Affording Independent School
Independent schools rely on tuition, annual fund-raising, and endowments to finance their programs. The mandate to provide the highest quality education means that the tuition costs are expensive. An independent school education represents an investment in your child’s future. Families are encouraged to ask schools about their financial aid policies.
- Tuition is the amount of money the school asks families to pay. Tuition can vary widely by grade and by school. When comparing schools, find out the hours of operation for each school, whether before-school or after-school care is offered, and whether there are any additional fees for lunch, books, trips, or activities. Some schools offer tuition insurance for an additional fee.
- Financial Aid is available at most independent schools. These monies are based upon the financial need of the family and do not need to be repaid. Most schools allot money to their financial aid budget each year to help ensure a diverse student body. Families who intend to seek financial aid should note the following:
- To apply, you must request and complete a financial aid application and submit it by the deadline.
- Many schools use outside financial aid services such as Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), FAST and TADS to determine financial aid need.
- While most schools only offer need-based aid, some schools also offer special scholarships based on criteria other than economic circumstances. Additionally, some schools offer sibling discounts.
- The financial aid officer at each school can answer your specific questions regarding the availability of options for affording an independent school education (such as a tuition payment plan or financing through a loan program).