STAR Costs and Fees
What are the costs for attending STAR?
There are two separate types of fees at STAR:
-The STAR Fee covers our administrative costs and building rental. The fee is $30.00 per family per semester and $15.00 per enrolled child per semester. Fees are subject to change, please see the “payment instructions” for the latest information. This money is paid directly to STAR Academy.
-The Class Enrollment Fees are the fees you pay to the instructors and vary based on each class. Please see class registration materials for specific amounts. Generally these fees range from $100-$225 per class. Checks should be made payable as indicated in the class description.
Does STAR offer any scholarships or financial aid?
The financial structure of STAR does not provide for any funds for scholarships or financial aid. Occasionally, when a class fails to meet its enrollment minimum AND the class fulfills an important need in our schedule, STAR, if financially feasible, might choose to purchase spot(s) in that specific class to ensure the class will move forward. In that situation STAR administrators will either sell a spot to families who may have missed the initial registration period and/or a spot may be offered at a reduced fee to a child who would not have been able to attend STAR otherwise. This situation is handled on a case-by-case basis. Families who receive a class via this method will still be responsible for their STAR Fee.
Why are class fees paid to the instructors and not to STAR?
Per our agreement with MCGT, STAR’s role is that of a facilitator. STAR parents (members) are hiring these quality individuals as tutors to supplement or assist in their home instruction. STAR connects families to instructors in a way that we hope is beneficial to all parties. STAR seeks instructors who are both supportive of home education and who are comfortable with adapting material to the needs of highly gifted children. Because they are not employees of STAR, we cannot guarantee instructor performance.
May I use my expenses at STAR as a tax deduction?
Minnesota allows a subtraction or credit for certain educational expenses. If your child meets Minnesota’s requirements, and depending on your family’s income level, the tutoring expenses you pay at STAR may qualify for a credit or subtraction on your Minnesota Tax Return. The tutor must be a qualified tutor, by Minnesota Department of Revenue definition. That would include a licensed teacher or a person with any baccalaureate. Check the biographies to see if your instructor qualifies. Even if the class qualifies as an educational expense, the actual deductibility or eligibility for credit will depend on your individual tax circumstances. This general information does not constitute tax or legal advice. If you have any further questions, please contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue or your personal CPA.
If my child doesn't like a class can we get a refund?
No. Our small size and fee structure do not allow for refunds when withdrawing from a class already in session. Parents are hiring the instructors directly, STAR administrators are merely facilitating the process. If you are dissatisfied with the instructor or content of a class please feel free to contact the instructor (or parent company). You can also contact a STAR administrator for assistance.
What if something changes and we have to change/cancel our registration before classes have begun?
In order to keep our fees as low as possible and offer a good balance of classes, we follow the refund policy shown below. Our goal is to keep things as flexible as possible, while also remaining fair and balanced for all families.
Refunds policy - You may always choose to not attend a class, however the following policies regarding refunds of fees apply:
Phase 1: Changes made during the official registration period:
-All changes are refundable. Make the change(s) in your online account and mail the new fees, postmarked within 10 days of the change(s) or by the registration deadline, whichever comes first. Checks for dropped classes will be shredded unless you request that we return it to you.
Phase 2: Changes made after the official registration period ends and before the first day of classes:
-You may add classes if there is still space available in the class. Make the change(s) in your online account and mail the new Class Enrollment Fee, postmarked within 10 days of the change(s) or at least 7 days before classes begin, whichever comes first.
-No refund of STAR Fees for any reason, except as noted below.
-You will receive a refund of the Class Enrollment Fee if dropping the class will not cause the class to fall below the minimum number of participants required by the instructor. This minimum is different for each class and is set before the registration period opens. If you have registered for multiple classes you will receive a refund for any class that will not be dropping below the minimum and you will not receive a refund of Class Enrollment Fees for classes that would drop below the minimum number of participants. If another child enrolls for the class before the first day of classes and this brings the class up to the minimum number required, then you will receive a refund of Class Enrollment Fees. No refund of STAR Fees. Checks for dropped classes will be shredded unless you request that we return it to you.
-If all the classes you have registered for have to be cancelled due to low enrollment you will receive a full refund of all fees, including STAR fees. You may also choose to enroll in other class(es) instead, if there is space in the class. Checks for dropped classes will be shredded unless you request that we return it to you.
Phase 3: Changes made the first day of classes or later:
-You may add classes if there is still space available in the class and the instructor allows late entrants. Contact an administrator to see if this is an option.
-No refunds of any fees (STAR or class enrollment fees) after classes have begun.
Reminder: Parents are hiring the instructors directly, STAR is merely facilitating the process. If you are dissatisfied with the instructor or content of the class please feel free to contact the instructor (or parent company). You can also contact a STAR administrator for assistance.
Contact a STAR administrator if you have any questions.