Tuition: How Far Does It Go?

School Updates

One of the questions we are often asked is where the money that supports San Marcos Academy comes from. Like many private, non-profit schools, we depend not only on tuition paid by students and their families, but also from charitable giving from corporate and private donors.

Some families might think that the tuition and fees paid by San Marcos Academy students and their parents is sufficient to cover our entire budget. But this is not the case. Over the past five years, only 75 percent of the revenue for the school has come from the student tuition and fees.


The gifts that we receive from various groups, such as the Robinson Foundation, Texas Baptists, and individual contributors provided 20% of our revenues over the past five years. So what about the last 5 percent?

When you shop at the Sabre, or pay for admission to our sporting events, you help support SMA! Over the past five years, about 5 percent of our revenues is generated by our Auxiliary Services groups, which includes the bookstore, concession stands and athletic admissions. Because we are a non-profit institution, all of the surplus funds we make goes back into improvements and projects for the school.


Another question people often ask is what does our revenue actually pay for? In other words, what are our major expenses?

The largest expense category at San Marcos Academy is the Academics area, which accounts for 30 percent of our annual expense budget. This includes faculty salaries and all other expenses that are related to teaching and academics.

The second largest expenditure area is our Auxiliary Services, which include the dormitories, athletics and the bookstore. These areas account for about 22 percent of our budget expenses. Institutional support for the Academy, which includes administrative, business and office expenses, is 17% of budget, and maintenance accounts for 11 percent. Financial Assistance awarded to our students accounts for about 12 percent of our budget total.

Gifts to San Marcos Academy are always welcome and enable us to keep our tuition and fees at an affordable level for our families. Some of our current giving opportunities are listed on the Giving to San Marcos Academy page of our website. We thank all of our students and our donors who help us continue to make San Marcos Academy one of the best private schools in Texas.

–By Rhonda McNeil, Chief Financial Officer for SMA