Home Admissions Affordability
We know that choosing an independent school education is an investment of both time and resources. Every family who attends Park Day School has the opportunity to enroll with a tuition level that fits their financial circumstances. Typically about 40% of Park Day families participate in the indexed tuition program. Annual indexed tuition ranges are as follows, and families may choose to pay annually in 1, 2, or 10 installments.
Since its founding in 1976, Park Day School has always been grounded in equity, access, and social justice. Socioeconomic diversity is a cornerstone of all that we do. Park Day School uses the Clarity Application to determine a family’s Indexed Tuition level and ability to pay. If you are wondering whether you might qualify to pay below the top of the index, browse the FAQs below, and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The Clarity application opens in September.
If you need support during the application process, there is in-app support available and email support at email@example.com (available in both English and Spanish). Our admissions office is here to help as well.
Tuition indexing is based on a family’s demonstrated ability to pay tuition as assessed through the Clarity application and supporting tax documentation. Indexed tuition ranges from 5% – 95%. All families are welcome to submit a Clarity application to see if they qualify.
Annual income is a significant consideration in the tuition calculation, but many other factors figure in the qualification process. These include assets (property, investments, business assets etc.); liabilities and debts, and other expenses. Number of children attending tuition charging schools, and number of other family dependents also impact the calculation.
Park Day School layers a cost of living adjustment on top of all applications to account for the high living expenses in the Bay Area. While there is no way to know for certain what your family might qualify for before the application is fully submitted, families with two dependents and a combined household income ranging around $350,000+, or families with one dependent and a combined income ranging around $260,000+ often fall towards the upper end or top of the index.
Park Day does not give scholarships for special talents nor academic merit. While we appreciate and count on parents who are able to volunteer their time in various capacities at school, our culture of volunteerism does not correlate to any tuition offset. Indexing is derived solely from each family’s unique financial circumstances and calculated ability to pay tuition based on information submitted through the Clarity application and supporting tax documentation.
Indexed Tuition – the amount of annual tuition a family qualifies to pay after completing the Clarity application. Families pay varying amounts on the tuition index depending on what they qualify for after submitting the Clarity application and supporting tax documentation. Indexed tuition ranges from 5% to 95% of the Top of the Index (TOI) tuition.
Top of the Index (TOI) – the unadjusted tuition amount set by the Board of Trustees every year in January. 60% of Park Day families pay tuition that falls at the Top of the Index.
Allocation – the amount that is discounted from the Top of the Index (the delta between TOI and what a family pays for tuition).
Tuition covers most school expenses including morning care, field trips, books and supplies. Families who are paying 60% or less on the index receive additional fee adjustments for the After School Activities Program (ASAP) including all enrichment classes and sports.
No. Indexed Tuition is assessed separately from admissions decisions. Once admission decisions have been made the Indexed Tuition Committee assesses tuition levels based on income, assets, debts, etc. of those being offered enrollment. That said, because we receive far more applications for the indexed tuition program than the school is able to initially support, it is possible to receive a notification that your child has been accepted to the school but is currently on an Indexed Tuition waiting list. This list does move, and we suggest families be in touch with the admissions office after enrollment offers are extended to learn more — wait lists are anchored to each grade and can therefore vary.
Yes. Tuition levels are set for one academic year. Because a family’s financial circumstances may change over time, we require all participants in the tuition indexing program to reapply each year. As long as a family’s financial circumstances remain significantly unchanged from year to year, families can generally expect to pay within their same Indexed Tuition percentage range annually. For current Park Day School families, participating in the tuition indexing program is contingent upon payment of the prior year’s account.
If your family’s circumstances during the most recent tax year vary greatly from what is depicted on your most recent (previous year) 1040, you are encouraged to complete your current year taxes as soon as possible. Please submit most recent 1040 by Feb 15 so that we are able to offer your family an indexed tuition level that better fits your current financial circumstances.
You may receive an email from Clarity prompting you to upload additional documentation like shareholder documentation for S-Corporations or Schedule E Partnership documentation along with corresponding K-1s, 1120s, and/or Form 1065.
These documents must be uploaded manually:
Occasionally there is a mismatch with the IRS and 1040s/W2s are not automatically uploaded. This happens with about 5% of applications and is most often due to a SSN that didn’t match up, a mismatch with the filer’s name, or something else equally minor.
Follow steps above to manually upload documentation if you receive a rejection notice regarding your 1040/W2.
In order for the school to treat families with stay-at-home parents equitably compared to families in which all parents work outside the home, Park Day School attributes a small income for stay-at-home parents to the Indexed Tuition calculations.
Exceptions to this policy may occur if a parent is caring for a child not yet of school age, a child with a disability, a seriously ill child, parent, or grandparent or if a parent is disabled and cannot work. Please include details about these circumstances in Clarity’s “other considerations” sections at the time of your initial application.
To promote a fair and equitable process, each parent is required to submit a separate and complete Indexed Tuition application through Clarity when the parents maintain separate households. If the student’s parents do not live together, whether separated, divorced, or never married, each should complete an application that is reflective of his or her own household and financial picture.
If one parents has remarried, the stepparent information should be included in the application as well, since the stepparent is a contributing member to supporting the household’s needs. Park Day School determines the ability to pay that each household exhibits and Indexed Tuition amounts are based on the combined determination.
If the non-custodial parent has little or no contact with their child for a significant period of time, and provides no financial support, the requirement may be waived and you will be asked to submit a verified form stating such. In such cases, the school requires a written statement about the parent’s absence from a non-family member (such as a family lawyer, clergyperson, social worker, or school official) who is aware of the family situation.
If the non-custodial parent is providing financial support and/or is in contact with their child, Park Day School requires their participation in the tuition indexing process. Indexed Tuition is determined by parents’ ability to pay, not by their willingness.
Please download this helpful guide for a step-by-step walk through the Clarity application process. And here are some slides from Family Night that might be helpful.
If you need support during the process of completing your application, there is in-app support available as well as email support at firstname.lastname@example.org in both English and Spanish.
All other questions, contact email@example.com or 510-653-0317 x101.
All current and prospective Park Day School families may apply for the tuition indexing program, regardless of their grade level or whether they are currently paying at the top of the index or below it.
When a family accepts an enrollment contract to pay tuition at the top of the index, this communicates that the family will be capable of covering all educational costs for the upcoming year and the foreseeable future. The school’s Indexed Tuition budget is managed accordingly and commits its limited indexing funds to other families. Although Park Day maintains modest emergency funds for families that request an unexpected transition into the tuition indexing program subsequent to admission, those funds are strictly reserved for families that encounter significant financial reversals after matriculation.
Indexed Tuition applications are only reviewed by the Indexed Tuition Committee. The school safeguards the confidentiality of the indexing assessment process, records, and decisions while respecting the right of each family to discuss its own tuition level in an appropriate manner.
Support for the tuition indexing program comes directly from the school’s budget. There are a few Bay Area organizations that may offer small amounts of tuition support.
Guardsmen Scholarship Fund
Independent Scholarship Fund
(510) 632-1366 x144
For new students, Indexed Tuition amounts are communicated with admission decisions in March. Current Park Day families receive Indexed Tuition amounts for the following year with their re-enrollment contracts in February.
Park Day School relies on Clarity’s application, supporting documents, and our Indexed Tuition policies to determine each applicant’s tuition indexing level. Many factors are considered when determining a grant amount, including income, assets, liabilities, family size, age of parents, tuition obligations (preschool, grade school, and college), and more. While Park Day School has a generous Indexed Tuition program, each year we receive requests in excess of available funds. Funding for the Indexed Tuition program is 100% school-based; Park Day School receives no government funding.