Local Connection: Academy of the Pacific

By: Rick Blangiardi

It saddened us to learn that the Academy of the Pacific is shutting down after 50 years.

Private school education in Hawaii is excellent but it is expensive and schools must be adept at offering financial aid and scholarships to students at schools where tuition ranges from $10,000 to $22,000 a year.

In the case of the academy, where tuition was $17,700 a year, about one-third of the students received financial assistance and more were in need.

From a high of some 150 students in grades six through 12, enrollment had dropped to about 60 students.

The academy served students who were more comfortable in a smaller setting and needed personal attention and the school will be missed.

It has not been an easy time for independent schools. Enrollment at some schools is dropping, tuition has to be increased and some single-gender schools have gone co-ed to attract a larger base of students.

Here's hoping the ones that remain continue to fill in the gap for those students who need it most.

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