The Columbus Learning Cooperative (CLC) charges a membership fee.  As an alternative to school, we do not receive any state or federal funding and rely exclusively on fees and significant fundraising in order to provide our services and programs. The CLC is committed to working with every interested family, regardless of their ability to pay our full fee.

Understanding Membership

The CLC's fees are calculated as such: Membership Fee + Facility Costs + Class Costs = Total Fee. Below you will find a description of each of these sections as well as a calculator to help you estimate what you and your family might spend.

Membership Includes:

Access to

  • Group classes at the CLC 
  • One-on-one meetings or tutorials with CLC staff
  • Members receive priority of their choice of classes
  • Member only classes

Field Trip

every Friday our members explore Columbus together

  • The Ohio State House
  • Professional Music Studios
  • Comic Book Stores
  • And More
  • COSI
  • The Franklin Park Conservatory
  • Franklinton Gardens
  • The Columbus Museum of Art
  • CCAD

Town Hall Meeting

members use democratic decision making together

CLC Members have the ability to participate in policy-making during our Town Hall meeting every Friday morning. Instead of being directed by a series of rules, your child has the opportunity to interact with, and participate in, direct decision making both in formal, supervised situations as well as informal and impromptu situations as a part of the community, and in various classes.

Personalized Mentorship

  • Help finding volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities
  • Support to design and complete private academic projects and curricula
  • Support to find volunteer work, jobs, and internships outside of the CLC
  • Support to find classes and activities outside of the CLC
  • Long-term support for teen alumni & families
  • Advisory Relationship with a CLC Core Staff Member
  • One-on-One Meetings or Tutorials with CLC Staff
  • Regular meetings with the family
  • Development of an educational plan and a personal life plan

Payment Benifits

  • an extra 10% off Credits
  • Sibling Discount: $1000 off for the second child and $1850 off for the third
  • Monthly Payment Plan
  • Eligible for scholarships
  • 10% off Facility Costs


Non-Members have access to purchase a variety of resources offered by the CLC during their selected enrollment period, such as: 

  • Classes; content provided by educators and professionals
  • Tutoring services 
  • Workshops; training, projects, modules or lectures with very specific objectives and shorter time frames than classes
  • Events; select field trips, excursions, and celebrations

However, Non-Members do not have access to the CLC facility on Friday or beyond the scope of their selected classes, workshops, and services. Non-Members will be required to pay any fees due in full, prior to attending the CLC.

Understanding the Cost of Time at the Facility

Enrollment Period

  • Member and Non-Member enrollment is available anytime for the Fall, and Spring semesters (15 weeks each), and/or Summer Quarter (10 weeks)
  • For specific dates, see the calendar page
  • Families can decide the number of days per week a member attends the CLC (Only members can attend on Fridays)

Cooperative Learning Environment

  • Beautiful, historic, and inspirational space
  • Space to socialize, play games, and forge meaningful friendships
  • Space to work on personal projects and create larger group projects
  • Quite rooms for studying and tutoring

Resource Rich Environment

  • Puzzles
  • Boardgames
  • Books
  • Microscopes
  • Expansive Lego Room
  • Backlit Drawing Table
  • Musical Instruments
  • Computers
  • Raspberry Pi Programing Kits
  • And More...

Understanding the Cost of Classes


Both Members and Non-Members use a credit system to enroll in classes, or take part in services or events, offered each semester by the CLC.  Each class, service, or event has a credit value assigned to it depending on a variety of factors such as cost of materials, class length, cost of the instructor, cost of background checks, and so on.

Credit Packages

Several Credit Packages are available for purchase by families and can be shared by siblings. Like anything in life, if you buy in bulk you can get a discount. The discounts are listed on the calculator below. Additional credits can be purchased at the rate of $4.50 each. Credits that are not used will roll over to future semesters.

Estimating Credit Usage

A year round full time (5 day a week) member will likely need 1000 credits. A person coming 3 days a week for 2 semesters would likely need 500 credits. A non-member coming just for a few classes one day a week would likely only need 100 credits.

Fee Reductions

The Columbus Learning Cooperative’s Board of Directors and Staff remain committed to making the CLC available to all interested families. If needed, we also invite families who cannot pay the full fee to submit a proposal for a Fee Reduction (aka scholarship). In general, the maximum amount of Fee Reduction will be $2000 per year. Families seeking further assistance can meet with our Board of Directors’ Fee Reduction Committee to discuss options. It is our goal to turn no family away from the Columbus Learning Cooperative for lack of an ability to pay the fees.

Free Credits

The CLC offers the ability for families to earn credits Earning credits can be done in a variety of ways. Adult family members can earn free credits by teaching a class, working CLC event tables, helping with open houses, fundraising, and referring other families to our program. Free credits can also be earned for people experienced with, and can supply aid in, grant writing, legal council, running a non-profit, advertising, accounting, and book-keeping.  These can be used toward classes offered at CLC.

Furthermore, there are a range of discounts available depending upon each families gifts. We are looking for people experienced with grant writing, legal council, running a non-profit, advertising, accounting and book keeping, and more. An official list of discounts is available upon request for visiting families.

Pro-Rated Fees and Refunds

The Columbus Learning Cooperative has established a formal chart for pro-rating the fee for members joining or withdrawing in the middle of the year.  Please contact the Enrollment Coordinator for this information. No refunds are given except for on credits. Credits which are refunded will only be refunded at 70% of their value.