Application fee: $100 | Free to Character.org members
Why? We did not undertake this decision lightly. Free participation was possible when the program was small, we selected only a few exemplar schools and had lots of funding support. Now that the program has become a “path to school improvement,” and more and more schools are seeing the benefits of achieving the Schools of Character accreditation, we had to face the fiscal reality that we could not sustain it as a free program.
As we explored ways to support Schools of Character, most schools told us that a fee would not prohibit them from applying. Our hope is that the value of the program and the consultation feedback schools receive will be worth the cost.
How will the fee be used? The fee will go to the national organization (Character.org) to help support the costs of running the program. These include the programming costs to develop and update the online application, site visits and evaluations, the Schools of Character magazine, website resources, and more.
When will we need to pay? We know that the fee will be difficult for some schools who have already budgeted for this school year. The fee does not have to be paid until the application is submitted, and the closing date is Dec.5, 2016. Our hope is that schools can find a way to cover the fee during the next four months perhaps from community support. We at the national level will continue to apply for grants and to seek donations to help cover the costs of this valuable program.
How to pay? We have decided to make this fee one more benefit of school membership, so if your school is a member of Character.org or decides to become one, you will enter your membership number as a discount code to waive the fee.
If your school is not a member, you can pay with a credit card when you submit your application online. If you are paying with a purchase order, you have to have the purchase order number to submit.