Holy Child Academy

There is a wonderful independent school a little over a half century old in Old Westbury, New York, called Holy Child Academy.  A school in the Roman Catholic tradition, Holy Child was established originally by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus as part of their network of independent Catholic schools.  Holy Child is a joyful refuge for children from early years in their Early Childhood Center all the way through the Middle School of 6th through 8th grades.

Not a diocesan school, HCA must rely on the generosity of its patrons and alumni, as well as tuition payments, for its financial well-being.  For some time, the leadership of the school and the Trustees have been considering how to convince parents that the Holy Child Academy Middle School experience is worth an outlay of approximately twice what a typical diocesan school costs.  While it is easy to point to a number of characteristics that justify the relatively higher cost of an education at HCA ­–– the quality of its academic programs that assures graduates a near-100% placement at their preferred high schools, its wonderful art and music programs, the beautiful grounds, the varsity sports that begin in the 6th grade, and thriving after-school programs –– the cost differential has seemed to limit the school’s success when it comes to filling its 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

To seek an answer to the tuition conundrum, the Board and school administration contracted the services of a highly respected educational consultant with experience helping smaller independent schools in 2012-13.  After some study and extensive research, his counsel was to consider a significant reduction in tuition for the Middle School that would not only reduce the cost differential with diocesan schools, but which would rationalize a tuition/aid program that had been functioning as a de facto tuition decrease for many families already.

Mailing Piece

KZSW Advertising was invited to help Holy Child project the tuition reduction story as part of a campaign that would also show the local market the school’s unique set of offerings.  The agency elected to devote 2 days to shooting video and photography at the school that would show the kids in class, at lunch, at play in order to show how the Holy Child experience prepares students for further education in an atmosphere of trust and respect for one another.  And that they have fun!

The agency used the photography in both an illustrated letter to the general marketplace of families with children – 17,500 – and in an ad with the headline Amazing Place.  The video was edited into a short Web movie for use on the school’s Web site.  The movie uses professional voice talent and the sound track features original music.

Results are just beginning to come in, but it does seem that the school’s decision to adjust its Middle School tuition coupled with the marketing has begun to bear fruit.  And why not?  Holy Child Academy is, after all, an Amazing Place.

Holy Child Academy - Holy Place Ad

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