Financial Report Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
The 2017-2018 inaugural year of operations for Stella Maris Academy proved to be both challenging and rewarding. Our budget for Year 1 of operations was built from an analysis of recent Duluth Area Catholic Schools historical financial data combined with our most thoughtful projections regarding revenues and expenses created by the combined organization. Careful expense management by the administration and strong support from our host parishes in the amount of $444,156, combined with non-host parish support equaling $482,179 helped Stella Maris Academy realize a small net loss of $6,877 on a budget of over $3.2 million for Fiscal Year 2017-18. Fundraising events including Work-A-Thon, Bishop’s Annual Scholarship Dinner, Catholic United Financial Raffle, and Stellabration were successful and provided critical revenue support. Stella Maris Academy was blessed to receive designated monies toward playground improvements for all three campuses, however overall major donor giving came in well under budget.
Stella Maris Academy works with families to make a Catholic education affordable. The Community Support Scholarship fund, made possible by generous parish and community donors, offers tuition support for families who demonstrate financial need. 58 families, making up 17% of the Academy’s population, received a Community Support Scholarship.
Average Cost to Educate a Student
The average cost to educate a student at Stella Maris Academy was $5,800 for the 2017-18 academic year; a number that appears lower than projected because salaries for the months of July and August 2017 were absorbed by the host parishes. The cost of education is determined by total expenses divided by student enrollment. As a comparison, according to the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau, the State of Minnesota average per pupil spending in public schools was $11,949.
Policies and Procedures
The Stella Maris Academy Finance Committee worked collaboratively with the Business Office in creating internal control processes and procedures for Cash Receipts, Securities Management and Investments Management policies, cost of education, tuition analysis recommendations, and a past due Collections Policy.
The Path Forward
We are thankful to have learned a great deal during our first year of operations. While challenges remain, we are diligently working to strengthen the financial base of our young school by growing both enrollment and development support from area parishes, businesses and interested community partners who share our mission. Our goal is to keep Catholic school education in the Northland as affordable as possible while also creating stability and viability in our organization. It is with broad-based Catholic community support and investments of time, talent, and treasure that Stella Maris Academy will flourish and grow.