Financing a york education
Enrolling your child in an independent school is a family commitment—an academic commitment for the student and a financial commitment for the parents. An independent school education is a major investment, one that often stretches a family's resources. Careful financial planning becomes a necessity for most independent school families. To assist families in financing a York education, we have created a number of payment options, including monthly payment plans and loan programs, which are available to all families, and a strong need-based tuition assistance program.
York strives to enroll the most qualified applicants regardless of their financial circumstances. The York Board of Trustees supports the goal of helping students who have the motivation and academic capability, but not the economic resources, to pay for an independent, college preparatory education. For more information on tuition, fees and assistance, be sure to read the 2016-17 Financing a York Education brochure here.
Tuition for 2016-17 is $32,400 for domestic students; for international tuition, please contact York School's Business Office at 831.372.7338 x135. Tuition covers all fees except for books and an internet-enabled digital device (see below). In 2016-17, York provided $1,420,430 in tuition assistance to 91 students, an average award of $15,609, or 48% of tuition. The median award was $16,000. We offered assistance to 41% of our students, more than twice the national average among independent schools. York has a BYOD/Bring Your Own Device policy; students are expected to bring an internet-enabled digital device to class on a daily basis. For more information, click here.
We often say that the tuition assistance program is at the heart of York School. York's commitment to tuition assistance is not only a critical part of its mission but also a big part of what makes it an exceptional school, with a student body that is diverse in its ethnic, racial, religious, and socio-economic background. All families who are interested in tuition assistance are encouraged to apply. Learn more about how to apply for tuition assistance, read this How to Apply for Financial Aid brochure from SSS by NAIS.
No student or family should hesitate to apply for admission because of inability to pay the entire cost. All tuition assistance grants and loans are awarded on the basis of need. To make the fairest and most equitable estimates of a family's ability to pay tuition, we utilize School and Student Services (SSS by NAIS), which analyzes individual financial statements and recommends an amount that each family can afford to spend on a child's education.
The first step to apply for tuition assistance is completing the Parent Financial Statement. Learn more about how to apply here. When you're ready, visit sss.nais.org to complete the form online. You may use estimated financial information to complete the PFS—you do not need to wait for your taxes to be done. York's school code number is 8386. Please provide plenty of detail about unusual circumstances and complete the form as soon as possible. Be sure to print a copy for your records. Deadline for submittal is February 1, 2017. For detailed instructions, consult the PFS Workbook. If you'd prefer a printed copy of the workbook, contact Vicki Norman in the Business Office at email@example.com.
You will also need to provide a copy of your 2016 federal tax return (Form 1040, W-2s, and all schedules or Form 1040A). First time applicants for assistance should also provide 2015 returns. The deadline for tax returns is February 22, 2017 for both returning tuition assistance families and first time applicants. Tax returns may be uploaded directly to SSS at sss.nais.org/parents or dropped off in the York School Business Office.Other forms needed:
- IRS Form 4506-T Please fill out the top of the form and sign but do not date it.
- IRS Form 1098T for 2016–Tuition Statement for dependent children in college (if applicable). A copy of the form (supplied by the educational institution) may be submitted directly to SSS as part of your PFS application or dropped off in the York School Business Office.
Promptness in meeting deadlines is essential. Requests for assistance received after these dates will be considered only if funds are still available.
After the SSS evaluation is sent to York, it is reviewed and adjusted using the family's current federal tax forms, taking into account the higher cost of living in California. The Tuition Assistance Committee reviews the materials and determines the level of assistance to be offered. In the case of divorced or separated parents, the school asks each natural parent to complete a confidential PFS financial statement.
November 17, 2016 and January 17, 2017
5:30-6:30 p.m. York Library
Meet with Vicki Norman, Tuition Assistance Coordinator, to find out all about tuition assistance application procedures and deadlines, including information on completing the online Parent Financial Statement (PFS) form with School and Student Services (SSS by NAIS). The same workshop is offered both times; no RSVP necessary.
Check out these great resources on the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) website:
What is the meaning of “tuition assistance” and how is it determined?
Need is the difference between school tuition and your family’s ability to pay the educational expenses. The Parent Financial Statement (PFS) gives an objective picture of how much you can afford to contribute toward education. The Tuition Assistance Committee reviews the estimated family contribution provided by School and Student Services (SSS) and makes adjustments based on the family’s current federal tax returns. A cost of living adjustment (COLA) is also applied to reflect the higher cost of living in California. The Tuition Assistance Committee weighs the resulting financial need against available funds. Keep in mind that applying for assistance does not guarantee eligibility, and being eligible does not guarantee that funds will be available.
Can you give me a ballpark estimate of what my family’s award will be?
No. Given the many variables that affect an award decision, it is impossible to accurately predict a family’s contribution without reviewing all of the paperwork. Grants can range from about 5% to 75% of need.
Does applying for tuition assistance jeopardize the admission decision?
No. York School accepts students on the basis of personal and academic merit. When reviewed by the Admission Committee, student files contain no information about tuition assistance. After admission decisions are made, the Tuition Assistance Committee works to provide funds to as many students as possible.
Why does the SSS Family Report have a different expected contribution than the School?
Because the Tuition Assistance Committee recalculates all assistance applications to correct errors and apply York’s policies, the family contribution may differ from the one contained in the SSS Family Report and from figures determined by other schools. For example, York will apply a cost of living (COLA) factor, will impute income for a parent able to but not currently working (unless they care for pre-school, disabled, or elderly family members), and will disallow losses attributable to second homes, investment properties, hobby businesses, and certain types of depreciation. On the other hand, York may allow certain expenses that are disallowed in the SSS calculation. If you feel that your financial circumstances are not adequately reflected in the PFS, you are encouraged to submit more detailed information and meet with the Tuition Assistance Coordinator.
Are merit scholarships awarded?
All tuition assistance at York School is based on demonstrated financial need, not on academic, athletic, artistic, or other merit.
If a family qualifies for assistance, will the entire financial need be met?
The amount of tuition a family is expected to pay is determined by both financial need and the availability of York School funds. Parents are expected to contribute according to their means; all families are expected to pay a portion of tuition—there are no full tuition grants.
When will I be notified about whether or not my child will receive tuition assistance? If accepted, is my child guaranteed financial support?
The Admission notification date is March 10, 2017. Tuition assistance awards for new students will be mailed as soon after that date as possible. Despite the strong commitment to our tuition assistance program and to enrolling an economically diverse student body, it is likely that the number of accepted applicants who qualify for assistance will be greater than York is able to support. Therefore, some students who have been admitted to the school could be placed in the tuition assistance waiting pool. It is not unusual for additional funding to become available during the spring and summer, and that funding is directed to those in the waiting pool.
Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes. York School adheres to a strict policy of confidentiality with regard to all admission, personal, and financial information. The School expects families to keep all information about tuition assistance awards confidential as well.
Is tuition assistance available for international tuition?
Because international financial documentation comes from different economic systems, it is difficult to determine an appropriate grant for international students. We can only consider assistance applications from families who file US tax forms to the IRS. Both parents must file US tax forms to be eligible for tuition assistance.
Does my family need to reapply for tuition assistance each year?
Yes. Renewal of the award is based on continued financial need, so completed PFS forms and tax returns must be submitted in a timely fashion each year.
After we review the tuition assistance offer, is there an appeal process if we find we still cannot pay tuition?
Yes. In some cases, additional information helps to clarify the financial picture and can lead to an increased award. In other cases, the additional information does not result in a change. Many find it helpful to meet with the Tuition Assistance Coordinator to discuss their particular situation.
If my family doesn’t receive an award the first year, should we apply again?
While every attempt is made to meet financial needs, requests for assistance frequently exceed available funding. Priority is given to returning students with demonstrated financial need; if you have need, but funds were not available, please consider applying again. If you were denied assistance because you did not qualify, please reapply if your financial situation changes.
Are there costs in addition to tuition?
Textbook costs vary by grade and the type of courses being taken. New books typically cost $400-$500 per year and may be purchased through our online bookstore, Amazon, or other booksellers. Book lists for the coming year and summer reading (with ISBN numbers) are available at the end of each school year.
York also has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy that requires all students to bring an internet enabled device—computer, netbook, etc.—to school each day. The Business Office can assist families in ordering equipment at reasonable rates; please see the York website for more details.