Howe academy to close amid financial struggles

March 19, 2019

Ongoing budget shortfalls are forcing Howe Military Academy to close after the current school year, officials announced today.

“Fiscal challenges associated with a vast, but aging, campus, small class sizes, highly educated and qualified faculty and staff, and robust programming and student opportunities come at a very high cost : one that our business model is not able to support,” the announcement stated.

Thomas Tate, Howe’s president and a retired U.S. Army colonel, wrote the public letter, which was also signed by Phillip Malone, who chairs the academy’s board of trustees. They blamed “rising costs and declining enrollment for more than a decade.”

The 135-year-old private boarding school on 100 acres in LaGrange County faced a similar financial crisis five years ago but was able to avoid closure after a graduate donated $2 million to keep the doors open.

At that time, a board member said the school needed at least 110 students to break even. It’s unclear how many students were enrolled in grades 7-12 this year.