Tuition and Financial Aid
Affording a Cheshire Academy Education
At Cheshire Academy, we fully understand and appreciate the financial commitment families make in deciding to provide their children with an independent school education. Therefore, we took the bold step of resetting tuitions.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, day tuition was reduced by nearly a third to be better aligned with the income levels of more families within the region. Boarding tuition was reduced by 10%.
In addition to supporting current CA families, making CA more affordable to a greater number of families in the region is the right thing to do. This approach is designed to provide greater accessibility to families, giving a wider range of students the opportunity to experience CA, while increasing the diversity and caliber of our student body.
The goal of our financial aid program is to provide access to those who qualify for need-based financial aid and may not be able to otherwise afford to attend. (Merit scholarships are also available to eligible students.)
Need-based financial aid is determined by Clarity and by Cheshire Academy’s Financial Aid Committee. The Admission Committee, comprised of Admission Officers and faculty, first makes a decision on whether or not a student is admissible based on their admission application. The Financial Aid Committee is then responsible for financial aid decisions for accepted students and allocates awards based on a family’s demonstrated need. Please know that Cheshire Academy is not able to provide aid to all qualified applicants, and, unfortunately, some may be placed on a waitlist or even denied financial aid.
Cheshire Academy works with Clarity for Financial Aid. Clarity uses a formula to compute a family’s estimated contribution to an independent school education. The Office of Financial Aid at Cheshire Academy considers the Clarity recommendation and then conducts a more in-depth evaluation that includes a review of both 2021 and 2022 tax returns. While we ask families to estimate the 2023 tax information in the financial aid application process, awards are not final until the 2023 federal tax return is submitted to Clarity.
Tuition for 2023-2024
7-Day Boarding: $59,500 (International fee: $10,000)
In addition to covering individual student expenses (such as the cost of books, clothing appropriate to the school’s dress code, and some athletic equipment), the following fees apply:
- General Fee: Covers costs associated with the school’s health center, music and art departments, laboratories, and a technology department to support network infrastructure, student email, and technology-based services. ($1,000 for 2022-2023 year.)
- International Fee: Helps to cover the cost of a full-time International Student Coordinator, an International Student orientation program, and activities and events for international students throughout the year. CA provides a robust, comprehensive program of support and services to all international students. These benefits enhance the experience and highlight our appreciation for and commitment to worldwide culture and traditions:
• Supervised room and board for ALL school vacations except winter break (Dec.-Jan.)
• Airport transportation, including early-arrival and late departure when needed
• Weekend activities and special events, local day and overnight trips
• ELL, SAT, and TOEFL support services
• Regular updates and meetings with the Head of School
• Assistance with and management of the visa process
• Personalized university and college counseling for each student and family
In addition, this fee includes SEVIS management which supports students with the issuance and maintenance of I-20 forms as well as maintaining their F-1 visa status while a student at Cheshire Academy. ($10,000 for 2022-2023 year.)
- Tuition Refund Insurance: Required for all families when tuition is not paid in full upon enrolling. (More about Dewar’s tuition refund insurance, offered at over 1,300 independent schools and colleges, can be found on the Dewar website, and in the Tuition Refund Plan 2023-2024.)
How to Apply for Financial Aid
The Financial Aid Committee is designed to make a Cheshire Academy education possible for all families based on demonstrated financial need and the availability of funds. Cheshire Academy has partnered with Clarity to determine a family’s level of financial need based on the information that families share in the application which includes assets, income, expenses, and debts.
To get started, please go to the Clarity Application and create an account. The application typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete. The Clarity Application is also mobile-friendly so you can complete it from anywhere. You are also able to save your progress and return at any time. At the end of the application, there is a $60 fee to submit, and you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity Application for no additional charge. Simply use the dropdown menu in the application to select those schools.
Please remember to return to your dashboard after you complete and submit your Clarity Application, as Cheshire Academy requires you to upload additional tax documentation. The deadline for completing the financial aid application including relevant supplemental documents is Feb. 1.
If you need support during the process of completing your application, there is in-app support available through the “Help” button in the bottom left of the screen, as well as email and phone support at email@example.com or 206-210-3752, in both English and Spanish. The application itself is also fully translated into Spanish. This Quick Reference Guide also provides a useful overview of the steps to complete your financial aid application.
To complete your financial aid application with Clarity, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for financial aid?
Cheshire Academy requires all families to complete and submit the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) form through Clarity. Click here to begin the application on Clarity. In addition to the PFS, all families must submit to Clarity all tax returns for 2021 and 2022, including 1040, W2s, 1099s and all schedules.
Cheshire Academy has a limited financial aid budget and we are not able to guarantee that financial aid will be available to late applicants or students who begin at Cheshire Academy paying the full tuition. Thus, it is best for a family to apply for financial aid by the financial aid application deadline rather than waiting until the applicant has been accepted for admission or already enrolled in the school.
Who qualifies for financial aid?
Cheshire Academy considers a family’s income, assets, and the number of siblings enrolled in tuition-charging schools in order to qualify a family for financial aid. In situations where one parent of a two-parent household chooses not to work full time and there are no preschool-aged children in the home, Cheshire Academy will add $25,000 to the family’s income when determining the family’s financial need.
What is "demonstrated need"?
Cheshire Academy considers a family’s income, assets, and the number of siblings enrolled in tuition-charging schools in order to qualify. Cheshire Academy subscribes to the guiding principle that the primary responsibility for the cost of a child’s education resides with the family and that financial aid must be based on demonstrated need, not on willingness or unwillingness to pay. We expect that each family will make the funding of their child’s education a priority. The Financial Aid Committee utilizes all data provided through the PFS (Parents’ Financial Statement), tax documents including, but not limited to two years of a Federally filed 1040. All documentation is submitted to and verified by Clarity to determine a family’s “demonstrated need” – demonstrated need is the difference between the cost of education at Cheshire Academy and a family’s expected contribution to that education as a percent of your discretionary income.
How do international applicants apply for financial aid?
Cheshire Academy requires all families to complete and submit the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) form through Clarity. Click here to begin the application on Clarity.
Cheshire Academy has a limited financial aid budget, and we are not able to guarantee that financial aid will be available to late applicants or students who begin at Cheshire Academy paying the full tuition. Thus, it is best for a family to apply for financial aid by the financial aid application deadline rather than waiting until the applicant has been accepted for admission or already enrolled in the school.
If we receive financial aid this year, can we count on it for each year of enrollment?
A family who receives a financial aid award in their first year can expect to pay a similar amount of tuition each year that their child is enrolled at Cheshire Academy, assuming their financial circumstances do not change.
Families enrolling at Cheshire Academy should be aware that it is unlikely they will receive additional financial aid in future years, beyond the original amount awarded, unless they are able to clearly demonstrate (in writing, with supporting documentation) a significant, unexpected change in their financial situation.
While we make every effort to accommodate circumstances beyond a family’s control, such as loss of a job or an unexpected illness, we have a limited financial aid budget and cannot guarantee meeting a change of need. Cheshire Academy reserves the right to decrease an applicant’s award in the event a family’s financial situation changes for the better (i.e. attain a new job, a salary raise, a sibling graduates college, etc.). Cheshire Academy also reserves the right to increase tuition in a given year and in doing so, families should anticipate having to increase their contribution toward tuition.
When can a family expect to know the outcome of their financial aid application?
All financial aid decisions for newly accepted families will be given at the time of an admission decision.
Can I take out a loan?
The Plitt Loan
Through the generosity of The Clarence Manger and Audrey Cordero Plitt Trust, Plitt loans may be available to families who either did not qualify for financial aid or feel they need additional support to bridge the gap between their financial aid award and the cost for their student to attend CA. These loans allow families to pay for tuition in regular monthly installments at competitive interest rates, over a five-year period after graduating from the Academy. Interest does not begin to accrue on loan principal until such time as the loan payments begin. For more information on Plitt Loans, please contact CFO Matthew R. Piechota at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Cheshire Academy have payment options?
Yes, Cheshire Academy currently offers three different types of payment plan options, ranging from one pay to monthly billings.
One Pay – One pay is due annually in July, which covers the cost of your student’s tuition, plus fees. Your 10 percent deposit will be applied to this bill.
Two Installment Payment Plan – Similar to the One Pay plan, families are required to pay half of the cost of tuition, plus fees, in July, and the remainder of the tuition in December.
Monthly Payment Plan – In this plan, the cost of tuition is divided evenly from June (provided your student is enrolled before June 1) through January. Fees are all due on the first of the month. The 10 percent deposit is deducted from the first month’s payment. The final payment must be received no later than January.