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Indexed Tuition Program & Policies

Application for Academic Year 2015-2016

The purpose of the Indexed Tuition Program is to assure the access and the economic diversity of The San Francisco School.  For this reason, not every student is charged the same tuition.  Families that apply and qualify for reduced tuition pay a tuition level that takes into consideration what they are able to afford, based on a complex calculation done through the School and Student Service (SSS), a financial service of the National Association for Independent Schools. The School considers this calculation together with each family’s special circumstances and available funds (over $1.2 million this year).  Through this program, the 2014-2015 tuition has been indexed to a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $25,945 and $27,727 (PS/Elementary and Middle school respectively).  This year 28% of our students pay tuitions that are below the maximum.

Once a student is awarded an “indexed tuition”, The School is committed to continuing to set their tuition at a level that reflects their family’s calculated ability to pay.  Indexed Tuition decisions are based on the following policies.


  • The School and Student Service (SSS) methodology is used as a guide in determining the parental contribution to tuition.
  • Priority for awarding Indexed Tuition is as follows:
    • Meet the need of returning families that continue to demonstrate financial need. If circumstances are unchanged, the school continues to support the family at the same level of aid.
    • Meet the need of returning families not previously on Indexed Tuition that newly demonstrate financial need.
    • Meet the need of new families based on family financial need and available funds.
    • Strive to make Indexed Tuition decisions that maintain a cultural, gender, age and economic balance within the school.
    • Maintain Indexed Tuition roughly proportional across the grades.
  • Families must apply for other available sources of funds for which they qualify (e.g. The
    Basic Fund).
  • Indexed Tuition recipients, along with all SFS families, are expected to volunteer in fundraising and school events, pay their tuition on time and be in good standing. All fees must be paid up to date before a Indexed Tuition award is made.
  • All families pay a minimum of 1.9% of annual tuition.
  • Each parent whose child/ren is of school age is expected to contribute to the education of his/her child/ren to the extent that he/she is able.
    • Non-working parents: If a parent of a school age child chooses not to work, an
      equivalent income will be added to the income calculation, and the parent
      contribution will be recalculated.
    • Unmarried couples: In addition to the natural parent, domestic partners and other
      responsible adults living in the household are expected to provide full financial
    • Divorced/separated families: The school will consider the assets of both parents
      before making any award and cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has
      disclaimed responsibility for educational expenses. If either parent has remarried,
      the school will also consider the assets of the stepparent, always keeping in mind
      the obligation of that stepparent to his or her own children. It is the responsibility of
      both parents to submit the appropriate financial information.
      • It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to ask the non-custodial parent to
        fill out the appropriate forms.
      • If the information is not provided, the Indexed Tuition Committee will be unable
        to award a grant to the student.
  • Financial need is not a consideration in determining a student’s eligibility for admission. Occasionally a child will be accepted, the family will qualify for Indexed Tuition, but no funds will be available. In this situation, the space will be held for a limited period specified in the Acceptance Letter; if no Indexed Tuition becomes available by that date and the family is unable to enroll without aid, the space will roll over to the next candidate.
  • A Committee composed of the Admissions Director, the Business Manager, and the Head of School carefully considers Indexed Tuition applications. Family financial information and Indexed Tuition awards are kept strictly confidential.

Sources of Funds for Indexed Tuition

  • Annual Operating Budget – The Board of Directors approves a line item for Indexed
    Tuition. Proceeds from the school’s annual auction contribute to this budget item.
    Income is also earned on the following scholarship endowment funds:
    • Endowment Fund for Indexed Tuition
    • Chrissy Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund
    • Burkhead/Lau Family Scholarship Fund
    • G. Darrow Memorial Scholarship Fund
    • Naomi Dekovic Memorial Scholarship Fund
    • G. Grant Memorial Scholarship Fund
    • Korn Scholarship Fund
    • Miltibarger Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • The Basic Fund – grants up to $1,600 to the school for students entering kindergarten through eighth grade, based on household size and income. Priority goes to students entering from public school.
  • The Guardsmen Scholarship Program – grants of $2,000 to the school for eligible low- income students entering kindergarten through sixth grade (not already receiving a Basic Fund grant). Priority goes to students entering from public school.
  • The SMART Program – grants up to $500 to the school, for pre-selected students (referred from outside agencies) entering middle school directly from public school. These students also receive the Basic Fund grant.

After School Programs

Elementary and middle school students on Indexed Tuition qualify for reduced fees if they participate in the school’s after-school daycare, instrumental classes and school required educational tutoring or testing.

Indexed Tuition History

SF School Indexed Tuition Awards


Basic Fund Grants (6)


Number of Students Awarded Indexed Tuition


% of Students on Indexed Tuition


Range of Grants

$2,245 to $25,676 

Historical Figures

Year SFS Dollars Distributed
2013 $1,243,963
2012 $1,181,922
2011 $1,151,061
2010 $1,174,044
2009 $991,300
2008 $952,430



2006 $812,764






























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