It is no secret that students have to spend a fair amount of money during their summer at Exeter. The tuition of over $8,000 is already a hefty price, let alone what other items, lessons or trips the families of Summer School students must pay for. Trips can cost up to $30 while extracurricular programs such as music lessons or Seacoast United Soccer Club each cost another $1,000. On top of that, those enrolled in ACT or SAT prep classes must pay the same fee. I feel that for a host of reasons, PEA Summer School must lower its prices on most of the items or assets available to students.
Don’t get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself at Exeter this summer. I have made a number of friends and have been able to meet people from all over the world. The activities planned by the school, such as Field Day, Fit Week, and of course, the Talent Show have all been an absolute blast.
Inside the classroom, my experience has been as enlightening as ever. The courses are interesting not only in content, but in the way they are taught. The Harkness method invokes deep conversation among my peers and me which keeps me both engaged in the classroom as well as interested in the material.
Another huge facet that allows me and many others to enjoy life here at Exeter is the fact that we have access to excellent facilities. The fitness center, for instance, is incredible, and offers a wide selection of exercises that most other schools could not. The same can be said of the other areas in the Love Gymnasium, such as the enormous gym and the swimming pool.
In terms of entertainment, the game room in the Phelps Academy Center basement offers a number of enjoyable activities such as ping pong, pool, and my personal favorite, foosball.
However, the prices that Exeter charges for its trips, classes, and textbooks are quite high for a Summer School. Many people find themselves already having to pay hundreds, if not thousands before the session even starts, for airplane tickets and other traveling purposes. Once the summer session starts, students can find themselves paying up to a hundred dollars for books at the bookstore, which will be used for only five weeks.
What stands out as most disturbing to me however, is the price of a trip, which can reach as high as $30. At a summer boarding school, the chance to leave the town of Exeter to enjoy the assets of summer, such as a nice trip to the beach, is fairly limited as students at Exeter have the chance to go to the beach only once a week. I feel that to charge students such a large amount of money to go on these trips, is a bit unfair given that many would have the opportunity to go for free, or if not, for a low price if back home.
PEA already does quite a bit to ensure that its students can experience an enjoyable summer. However, it could go even further in that regard by lowering the prices of trips to areas such as Boston or the beach that are hard to come by given how busy students are kept during the weekdays. Reducing the price of such trips may invite students who would otherwise be intimidated by price, especially given how much they are already spending, to participate in them, and enjoy summer to an even greater extent.