Affording a Sequoyah School Education
Tuition is set each year, and ranges along an index. The top tuition for the 2013-2014 school year is $20,250. On average 30-40% of our students pay less than the top tuition.
Sequoyah relies upon families of new applicants to disclose potential need at the time of their original application to the school. If your family is not assigned a lower tuition level upon admission and unless your family experiences an adverse change in circumstances, the school anticipates that your family will be paying the top tuition in subsequent years.
Sequoyah’s Commitment to Diversity
Sequoyah's commitment to the principals of mutual respect, inclusion and equity informs an admissions process and tuition structure which allow for a school community that includes a broad spectrum of social, economic, cultural and ethnic groups. Students who attend are encouraged to become celebrants of life with an appreciation of creativity and humor, and a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse society we live in.
Because we regard socioeconomic diversity as a core educational value, Sequoyah dedicates a significant portion of operating revenue to support Indexed Tuition. In addition to tuition payments, we ask all families to make a philanthropic contribution to the school each year, according to their means. Annual giving directly contributes to our commitment to sustaining an inclusive school community. We value every gift.
How do families afford Sequoyah?
Few families at independent schools find it easy to pay tuition. Most adjust their spending priorities, and carefully manage family income and assets to do so. At Sequoyah, we expect parents to give their children's education a very high priority in their financial planning. The assumption is that every family will determine their own resources and explore other possible sources of support before applying for a lower tuition level. However, many families will need to apply no matter how carefully they manage their finances or secure other sources of support.
We encourage families who have concerns about their ability to afford the top tuition to apply for a lower level. For those who do apply, we will set tuition based on their unique financial situation.
The school and participating families are committed to keeping all aspects of the indexed tuition application process in confidence.
What is Indexed Tuition?
An Indexed Tuition program is one where families pay a tuition rate based on their financial means. At Sequoyah, families pay rates that range along an index. Approximately 30-40% of our students will be assigned less than the maximum tuition level set each year.
A family who wishes to pay less than the maximum level of tuition, submits financial information to the business manager. Sequoyah subscribes to the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) in Princeton, New Jersey. This organization impartially analyzes the information you provide on your SSS Parents' Financial Statement and computes a recommended family contribution for tuition. Sequoyah uses this determination as the basis for calculating the appropriate level along the index for your family. SSS processes the financial statements of more than 165,000 families each year, and more than 2,200 independent schools use their service.
Should my family apply for a lower level of tuition?
If you judge that you can, with deliberate planning, afford the maximum tuition, then you should not apply to be assigned a lower level of tuition. However, if this is not possible, then you should follow the application procedure listed below.
Because family circumstances vary widely, it is very difficult to provide hard and fast guidelines by which you determine your own eligibility. However, based on recent experience we anticipate that families whose income fits in a range of less than $25,000 and at times up to $150,000 would qualify for a lower level. In calculating each family's ability to pay, Sequoyah considers many factors, including the number of children enrolled in private school, medical expenses, and family commitments. There is no specific income level at which a family is no longer eligible.
How do we apply?
Families should note that the time frame for completing the process moves quickly. Deadlines are indicated below, but please remember that the submission of materials well in advance of the deadline is greatly appreciated.
Families currently paying less than the maximum tuition should note that the time frame for completing the indexed tuition process for the next school year moves quickly. Deadlines are indicated below, but please remember that the submission of materials well in advance of the deadline is greatly appreciated.
There are two steps involved in this process:
1. Complete the SSS application form by February 4, 2013. You may access the form online at http://sss.nais.org/Pages/default.aspx. If you have questions about the application, please contact Sequoyah's business manager Tom Wheatley at 626-795-4351 x217.
2. A copy of your 2012 federal tax return form 1040, including W-2, 1099 and all other schedules in a sealed envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL to Tom Wheatley, Sequoyah School, 535 S. Pasadena Avenue, Pasadena CA 91105, no later than February 11, 2013.
Your 2012 tax return is required to complete the application process. However if the 2012 return is unavailable by February 11, you may submit your 2011 return instead with the understanding that you will provide your 2012 return by August 31, 2013. Sequoyah reserves the right to review any index awards offered within 30 days of the 2012 tax return having been submitted.
Families whose financial circumstance have changed significantly in the past year and who have concerns about their continuing ability to afford the maximum tuition set for next school year should speak to Tom Wheatley at 626-795-4351 x 217 to confidentially discuss options that may be available.