Why does cost of therapeutic boarding school vary so much

How Much Do Therapeutic Boarding Schools Cost?



When a family first begins the task of looking for the best program to help their son or daughter, it can be overwhelming and full of questions. Not only are there different types of programs, with various therapeutic focus and philosophies, but there is also a broad spectrum of tuition costs ranging anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000 per month (or more). Parents have the challenging task of choosing not only the correct program based on the therapeutic needs of their teen, but also one that fits their budget.



Why Does Boarding School Tuition Vary so Much?



  1. Staff to Student Ratio: One of the main factors influencing the cost of tuition is the level of supervision needed to adequately oversee and coach the students. Some programs may be as relaxed as having 1 staff for every 15 or 20 students, with periods of time where students are left “unsupervised”. Other programs provide 100% supervision, with tighter ratios such as 1 staff to every 4 or 6 students, and in some cases can be as much as 1-to-1 in crisis situations. The level of supervision needed is largely based on the trustworthiness, age, maturity, and therapeutic need of the students.
  2. Qualifications and Credentials: Another primary factor affecting the cost is the training and qualification of the staff and their level of therapeutic expertise. Some programs may be just a small step above a traditional summer camp or school, while others will have highly trained staff equipped and certified in crisis management standards and best practices within the social services field. Additionally, true therapeutic programs will have Masters level counselors or social workers not only providing counseling individually for the student, but also for the family as a whole.
  3. Student Life: The program activities, location, and focus may also effect the costs. The more unique and specialized the opportunities and experience for the students, the more a parent would expect to pay.
  4. Missional Focus: Finally, it is also important to try and understand the heart and mission of the agency itself. Almost all institutions will say that they are focused on helping students and families, and every institution must watch its bottom line; however, there is still a vast range among institutions of what it means to have a missional focus, and how much “profit margin” is expected directly from its tuition costs. Some organizations don’t think twice about passing their staffing and program expenses directly onto the parents (customers), while some programs go through extreme lengths to find alternative funding sources, specifically so those savings can be passed on to the families, ultimately granting more families access to the services they need.


What Makes Caribbean Mountain Academy Unique?



Caribbean Mountain Academy is a highly specialized therapeutic boarding school.  We are equipped to help students with a broad range of counseling needs, and we provide quality counseling services for the students and their families. Our program offers once-in-a-lifetime adventure-based learning opportunities, as well as worldview-changing service opportunities thanks to our location in the Dominican Republic.



As for the heart of our organization, we are so committed to our mission that almost all of our American staff located at the campus raise financial support through private donors, specifically so we can reduce tuition for families. If you have further questions about these or other issues related to sending your son or daughter to a therapeutic boarding school, please reach out to us.