NAIS Research: 2018 Survey on Non-Tuition Sources of Income


The NAIS Survey on Non-Tuition Sources of Income was designed to gather information on alternative sources of income used by independent schools. This report includes the results of the 2018 study conducted by the National Association of Independent Schools. The results from over 350 business officers provide information on the prevalence, cost, and benefits of non-tuition sources of income. This page also includes a link to download the executive summary of the report, which can be read and shared to gain a quick understanding of the findings of the study.

Executive Summary

NAIS surveyed independent schools to learn about their experience with non-tuition sources of income. Respondents reported maintaining a wide variety of alternative sources of income. The most common sources were summer programs (84 percent), facility rentals (67 percent), and extended-day programs (65 percent).

About four in 10 schools reported having a development or advancement office responsible for managing their most significant income stream, while just above three in 10 reported that the business office runs the operation. Thirty-seven percent of schools reported hiring new staff to run their most significant operation, while 51 percent of schools use volunteers to help run their operation.

The majority of schools (53 percent) reported that their most significant program made between $100,001 and $500,000; 18 percent reported that their program made over $500,000, and 28 percent made $100,000 or less. The majority of schools (81 percent) use this revenue to fund general operating costs, with smaller percentages of schools using it to fund financial aid (19 percent) and facilities (13 percent).

Downloadable Report

Case Studies

NAIS also spoke with several schools who had successfully implemented programs to increase income and enhance their programming. These case studies can be found below.
  • Case Study: Facilities Rental (Sonoma Country Day School, CA)
  • Case Study: Gala (Brownell Talbot School, NE)
  • Case Study: Plant Sale (Friends School of Minnesota)
  • Case Study: Daycare (Charlotte Latin School, NC)