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COVID-19 Financial Impact Fund

The Taft COVID-19 Financial Impact Fund is a subset of the Annual Fund focused on bringing about unrestricted philanthropy 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 unprecedented strides 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. Your gift to Taft will help students experiencing financial challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and allow the school to maintain essential operations and protect the employment of Taft’s faculty and staff through the duration of this unprecedented challenge.

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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 is the school taking to reduce pressures on endowment draw and limit expenditures this year and next?

As immediate financial austerity measures, the school has adopted the following policies:

  • immediate suspension of all capital spending
  • salary and hiring freeze across campus
  • review of all department budgets; focus on efficiency without compromising student programs
  • the school will lean on a line of credit at the low rates available in today's market, and draw less directly from endowment.

What near-term financial consequences is Taft facing in light of COVID-19?

In the near-term, 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 will lose nearly $1 million this spring and summer from a combination of sunk expenses and lost revenue predominately from its auxiliary programs, most notably the Taft Summer School and Taft Education Center.

The financial aid budget remains at 25% of gross tuition revenue and has again enabled the school to enroll the diverse, global student population that Taft desires.  While extra funds were diverted in anticipation of increased need from existing families, we anticipate a growing sense of need from returning students beyond the budget.

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.