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Flexible Tuition

Providing Opportunities to As Many Families As Possible

We know that attending Prospect Sierra is a financial commitment, and we’re proud to offer a robust flexible tuition program.

Overview of the Flexible Tuition Program

Prospect Sierra is dedicated to providing access to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Today, 16% of Prospect Sierra’s operating budget is devoted to Flexible Tuition (more than $2.5M), which allows families to commit to an education they can afford for their tenure at Prospect Sierra.

Tuition for the 2022-23 school year is $25,135 for our TK program, $30,820 at our elementary school (K-4th grade), and $34,920 at our middle school (5th-8th grade).

We believe that every family should be able to afford Prospect Sierra and to that end, tuition amounts are flexible. Current families pay tuition ranging from $2,500 to $34,920 for the 2022-23 school year, and more than 1 in 3 students utilize the school’s Flexible Tuition Program.

Prospect Sierra families make the financial commitment to an independent school because they know that investing in their child’s education has great impact, both today and far beyond the TK-8 years. While every family is expected to pay some portion of the tuition and to support the community to the extent that they can, we do not expect tuition to be the same for everyone.

The school encourages families to apply for flexible tuition if they think they may qualify. Our admissions process is needs-blind, which means that an admissions offer for each student is not contingent upon a family’s ability to pay.

“In terms of the financial piece of things, it’s definitely one of the barriers we thought we would face. But Prospect Sierra is very much willing to work with families. Renée had a heart-to-heart with us because we were pretty anxious thinking of the financial impact. She really put us at ease and reassured us that once PS starts a relationship with a family, they want to maintain that relationship. And they’ll do whatever they can to make this as amenable and workable as they can for your family. That really made a difference for us.”

- Liz Tong and John Fortuno | 1st and 3rd grade parents

“We couldn’t have asked for a better year for our child. We finally found a school that holds social and emotional learning at the same high standard of academics. I wish every child in this country, or even just here in the East Bay could be blessed with such an education. Imagine what our world would look like.”

- Deb Shell | 4th grade parent

How to Apply

Prospect Sierra uses the School and Student Services (SSS) for our Flexible Tuition online application.

To apply:

  • Visit sssandtadsfa.force.com/familyportal and complete The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) by Friday, January 20, 2023.
  • Our SSS school code is 7370.
  • Please upload the required documentation to your Flexible Tuition (PFS) application:
    • Copies of 2021 tax information (1040, W-2s,1099s, any relevant schedules) by January 20, 2023.
    • Copies of 2022 tax information (W-2s, 1099s) by March 3, 2023, and (1040s and any relevant schedules) by May 15, 2023.
    • Copies of your last three pay stubs

Please contact the Admissions Team for more information or assistance. Prospective families will be notified of their admission and flexible tuition decisions at the same time during their admissions process. The first notification will be on Thursday, March 16, 2023 for enrolling in the 2023-24 school year.

We look forward to working with you and your family.

FAQs on Flexible Tuition

Please contact Soo Zee Park, Chief Financial Officer, at spark@prospectsierra.org or 510.809.9004, or the admissions team at admissions@prospectsierra.org. We’re happy to help!

Flexible Tuition allows families to commit to an education they can afford for their tenure at Prospect Sierra. Current families pay tuition ranging from $2,500 to $34,920 for the 2022–23 school year. The school encourages families to apply for flexible tuition if they think they may qualify. Prospect Sierra is committed to keeping the school accessible to families from a wide range of economic backgrounds, and our belief is that cost should not prevent anyone from sending their child to the school.

Tuition at the school includes:

  • Books and materials,
  • Study trips and overnights,
  • Technology for students,
  • and yearbooks.

Additional costs beyond school tuition include:

  • Extended program (optional),
  • School transportation (optional),
  • Prospect Sierra Parents Association dues ($60 per family),
  • Pizza day fee ($70 per child),
  • Site fee assessment (Required; $1,000 per family paid over two years and pro-rated for families paying flexible tuition)

A family’s economic background does not affect a student’s acceptance by the school. Flexible tuition is determined separately from the admissions process.

Admission acceptance decisions will be sent along with a separate response regarding Flexible Tuition. Responses to families will fall into three categories: an offer of Flexible Tuition; notification that the family does not qualify for Flexible Tuition; or notice that the family is waitlisted for Flexible Tuition. A wait pool designation means that a family will be considered for Flexible Tuition if additional funding becomes available.

Provided family circumstances remain the same and the school’s resources can continue to support the program to the same extent, the school intends to fund the student for all their years at Prospect Sierra. To continue in the program, the family must reapply each year.

Although a family is welcome to re-apply or apply for the first time for flexible tuition in any year, families that come in at a certain level are expected to stay within that range barring any major financial change (job loss, incoming sibling, etc.)

If you are currently not in need of flexible tuition and you do not foresee this need, you should not apply for it at this time. However, families are expected to stay within their tuition range barring any major financial change (job loss, incoming sibling, etc). If a change in your family’s financial circumstances occurs at any time after enrolling at Prospect Sierra resulting in a need to apply for flexible tuition, please contact the Business Office immediately.

Yes, each parent/guardian household must submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) along with all 2021 and 2022 tax documents (1040, W-2, and any relevant schedules) to be considered for Flexible Tuition. Prospect Sierra determines ability to pay by factoring in all available resources from both parents and step-parents, regardless of custody or other legal issues.

Please send us a supplemental letter if there is additional information that addresses your financial situation not taken into account by the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). We also welcome emails and phone calls to discuss your confidential situation.

Enrollment Deposit

  • Upon acceptance or re-enrollment of your child, an enrollment deposit of ten percent (10%) of the annual tuition is required which, while non-refundable, is credited toward tuition charges invoiced later in the academic year.

Two payments

  • Families can select to pay their school tuition in two installments; in May 2023 (60%) and the remaining balance in January 2024 (30%).

OR

Monthly payments (11 months)

  • Families can select to pay their school tuition in monthly installments; beginning in May 2023 through April 2024.
  • Please note there is one month in which families do not make a tuition payment during this cycle. In February, all returning Prospect Sierra families submit their re-enrollment deposit in lieu of making a tuition payment for the current academic school year. Tuition payments do resume the following two months.

For questions, please contact admissions@prospectsierra.org.

Families can choose to purchase Tuition Refund Insurance (TRI) offered to Prospect Sierra families through Dewar, Inc. If your child is unable to complete the school year because of absence, withdrawal, or dismissal, this insurance may entitle you to a refund of the unused portion of your tuition according to the terms of the policy. Your cost for the Tuition Refund Insurance is billed separately, and represents 3.25% of your tuition amount.

Ready to connect with us about our Flexible Tuition program?