What Does a PDC Cost and Why?
Each of our Permaculture Design Courses is a break-even event, financially-speaking. We bring in enough revenue to cover actual costs. Because our PDCs are not currently subsidized via government or other outside funding, the tuition fees (sliding scale based on household income) are designed to cover costs exactly. We are certainly interested in finding ways to underwrite the overall budget for PDCs and bring the cost down for everyone, but we haven’t quite cracked that nut yet!
In the name of full transparency, here is a breakdown of how your PDC tuition funds are allocated.
Some important notes about the above:
- Funds that are used to pay facilitators, co-facilitators, guest professionals and field trip hosts are pre-tax revenue for those individuals and often represents money into their own business, of which they only pay themselves a portion after covering their own business costs. (Those of you who have run a business or operated as a contractor know how this works!)
- The lead facilitator works approximately 170 hours for each course. An additional 50-70 hours are worked in a support capacity to do organizing, logistics, outreach, communications, customer service and the like … for each course!
- Lunches are potluck and brought in by the students themselves. Suppers, coffee, tea and morning snacks are provided from the course budget. Because we are committed to high-quality, locally-produced and beyond-organic food (i.e. not subsidized industrial food) and supporting local producers/cooks, we use the potluck lunch format as a way to keep the price of the course manageable. If we were providing 3 meals per day for 13 days the cost of the course would be much higher!
- “Solidarity Pricing” refers to the fact that we have built into every PDC the ability for people of color, first nations people and LGBTQI to access the course using a different pricing structure. Read more about that here.
Did you know? A 3-credit undergraduate course in the University of Maine System is comprised of about 45 classroom (direct contact) hours and costs about $900 (in-state tuition). University of Massachusetts system is a bit higher.