Costs & Benefits
The PEL program is designed to give beginning teachers the best possible introduction to the profession, while not miring them in debt. We have intentionally kept the tuition low, and the program leverages the experience and expertise of a host of educators already employed by the PEL schools.
Although the program does not confer an academic degree, our graduates have been very successful in being offered jobs at top schools. Some have gone to schools that are already very progressive, and some have been hired by schools which are hoping to become more progressive in their practice.
The Progressive Education Lab is a two-year fellowship. During the first year of the program, fellows rotate through the four PEL schools in a tuition-based program. The tuition for this first year of the program is $15,000. PEL works closely with each fellow to determine the best payment plan for the first year tuition before the program begins. In most cases, the full tuition is broken up into a series of two payments during the first year of the program, with the first one due in early August. Additionally, there is a non-refundable $1,000 deposit that is due upon acceptance and is used to secure the fellow’s place in the PEL program. This deposit goes toward the full first year tuition.
There are additional expenses that each fellow is responsible for during their first year. Two of the four PEL schools have a residential program. At these locations, PEL fellows live in on-campus housing and are offered three meals a day in the schools’ dining halls at no additional cost. During the terms at our two day schools, housing is provided by PEL, but the fellows are responsible for the cost of two meals per day. Additional costs for the fellows are limited and include travel to the day schools, and travel between schools during term breaks, as well as minor extra living costs such as laundry.
In the second year of the PEL program, fellows are placed in paid teaching internships. There is no tuition for this year. The base salary for the year is $15,000 and fellows are paid on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule, depending upon their placement school’s faculty payment schedule.
The roles in the boarding schools include residential duties and require that fellows live on campus. At the day schools, fellows are responsible for securing their own housing. In this case, PEL will pay a stipend towards rental/living costs.
There may also be additional opportunities to supplement the second year salary base at each PEL school. PEL fellows are typically paid additional stipends for coaching a sport, for example.
PEL is a small program that is administered in ways designed to keep costs down and minimize expenditure for its participants. The program was designed to help students avoid the kinds of debt a traditional graduate program can create and since the inaugural year of the program in 2012, we have not increased tuition costs for the first year of PEL. Currently, we offer limited financial aid. However, we continue to make every effort to help students with housing and food costs. If you have questions about finances, please feel free to contact us directly.
PEL does not offer health coverage to its first year students. We are too small a program to be able to do so. Since fellows will be employed by a specific school in their second year, we do offer health coverage for that year. For the first year, we encourage you to explore the health insurance exchanges in your state of residency established by the Affordable Care Act. You should review the insurance options and sign up for the one that makes sense for you. Particular attention should be paid to out of state coverage and it is possible that you will only be able to obtain emergency coverage with a requirement to return to your home state for continued follow up, should such an emergency present itself. Please contact PEL with any additional questions regarding health coverage.