Families with similar age dc can meet and make it work - free of tuition, building costs, registration, etc. Any more than 3 families, according to CC policy, constitutes a community and must legally "build" a community.


Just to remind people, CC does not create law, they may suggest, but their materials are on the open market. They may state things as law, but it would be them proving in court that they had found a law to protect them. My father writes books professionally; could he require that Professors not use his books in classes? If the students each need one to follow along, that's a different issue. CC does not deserve for families to say... purchase one book and photocopy the materials for all the families... or "cheat" them out of the purchase price. Just a thought. Of course, I'm for sure not an attorney... just asked some wanting to know why the situation was different than for other authors.

#14 Sophia

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:45 PM

Actually,from my training and what I understand CC does NOT get a portion of the tuition. The tuition money goes right back to the Director and the Tutors {Tutors get 40% and Directors get 60%}. CC only collects the registration payments which are $50. per child {That charge is in addition to the tuition fee.}


You didn't specify what your training was for so I just want to clarify that CC DOES get a portion of tuition payments for Challenge programs (I have no idea about F/E.)
I'm getting ready to write them a hefty check so can personally attest to that fact ;).

#15 Renee in NC

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:46 PM

Just to remind people, CC does not create law, they may suggest, but their materials are on the open market. They may state things as law, but it would be them proving in court that they had found a law to protect them. My father writes books professionally; could he require that Professors not use his books in classes? If the students each need one to follow along, that's a different issue. CC does not deserve for families to say... purchase one book and photocopy the materials for all the families... or "cheat" them out of the purchase price. Just a thought. Of course, I'm for sure not an attorney... just asked some wanting to know why the situation was different than for other authors.


I was thinking the same thing - is there really anyway it can be stopped legally if 4-5 families decide to do memory work together using the CC guide?

#16 Sophia

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:54 PM

Just to remind people, CC does not create law, they may suggest, but their materials are on the open market.


I wonder if when CC talks about a "legal" community, they are referring to those groups that want access to the portal (with all its resources) and the ability to network with other CC communities and tutors.

Of course anyone can band together and use whatever books they choose, but I could understand CC wanting the groups they provide ongoing support for to follow CC guidelines.

#17 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:07 PM

Yes for Foundations and Essentials CC only gets the $50 per child registration fee. The tuition goes directly back to the director and tutors. We won't have a Challenge group this year just F/E.

Thanks.

#18 mrs.m

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:12 PM

I was thinking the same thing - is there really anyway it can be stopped legally if 4-5 families decide to do memory work together using the CC guide?



They can't stop them from doing that. I know people that did that before they could pull together a formal group. Sadly it failed.

But I *think* CC would probably have a case in court if someone was advertising and building it up as a "Classical Conversations Community". They would need to call their group something else. It's not CC. It's a co-op using CC curriculum and needs a different name.

#19 MindyD

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:26 PM

I used to tutor, and the biggest reason I left was because I felt it cost too much for what it was providing. The tuition is not realistic for most families. You're required to buy a lot of extra supplies and curriculum that is supposed to be reusable, but they kept changing and upgrading just enough that you had to buy the new material. You can buy all the materials if you want to follow their memory work if you want and you could certainly do it together with a few families.
One of the arguments is that it's cheaper than private school, and yes, that's true. But it's still too expensive for what they offer. Just my opinion.

#20 NayfiesMama

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:28 PM

I wonder if when CC talks about a "legal" community, they are referring to those groups that want access to the portal (with all its resources) and the ability to network with other CC communities and tutors.

Of course anyone can band together and use whatever books they choose, but I could understand CC wanting the groups they provide ongoing support for to follow CC guidelines.


They are saying that you only have the right to have a group of xx amt of families do it without being official. Some groups don't want to be official. Some people like...say... Shurley Grammar for the English Grammar and Latin For Children's Grammar... and LFC's John 1:1 more than say... CC's. If you are official... you have to stay with their's. If you're not.. you can tweak it. If you're official, and you don't like the maps... you are suppose to stay with theirs. If you aren't, and you don't care for the maps they put together, you can use any you choose. Many people tweak things, but it's under the radar, a no-no, and not "allowed"....

I like having a program that is for OUR people, changed by OUR people.... without caring what a hierarchy likes. We are not blind sheep, and I don't like having another Mama. I like mine just fine :D

#21 Sophia

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:41 PM

I like having a program that is for OUR people, changed by OUR people.... without caring what a hierarchy likes. We are not blind sheep, and I don't like having another Mama. I like mine just fine :D


Spoken like a true homeschooler ;)

#22 NayfiesMama

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:04 PM

...You're required to buy a lot of extra supplies and curriculum that is supposed to be reusable, but they kept changing and upgrading just enough that you had to buy the new material. You can buy all the materials if you want to follow their memory work if you want and you could certainly do it together with a few families.
One of the arguments is that it's cheaper than private school, and yes, that's true. But it's still too expensive for what they offer. Just my opinion.


:iagree: and..... now new Timeline Cards. If I had it to do again, I would do the VP order and maybe expand by having him watch the VP online part. They are like little cartoons speaking, and my son really liked the sample. :D

#23 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:23 AM

Carrie, VP has an online video? Very interesting.

So to do CC unofficially you would just do it without registering as a CC group right? Then you wouldn't have access to the extras and info online either right?
Hmmmm wheels turning here... LOL

#24 newlifemom

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 01:44 AM

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Reported

#25 angela in ohio

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:29 AM

You didn't specify what your training was for so I just want to clarify that CC DOES get a portion of tuition payments for Challenge programs (I have no idea about F/E.)
I'm getting ready to write them a hefty check so can personally attest to that fact ;).


We're talking about F/E, where CC only gets the $50 registration fee. Challenge is set up differently, but the OP doesn't sound like she has a Challenge program yet.

#26 Sophia

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:37 AM

We're talking about F/E, where CC only gets the $50 registration fee. Challenge is set up differently, but the OP doesn't sound like she has a Challenge program yet.


Yes, she clarified that in post 17.
Someone reading her op and unfamiliar with CC would not have known she was only referring to F/E so I wanted to insert that Challenge is structured differently.:001_smile:

#27 angela in ohio

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:38 AM

They can't stop them from doing that. I know people that did that before they could pull together a formal group. Sadly it failed.

But I *think* CC would probably have a case in court if someone was advertising and building it up as a "Classical Conversations Community". They would need to call their group something else. It's not CC. It's a co-op using CC curriculum and needs a different name.


This.

You can't go around advertising using their name if you haven't signed with them. Your co-op, named "__________ Classical Co-op" or whatever, can use whatever materials they want, though. Like Carrie said (and she and I have talked about this before :D) what you trade for the "training and support" is local control. While CC makes decisions based on profit and what is good for the national company (as they should, they are a business,) you can make decisions that work for your group (that sounds a lot like local vs. national control of schools. :lol:)

OP, though, if you have signed your contract and gone through training, this isn't an option for you now. Your contract states that you won't start a similar co-op within two years (my two years just ended, and I have been teaching only free individual classes in the meantime just to be sure) so that you can't just get their training, then back out on them and use it to do a copycat program.

#28 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:26 AM

Thanks Angela. I did go back and re-read my contract after reading your post. I am going to offer different options as far as tuition is concerned. I will be giving parents an option to pay half at a time and/or tutor in exchange for tuition or another job {such as teach the PE class, etc}. I don't want this to be a burden on families, but I do want there to be accountability of some kind so that they feel that they are either paying for or working for the class like everyone else. I don't want the family that came to my Information Meeting to choose not to participate because they have to choose food first. That's not why I started this in the first place.

Something I learned last night... as I was filling in registration forms in the portal online... the $50 registration fee is per child, per class. So that if my two kids that are Foundations age are ALSO in Essentials {as all kids are supposed to be from 4th-6th grade}... then I pay $50 reg fee for each class for both of them PLUS another supply fee for each of their classes. So instead of the $300 for the registration fee... I am paying $400 for registration alone...that goes straight to CC. The tuition is also doubled as well... both of those kids will have to pay $312 for Foundations and another $312 for Essentials. That adds an extra $600 to my already $1800 tuition. Its a small fortune for some families unfortunately. I don't know if I can handle continuing to charge that kind of money in good conscience.

We'll see how this year goes. Those that can pay will pay. Those that can't will tutor or teach a class {hoping to have a PE class after lunch for the younger ones and a chess class/skills class of some kind for the second hour after lunch}. Those that need to can break up their tuition payment in half. I think this is the only way I'll be able to do this and sleep at night.

I'll re-evaluate next year.

Thank you everyone for weighing in on your opinions and advice. I truly appreciate it!

#29 Mandy in TN

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:34 AM

I am another that would say that, if you can't afford CC, there are other options. Definitely design your own program. There are other programs that provide memory work- Clssically Catholic and Catholic Schoolhouse (I like that their math isn't the same every year.) I am sure there are other products. Also, Living Memory is a fantastic resource.

OTOH- I also agree that in my experience families show-up and show-up better prepared if they have to pay something. If no money is involved they either don't show up or they show up unprepared.

HTH-
Mandy

#30 jeffcolemanfamily

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:57 AM

Thanks Mandy. A few people mentioned Living Memory here... can someone explain it a little?

#31 Vanna

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:44 AM

Thank you all for your responses in this thread. A friend and I are considering all the implications of a formal CC community (including the question of "tuition") so I appreciate your insights. :D

#32 MSNative

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:58 AM

I am going to offer different options as far as tuition is concerned. I will be giving parents an option to pay half at a time and/or tutor in exchange for tuition or another job {such as teach the PE class, etc}. I don't want this to be a burden on families, but I do want there to be accountability of some kind so that they feel that they are either paying for or working for the class like everyone else. I don't want the family that came to my Information Meeting to choose not to participate because they have to choose food first. That's not why I started this in the first place.



Quick question - if you allow certain parents to opt out of paying tuition and teach a class instead, won't that decrease the amount you are paying tutors? If that is the case (and I am brand new to CC so I may be way off base), you probably ought to bring it up with the tutors. I'm sure they will be on board with the idea, but it would be good to make sure they are aware and budget accordingly.

Good luck this year. It sounds like you are a very thoughtful person. I'm sure you will have a great community.

#33 hjordan423

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:58 PM

Hmmmm...I have actually been trying to organize a group that comes together weekly and does pretty much everything a CC Foundations group does, but with no fees involved. I've been trying to figure out how to make this work -- how to divide up the responsibilities among the participating families.

You all have brought up an excellent point about people not taking it as seriously if they're not paying for it. But maybe if each family involved has some essential responsibililty (tutoring, providing the meeting location, providing snacks/supplies, etc.) they will be less inclined to just not show up.

I've really been giving this a lot of thought lately so I am excited to have found this post. I think CC is great, but I agree that it is expensive for what you get. We absolutely adored our director/tutor last year, but I think we can do most of it on our own with little to no cost.

I'd be very curious to hear from anyone who [I]has[I] made something like this work and any tips you can offer. Thanks.

#34 Vanna

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:30 AM

Hmmmm...I have actually been trying to organize a group that comes together weekly and does pretty much everything a CC Foundations group does, but with no fees involved. I've been trying to figure out how to make this work -- how to divide up the responsibilities among the participating families.

You all have brought up an excellent point about people not taking it as seriously if they're not paying for it. But maybe if each family involved has some essential responsibililty (tutoring, providing the meeting location, providing snacks/supplies, etc.) they will be less inclined to just not show up.

I've really been giving this a lot of thought lately so I am excited to have found this post. I think CC is great, but I agree that it is expensive for what you get. We absolutely adored our director/tutor last year, but I think we can do most of it on our own with little to no cost.

I'd be very curious to hear from anyone who [I]has[I] made something like this work and any tips you can offer. Thanks.

We are currently in a non-classical ed. co-op. Each family pays a fee of $50/yr. to be a part of it and the only other costs are for curricula and/or materials for certain classes. Every parent is required to teach or be a helper for 3 out of the 5 periods. I like this set up. It keeps families involved and doesn't breaking the bank.:)


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