COVID-19 Financial Impact Fund

The Taft COVID-19 Financial Impact Fund is a part of the Annual Fund that focuses on bringing about unrestricted support to help support both students facing financial challenges and the overall continuity of school operations during these unprecedented times.

Supporting Taft is important now more than ever.

As the school takes innovative actions to support those in its care, we humbly propose that now is the time for our Taft family to give greatly of itself to ensure that Taft endures. For generations, the philanthropy of Taft donors has been the foundation of the school’s growth and durability, in the best and worst of times. We thank all donors in the Taft community for their support.

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Below are some questions and answers about Taft’s financial position in this unprecedented time. If you have additional questions or would like more information about giving to Taft, please email Kelsey Kerr, Annual Fund Director, at kkerr@taftschool.org.

What measures has the school taken to manage the budget and reduce pressures on endowment draw amidst the uncertainty created by the budget?

During the Spring and Summer the school adopted austerity measures that included:

  • immediate suspension of all non-essential capital spending;
  • salary and hiring freeze across campus; with no on-campus summer programs, approximately 50% of staff furloughed for more than two months;
  • review of all department budgets; focus on efficiency without compromising student programs

What are the financial consequences Taft faces in light of COVID-19?

Last spring, the cost savings from the cancellation of dining, co-curriculars, and some events will offset the loss of tuition revenue (in the form of credit/refund for remote learning this spring).

However, Taft lost important auxiliary revenue from most notably the Taft Summer School and Taft Education Center with the campus remaining closed throughout the summer.

As school reopened this year, the school had 102 students studying remotely at a reduced tuition rate while the on-campus student population consisted of 100 day students and 398 boarding students.

PCR testing protocol, additional personnel in the healthcare center, information technology investment for delivery of remote education, meaningful investment in HVAC, and campus preparation for new community needs and protocol will cost the school well in excess of $1 million.

What other areas of exposure does the school face should the pandemic present uncertainty to the on-campus viability of the 20-21 academic year?

The school is cautiously optimistic that an on-campus program will resume in the fall, likely with new measures to enhance safety and health.  However, the possibility of remote learning remains real.

Should broad government-imposed travel bans come into play across the globe, many international students will not be able to return to campus. Taft enrolls close to 120 international students who provide 20% of the school's tuition revenue.

Should adequate testing not emerge in a timely manner, or the pandemic persist or return later in the year, remote learning for the entire campus will again be a reality.

Continued remote learning will present the school with the need for six-figure investment in technology infrastructure and software licenses.

Moving between a remote and residential boarding school model does not allow for varying expenses in a way that can keep pace.  While in a remote environment, revenue will also face pressure from the need to reduce tuition price appropriately and the possibility of enrollment attrition.

Thank you to everyone in the Taft community who has contributed to the COVID-19 Financial Impact Fund! We are incredibly grateful for your support that helped to make Taft's hybrid model possible. Your generosity has allowed Taft to invest in technology infrastructure and software, HVAC and ventilation upgrades, PPE and cleaning, COVID-19 testing, athletics, as well as additional financial aid to Taft families.