Creative Approach to Tuition: Three Tiered Model at Brooklyn Waldorf School

Here is a brief overview of the creative approach to tuition of the Brooklyn Waldorf School.

Brooklyn Waldorf  School Tuition Model

Three-Tier Tuition

At the Brooklyn Waldorf School we are committed to building a school whose student body, faculty, staff and curriculum reflect the economic, cultural and racial diversity of Brooklyn, New York.

Private education can often be viewed as a commodity to be purchased by a family for their child. The Brooklyn Waldorf School seeks to depart from this consumption-based perspective on education and move towards a partnership approach that engenders in our students and community a sense of justice, equity and compassion.

Our three-tier tuition-fee model was created with this partnership approach in mind. The tuition fees paid by each family are expected to reflect the family’s income level and asset base. Our goal, is that each class in our school will be populated by students drawn from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

A Tier 3 tuition level is the actual day to day cost of a child attending the Brooklyn Waldorf School including overnight class trips (Grades 3-8). A Tier 2 award is equivalent to a 21% scholarship and a Tier 1 award is equivalent to a 43% scholarship. This is generous financial assistance that is offered to only a limited number of qualifying families in order to promote the school’s diversity goals. We expect that families will make every effort to pay as much tuition as they can, consistent with their commitment to the well-being of the School and their child’s education. It is also expected that, over time, families will graduate to higher tuition tiers, in order to ensure that our limited tuition assistance resources are shared equitably among all deserving families as their children pass through the School (tuition tiers are reviewed and adjusted annually). Accordingly, a family may be required to graduate to a higher Tier level in future years, irrespective of the family’s financial circumstances. Each family is asked to take the foregoing into account in making its financial plans.

How Does it Work?

Request A Tier

As part of the application process, each family is asked to request a tuition-fee tier that it believes best matches its financial position and reflects the largest contribution it is capable of making. The tuition levels for the 2014-2015 school year are listed below. Please note that tuition increases each year, the tuition for the 2015-2016 school year will be announced in January 2015.

Families are required to submit their PFS and tax returns to be considered at tier one or tier two tuition levels.

Early Childhood (Nursery and Kindergarten) 

Tier One : $12,139
Tier Two : $16,629
Tier Three : $21,119

Lower Grades (Grades 1-5)

Tier One : $15,082
Tier Two : $20,660
Tier Three : $26,240

Upper Grades (Grades 6-8)

Tier One : $15,505
Tier Two : $21,288
Tier Three : $26,976

Parents’ Financial Statement and Supporting Information

In order to create a foundation of understanding for dialogue with the school, families requesting either Tier 1 or Tier 2 are required to submit salary and asset information (the “Parent Financial Statement”) via SSS, a service provided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to help schools make informed decisions regarding tuition fees. Families requesting either Tier 1 or Tier 2 must also submit complete income tax returns (including schedules) for each of the past two years (2012 and 2013). Families requesting Tier 3 are not required to submit any financial information.

The school’s Tier Committee makes its own independent determination of what a family’s Tier will be, taking into account not only the Parent Financial Statement, the related NAIS report and the family’s tax returns, but also other financial and personal information and any special circumstances that may be brought to its attention.

It is important to note that, of necessity, great weight is given to the school’s budget and the number and circumstances of other families requesting either Tier 1 or Tier 2 scholarship awards. The school is heavily reliant upon tuition fees to cover teacher and staff salaries and benefits (which are already relatively modest compared to similarly situated schools) and its other costs and expenses. At the present time, the school has no endowment or other capital resources to supplement its budget. Accordingly, in order for the school to be financially viable and to adequately support its teachers, staff and programmatic needs, we simply cannot accommodate every Tier 1 or 2 scholarship award request. Tier 1 and 2 scholarship awards will be made only in clearly and relatively deserving cases.

To request either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 scholarship award please use the following link to complete the Parent Financial Statement (PFS).

Notification of Tier Level

If your child is accepted into the School, the admissions office will send you written notification of acceptance and of the Tier level determination.

Acceptance and Reply

Upon receiving your Tier notification letter and confirmation of your child’s acceptance into the school, you will be required to reply to the admissions office and submit a payment equal to 20% (Lower School) or 25% (Early Childhood) of your tuition fees in order to secure your child’s place.

Sibling Discount

We do not offer a sibling discount for families with more than one student in the school. However, we understand that families with several children could find themselves in difficulty when balancing tuition costs with family needs. Requests for additional financial assistance will be considered in the context of determinations of tuition Tier levels. The Tier Committee will consider such requests for assistance carefully and equitably.

Have Questions?

Please feel free to contact the school if you have questions regarding our tuition model, mission and/or application process. We look forward to assisting you and your family as you move through the stages of application and on towards enrollment at The Brooklyn Waldorf School.

Val Mello, Administrator

Brooklyn Waldorf School   11 Jefferson Avenue (at Claver Place), Brooklyn, NY 11238    |    718 783 3270    |