Jul 8, 2012

Kolbe Academy Homeschool: How Much Does It Cost?

I received an email asking how much Kolbe Academy costs, so here's the quick answer (if you can't see it, you need to turn your computer images on):

(Image too small? Click on the image to make it bigger.)

You can see from the table that

  • the more students you enroll, the less it costs for each student; and
  • your second/third/fourth/etc. enrollment costs less than your first.
When we enrolled Josh in grade 1 for the first time last year, we spent around P10,000. This year, with Josh re-enrolling for grade 2 and Bea enrolling for the first time for kindergarten, we spent around P16,000.

Payment is via credit card. You need to call their US office to give your credit card details.The first time, I called them through my Globe cellphone and it cost me 15 pesos per minute. Next time, I'll be getting Skype credits instead, so it should cost me only 1 peso per minute. The phone call took about 10 minutes because the person who answered my call and I had some trouble hearing each other.

Don't worry about giving your credit card details to a stranger. They have a small and trustworthy staff, and you can easily verify that you are talking to a staff member by checking Kolbe Academy's staff page

Are there installment options available?

Yes! You can pay via five installments. The first installment is upon enrollment. This first installment is one-fifth of your total tuition amount, plus a 35 dollar Overseas Family fee and a 5 dollar credit card processing fee.

The second installment is one-fifth of your total tuition amount, plus 5 dollars credit card processing fee. It is charged to your credit card on the first day of the month you begin your homeschooling.

The third, fourth, and fifth installments are one-fifth of your total tuition amount, plus 5 dollars credit card processing fee. They are charged to your credit card on the first day of your second, third, and fourth month of homeschooling.

For instance, if you register on May 5 and start school in July 17, your card will be charged on May 5, July 1, August 1, September 1, and October 1.

When can we enroll?

You can enroll any time of the year. Josh finished his school year in May. The moment I submitted his grades and exams for validation, I also registered him and his sister for the next school year.

You can start the school year any time you like, as long as the previous school year is over. Last year, we started in August. This year, we started in July. Summer vacation is not mandatory -- but of course, no teacher would want to skip it! (My kids do not yet know they are entitled to a summer vacation, so we could have just gone on and on and on, if I had preferred to do it that way.)

What does registration include?

With registration, you get 
  1. the full curriculum for each subject. This lets you know what you are expected to do every day and what you are expected to accomplish every week;
  2. quarterly exams, so you don't need to keep a detailed anecdotal portfolio of your child's schoolwork, as is often required of homeschoolers;
  3. validation of the quarterly exams by Kolbe advisers, so everyone knows your child has been graded properly;
  4. transcript and report-card keeping, so if you want to transfer your child to another school, you've got all the necessary documents ready (incidentally, this means your child will have a US transcript, since he/she is effectively enrolled with a US private school);
  5. advisor services, in case you're having trouble teaching a subject or need assistance with other stuff related to your child's homeschooling.
Registration does not include books. Kolbe Academy has recommended books, and you can buy them from the school's website. Note that the books are recommended, not required. You are perfectly free to use local textbook or skip textbooks altogether. 

We bought Kolbe's textbooks in our first year, because it helped us feel more secure that we were doing this homeschooling stuff right. But this year, Mommy is more confident, and we're using regular storybooks and Internet resources instead.

If you buy textbooks from Kolbe, note that you'll probably spend as much for shipping as for the books themselves. I got Johnny Air Cargo to save on shipping. My books cost about P3,000. Shipping cost about P3,000 too.

By the way, if you wish to contact Kolbe Academy directly, you can email them at homeinfo@kolbe.org. One thing I love about this school is that their customer service is so great. They always answer all emails within 24 to 48 hours.

More questions? Feel free to ask!

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