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Flexible Tuition FAQs for Prospective Families

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Flexible Tuition is a program that reflects Seven Hills’ strong commitment to providing access for families of all income levels. It is a need-based financial assistance program that allows families to qualify for reduced tuition based on their unique financial circumstances. Instead of “receiving financial aid,” those families who qualify will pay a reduced tuition amount based on their individual circumstances.

This is not a loan program.  The amount of reduced tuition will never need to be “repaid.”

If in doubt, we suggest completing the Flexible Tuition application procedures. 

Flexible Tuition is different from the traditional Financial Aid program found offered by many independent schools. This shift from “Financial Aid” to “Flexible Tuition” reflects the school’s commitment to maintaining a balanced, diverse, and inclusive school community by broadening the range of families who are able to afford a Seven Hills education.

Yes. We recognize that many families who might not expect to be eligible for “financial aid” may still qualify for Flexible Tuition. If in doubt, we suggest completing the Flexible Tuition application procedures. 

Any full-day pre-kindergarten to grade 12 student may apply for Flexible Tuition if they are concerned about affording the full tuition rate at Seven Hills.

To determine if a family qualifies for Flexible Tuition, Seven Hills utilizes Student and School Services (SSS), a third party financial processor of tuition assistance applications for independent schools across the country. SSS calculates a family’s ability to pay. This number is based on an “Estimated Family Contribution” (EFC) calculation that takes into account many of the factors that make up a family’s overall financial picture, including but not limited to income, assets, household size, unusual expenses and family size. 

The Flexible Tuition Committee evaluates each application in a fair, consistent and confidential manner. We take time to understand the nuances and unique circumstances of each family.

 

Seven Hills subscribes to School and Student Service (SSS) to process Flexible Tuition applications. Every year families submit a Parent Financial Statement (PFS) to School and Student Services which processes the information and provides a need-based financial aid analysis service.

  • Complete instructions are provided on the SSS website and the Flexible Tuition Application Procedures.

  • Seven Hills awarded $5.3 million to 40% of the student body for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Seven Hills has a generous Flexible Tuition budget; however, it is not unlimited. It is required that families follow the Flexible Tuition timeline in order to receive full consideration. Flexible Tuition requests are also evaluated based on available budget, number of applicants, and grade/space availability. An application for flexible tuition does not guarantee funds may be allocated. 

Review important Flexible Tuition Deadlines

 

No. Flexible Tuition is available for full-day pre-kindergarten through grade 12. It is not available for the pre-kindergarten-for-2-year-olds program or half-day pre-kindergarten.  Due to demand for the pre-kindergarten program, typical tuition reductions do not exceed 25%. The availability of Flexible Tuition may vary based on the entering grade level, space in a grade, number of applicants, and budgeted funds. Families must apply within the established deadlines and qualify to receive Flexible Tuition.

No. Every family is required to contribute to the cost of their child’s education at Seven Hills. No family receives a flexible tuition amount that equals the full tuition.

Seven Hills subscribes to the School and Student Services (SSS) to process Flexible Tuition applications. SSS provides a need-based analysis of a family’s ability to pay that assists Seven Hills in the flexible tuition decisions.

The SSS report includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. This is based on an “Estimated Family Contribution” (EFC) calculation that takes into account many factors, including but not limited to income, assets, household size, unusual expenses, and family size. The Flexible Tuition Committee keeps these recommendations in mind as it carefully assesses Seven Hills’ resources and determines the tuition range for each family that qualifies.

Parents requesting flexible tuition are required to complete a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) and tuition levels are based on the standardized calculations derived by School & Student Services (SSS), using data from the PFS. The methodology used to determine the parental contribution considers many items including assets, liabilities, age of parents, family size, non-working parent, and the number of students in tuition-charging schools. As the Flexible Tuition Committee reviews Flexible Tuition applications, it differentiates between necessary expenses vs. money spent for lifestyle choices (e.g. club sports, financial support for extended family, travel, home improvements, credit card and debt repayment, private club memberships, etc.). Families choose to realign their lifestyle in order to put their child’s educational needs first. Beyond a certain point, the school does not provide Flexible Tuition to offset lifestyle expenditures that could have been directed to education.

  • Families must reapply for Flexible Tuition each year and meet all stated deadlines.
  • Current families who receive reduced tuition may expect to receive similar levels of funding each year if their financial circumstances remain the same.
  • Typically, families may expect to receive the annual tuition increase set by the Board of Trustees. Also, there is a tuition tier increase between specific grades (kindergarten to grade 1, grade 4 to grade 5, grade 7 to grade 8, grade 9 to grade 10).
  • If the current financial picture for a family changes, the amount of reduced tuition may be adjusted accordingly.
  • Families must complete the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) through School and Student Services (SSS) annually to determine eligibility for Flexible Tuition. Families who submit late applications may receive reduced awards, reflecting the remaining budget at the time.

 

The Flexible Tuition Committee uses the SSS methodology as the basis for its determination of what a family might reasonably expect to contribute toward educational expenses. It is Seven Hills’ expectation that a family requesting tuition assistance from Seven Hills will also apply for assistance at all other tuition charging schools.

Seven Hills does not offer sibling discounts.  However, Flexible Tuition does take into consideration the number of children from a family enrolled in tuition-charging schools. 

Each parent/guardian household must submit a separate Flexible Tuition application along with all tax documents and required forms to be considered for Flexible Tuition. Consideration of all available resources from both parents/guardians and their spouses or live-in partners will be based upon the belief that a family’s contribution for education is a reflection of “the ability to contribute, not the willingness to contribute,” which is standard SSS policy.

As a result, the School is not bound by existing decrees, agreements, or arrangements exempting a parent from financial responsibility or educational costs. All financial information is kept strictly confidential, and at no time will one household have access to the others’ information.

Seven Hills determines tuition reduction for the student, and it is the responsibility of the parents to determine a payment schedule structure. If a parent is no longer involved in the life of the child in any way, please speak directly with Seven Hills’s Flexible Tuition coordinator at 513.728.2407 to determine how to proceed.

A wide range of families with a variety of circumstances qualify for the program, from those who are able to pay close to the top range of Flexible Tuition to those who are at the entry level of the range. Many factors are evaluated, including income, assets, unusual expenses, lifestyle choices, and family size when determining if a family qualifies for tuition assistance.

For qualifying families, it is the expectation of the school that both parents will contribute to the family’s income unless there are young children at home or specific circumstances that do not allow for both parents to be employed outside of the home. 

Flexible Tuition requests are also evaluated based on available budget, number of applicants, and grade/space availability. An application for flexible tuition does not guarantee funds will be allocated. 

Families who do not apply for Flexible Tuition during the admission process at Seven Hills should not expect to receive Flexible Tuition in subsequent years. The school expects that families who begin paying full tuition will continue to do so. If there is a significant change in a family’s financial circumstances, please contact Janet Hill, Director of Enrollment Management, at janet.hill@7hills.org.

Yes. The school offers the options to make one payment in full, two payments, or 10 monthly payments. 

Learn More About our Tuition Payment Plans

Flexible Tuition discounts are applied to the published tuition fees, as printed in the enrollment contract. Additional costs, such as tuition refund insurance, after school care, summer camp, or lunchroom fees are incremental charges which are not covered by Flexible Tuition.

Learn More About Tuition

 

All financial information is highly confidential. Only the Flexible Tuition Committee will have access to this information. The Committee, Admission Office Assistant, and Business Office will see the final tuition range. Division heads and faculty members do not have access to any financial materials nor are they aware of which families apply for Flexible Tuition. 

No. Families apply for admission and Flexible Tuition concurrently, but they are separate processes. Flexible Tuition applications are kept strictly confidential and do not influence an admission applicant’s admissibility. All Flexible Tuition decisions are considered confidential agreements between The Seven Hills School and the recipient family, and are treated accordingly. A confidentiality agreement must be signed by each family who receives Flexible Tuition, Scholar Award, or an Alumni Scholarship.

Seven Hills is not able to offer Flexible Tuition to every student who qualifies for both admission and a reduced tuition. Just as there are more applicants annually than available spaces at Seven Hills, there are more families applying for Flexible Tuition than there are funds available. A student may be accepted to Seven Hills but waitlisted for a reduction in tuition. 

The filing deadlines are extremely important. In order to make fair, informed, and expeditious decisions for all families, it is important that families adhere to the established deadlines. 

Additional questions? Contact our admission team at 513.728.2400 or at Admissions@7hills.org