Pro/Con: The cost of InterSession


Students have access to a course catalog that lists all the available options for InterSession.

Up until now, the students of NDB have only gotten to experience InterSession once every other year. However, Head of School Meredith Essalat announced that starting in 2023, InterSession will happen annually. With this comes the excitement of adventure and travel, but it also raises questions about the costs surrounding InterSession.

Mia Muzzi: InterSession should continue to be paid for by NDB’s students

InterSession has a variety of courses to partake in, ranging in price from $20 to $3,600. This is a factor that all students and their families should consider when deciding on their plans for the week. However, complaints about the cost of the trips have surfaced amongst NDB’s community.

Namely, the trips to Washington D.C. and New York City have the highest cost attached to their itineraries. Both trips exceed $2,000 but it is important to understand that this fee is all-inclusive except for personal expenditures. Given the cost of airfare, meals, tickets and hotel rooms, the prices of these trips are relatively reasonable.

Although it is a nice thought that NDB could make InterSession activities free for all students, it is highly unrealistic.

InterSession includes a variety of almost 30 programs available to students. Not only does this include the more expensive destination trips, but it also includes courses taught right at NDB for less than $30. For example, the “Week of Code” and the “Screenwriting & the West Wing” courses both have a singular entry fee of $20. NDB makes sure that there are numerous affordable activities for all students to attend.

If NDB were to pay for the InterSession courses offered, it would most likely come from fundraising or an increase in tuition. Although beneficial to those wanting to participate in a more expensive option, an increase in tuition would not be fair to students and their families who have no interest in attending one of these costly programs.

With there being so many options available for how to spend the week of InterSession, it is hard to imagine that there is not a course for everyone. And even so, a student has permission to use InterSession to visit colleges, volunteer or go on a family trip. NDB is by no means forcing a student to pay for their InterSession and given all the freedom we have with how to spend the week, it is unnecessary for NDB to make the courses free.

Francesca Arbelaez: InterSession should be free for students

Not every NDB student has the means to afford the costly excursions and courses offered during InterSession.

One of the trips offered is a visit to Washington D.C. with a total cost of $2,136 for the six-day trip. That comes to $356 per day without any extra food or souvenirs. For some students, this price may not be a big problem, but there are a lot of students whose finances play a big part in determining which trips they can attend. It is important to consider that many of NDB’s students receive some kind of financial aid and could be in difficult situations.

Additionally, many of the faculty and staff that are presenting these getaways are using class time to explain the itineraries and goals of the trips, leaving lower-income students feeling excluded from these upcoming opportunities.

Teachers have the best intentions when promoting these trips and highlighting the enriching activities they have planned, however, we must think carefully before utilizing school time to both organize and promote trips that highlight the gap between those who can and cannot afford to join.

In order to bridge this gap, NDB should fund portions or the entirety of these travels. Programs like Fund a Future or the NDB Boosters hold many fundraising events, and a portion of these funds could go towards allowing students to attend these trips regardless of their economic situation. Sure there are other options for InterSession that are more local, but students who are already receiving financial aid might never get an opportunity to travel like this outside of school. Students cannot fully take advantage of this unique experience of enrichment that NDB offers if they are limited by their financial constraints.