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Frequently Asked Questions
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Why Bridgedale Academy?
Bridgedale Academy is a sports academy, a school for athletes that caters to young golfer and hockey players. Our goal is the development of our student-athletes academically, athletically and as individuals. Bridgedale combines a top-notch classical education with elite sport specific and athleticism training, a combination designed to help our student-athletes realize their full academic, athletic and personal potential. Our mantra is: Training Elite Student-Athletes.
Is Bridgedale Academy open to players of all levels?
Yes. With respect to hockey, Bridgedale is open to players from all organizations. Over the years our student-athletes have come from all five of Illinois AAA clubs and many of the AA clubs. The list includes Fury, Mission, Reapers, Team Illinois, Falcons, Hawks, Huskies, Vikings, Vipers, Flames, Jets, Cyclones, Blues and Sabres. The common thread that runs through all our Bridgedale Academy families is the desire to have their child earn a competitive advantage through a serious commitment to his development as a youth hockey player.
Does Bridgedale Academy accept transfers during the year?
Yes, Bridgedale continues to accept transfer students during the course of its school year. In every school year, Bridgedale has welcomed several such transfer students, all of whom have excelled once they adjusted to our rigorous schedule. Anyone interested in learning more about transferring into Bridgedale should contact the Headmaster.
What are the criteria for acceptance into Bridgedale Academy?
Bridgedale Academy is for serious youth hockey players and criteria for acceptance include:
Personal references from coaches and/or teachers attesting to the student-athlete’s character and commitment;
The student-athlete having demonstrated a level of respect for his academics and a level of proficiency in the sport of ice hockey; and
An in-person interview with the student-athlete.
Why is it important to use a Classical Eduication?
A classical school curriculum is grounded in the “tools of learning.”
The tools of learning are based on the classical “trivium” of grammar, logic and rhetoric. Students learn not only how to organize their thoughts, but also how to express them persuasively. By mastering these tools of learning, students are equipped with the skills to learn any subject that interests them.
How do the academics at Bridgedale Academy differ from those at a typical school?
A typical school today teaches its students what to think (e.g. subject-based).
At Bridgedale Academy, our students learn how to think (i.e. critical thinking-based).
Bridgedale uses a classical school curriculum (i.e. that of Hillsdale Academy located on the campus of Hillsdale College), while virtually all other schools in Illinois are using some form of the more “progressive” education that includes the use of Common Core. And whereas students at most schools no longer read any classic literature, at Bridgedale students are steeped in it.
How strong are the academics at Bridgedale Academy?
What schools do students attend after Bridgedale Academy?
My son has a late birthday. He plays hockey on his birth year team but goes to school with players from the younger birth year. How does Bridgedale Academy handle that?
Are students with late birthdays allowed to skip a grade to be with their birth year teammates?
My son is an “A” student who takes advanced courses. How will his academic needs be met?
How many students will there be in each grade?
Will structure and discipline be enforced in the classrooms?
My son struggles with all the demands competitive youth hockey places on him. How can we expect him to handle even more such demands while attending Bridgedale?
How does Bridgedale provide an emphasis on leadership?
What is the focus of Bridgedale Academy’s athletic training?
My son plays multiple sports. Will he be able to do that at Bridgedale?
My son is not an elite athlete. Is he eligible for admission?
Does Bridgedale Academy field its own sports teams?
Does Bridgedale Academy provide an academic curriculum for students with behavioral or academic special needs?
My son has an "IEP" for his academic special needs. Can Bridgedale accommodate him?
Regarding Tuition Assistance
What kind of Tuition Assistance is available from Bridgedale?
First, Bridgedale offers need-based tuition assistance. A key part of Bridgedale’s mission is to provide needed financial assistance to help qualified candidates attend and reap the benefits of our unique school. Our ability to provide this assistance to qualified student-athletes benefits our school by increasing the number of qualified candidates eligible to become part of the Bridgedale community. And it strengthens our programs and the overall experience by including families who might not otherwise be able to provide the Bridgedale experience to their children.
Second, Bridgedale offers quality-of-character based tuition assistance through its Bridgedale Academy Leadership Awards (BALA) program. Bridgedale is committed to developing leaders. And so prospective student-athletes with exceptional quality-of-character will be considered for the tuition assistance through the BALA program.
What payment plans does Bridgedale offer?
Bridgedale offers a number of different payment plan options.
There is also an Early Enrollment Program that includes discounts.
Note that a $5000 non-refundable deposit is required to hold an applicant’s spot for the 2024-25 school year. Various tuition payment plans are available:
- Plan A: Pay in Full by February 1, 2024 – Receive a 5% Discount
- Plan B: Half Down by February 1 and Balance paid by Aug 1 – Receive a 2.5% Discount
- Plan C: Four Installments (Feb 1, Aug 1, Oct 1 and Dec 1) – Receive 1.25% Discount
- Monthly Plan: Pay deposit and then set up to pay monthly through FACTS and stretch payments out over time (Note: all monthly plans require a $50 fee and must be completed by February of 2025.)
Student-athletes who are admitted to Bridgedale after the start of the normal payment plan year (i.e. after February 1, 2024) and who receive tuition assistance are required to make a payment that ‘catches them up’ with any payment plan agreed to. For example, a student-athlete admitted in October of any school year will be required to make an initial payment on the tuition equal to any and all payments otherwise due by or before his admission date.
How do I apply for need-based Tuition Assistance?
To be considered for need-based Tuition Assistance grant or a monthly payment plan, families must apply on-line through FACTS Management Company’s Grants and Aids assessment program. This process can be accessed immediately upon creating your account with FACTS and application for tuition assistance should be made as soon as possible after applying for enrollment in Bridgedale Academy. (Begin application process here.)
How do I apply for a BALA Scholarship?
To be considered for tuition assistance based on receipt of a Bridgedale Academy Leadership Award, families should inform Bridgedale’s Headmaster of their intention to seek the award, and then submit an application (accessed here) along with the requisite list of character references for the prospective student-athlete. The sooner this application is received, the sooner the process can be reviewed and completed by Bridgedale’s Scholarship Committee.
Who should apply for Tuition Assistance?
Anyone seeking to enroll in Bridgedale who is concerned that they may not be able to afford the tuition should apply. Applying does not guarantee qualifying. However, for families that do qualify, Bridgedale will do everything within the parameters of the Financial Assistance Program and the budget process to meet the need.
What fees and costs are involved in the Tuition Assistance process?
The only cost involved in applying for Tuition Assistance is a modest administrative fee charged by FACTS Management Co. Families must reapply each year.
How are Tuition Assistance grants determined by Bridgedale?
Bridgedale awards Tuition Assistance grants to families that show financial need. FACTS Management Co. conducts the financial need assessment process and presents its findings to Bridgedale. We then use a methodology designed to support our mission, and considers many factors in determining a family’s grant award, including but not limited to:
Recommendations from FACTS Grants & Aid Assessment Findings
Quality of Character of the prospective Bridgedale Student-Athlete
Bridgedale does not limit the number of students in a family that may receive a grant, nor does it have a dollar cap on the total financial assistance a family may receive. However, funding for grants is limited and based upon the verified need of each individual family.
When will I be notified of the results of my Tuition Assistance application?
Families will be advised of the status of their grant and/or payment plan request as soon as possible after the application has been reviewed and acted upon by the Bridgedale Tuition Assistance Committee.
How is Tuition Assistance paid for?
Each year a portion of the school’s budget is set aside for Tuition Assistance. Additional funding may be available through grants and donations made to the school. Bridgedale considers tuition assistance an essential element of its mission and of its commitment to all of our student-athletes.
If I receive Tuition Assistance will the faculty, staff, or other parents know?
No. Bridgedale is committed to confidentiality in its Tuition Assistance process. Tuition Assistance awards are determined by a very small committee. No one outside of that committee and the business office staff knows which families receive assistance. Every reasonable effort is made to insure the confidentiality of the process.
Will applying for tuition assistance affect my child’s chances for admission?
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