Tuition & Tuition Assistance

Tuition

Tuition 2019-20

Please note that activity fees are included in tuition. 

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten: $17,500

  • Grades 1-4: $22,000

  • Grades 5-7: $24,100

  • Grades 8-10: $26,900

  • Grades 11-12: $28,100

  • Key School (grades 2-8): $39,400

Tuition Includes (all grades): Activity fees, most textbooks, most local field trips, lab and studio fees, and PSAT and ERB testing

2019-20 Tuition Planner

Additional financial considerations

Grades 6-12: Required personal technology device (laptop, tablet)
Grades 8-12: Optional international trip
Grades 9-12: AP exam fees, college entrance exam fees (ACT, SAT)
Grade 12: Graduation expenses such as cap and gown, invitations, class rings 

Not included in tuition are: after-school care, lunches, bus fees, calculators and other similar school supplies; some local and out-of-town field trips; yearbook or student photos; and individualized programs or special tutoring.

Tuition Assistance Philosophy

Affording Excellence

As a mission-based school that prepares young people to confidently make a meaningful difference in the world, CDS is committed to building a socially and economically diverse student body. Investing in your child by providing a Carolina Day School education yields a lifetime of value, and each CDS family invests at a level of affordability. 

Socio-economic diversity is integral to a strong and healthy school and CDS vigorously supports a meaningful tuition assistance program to support achievement of our various diversity initiatives. For the 2018-19 academic year, more than $3.3 million in assistance was awarded to approximately 33% of our students enrolled Pre-K/12.  

Our tuition assistance program is good for the entire Carolina Day School community.

  • For qualified students: access to an exceptional education

  • For students who don’t receive assistance: outstanding peers are represented in our classrooms, regardless of their ability to pay

If you have questions, please contact Carole Hilderbran, childerbran@carolinaday.org.

Tuition Assistance Application Process

Our Commitment

We appreciate that a Carolina Day School education is a significant financial investment. Our commitment to affordability is strong, with approximately $3.4 million in tuition assistance granted for the 2019-20 school year. Our tuition assistance program ensures that we are enrolling the best and brightest students in our classrooms, regardless of ability to pay.

Detailed Instructions for Applying

Parents of Students Applying to CDS - Deadlines are Nov. 15 and Feb. 1

For Parents of Students Applying to Carolina Day School 

Your Timing and Ours

Your application for admission and your application for tuition assistance occur in parallel. In this way, we can deliver both a response to your application for admission and a response to your tuition assistance application at the same time. 

The earlier you apply, the better you position yourself. While our tuition assistance budget is generous, we begin making grants early in the admission season, continuing to do so until we have exhausted our budget.

Our advice:  apply early.

Application Deadlines

  • November 15:  Lower/Middle/Upper School applicants who complete both the admission process and the tuition assistance process by November 15 will receive a Winter Decision (notification early January).

  • February 1:  Lower/Middle/Upper School/Key School applicants who complete both the admission process and the tuition assistance process by February 1 will receive a Spring Decision (notification early March).

  • After February 1, we will process applications for admission and tuition assistance on a rolling, space- and funds-available basis.

How You Can Apply for Tuition Assistance

Our policy requires that ALL PARENTS submit a Parents' Financial Statement (PFS).

Listed below are the tuition assistance application steps to complete by November 15 for a Winter decision and by February 1 for a Spring decision:

  1. Submit the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) via the School & Student Services by NAIS (SSS) portal, directing your application to Carolina Day School, school code # 2123. Please note that there is a $51 application fee which you will pay electronically.

  2. Return to the SSS portal. After submitting your PFS, upload items listed below.

    • Upload (as a pdf) your 2018 tax return.

    • Upload (as a pdf) your 2019 tax return (when available).

    • Upload (as pdfs) your 2018 and 2019 W-2(s) (when available).

    • Upload (as a pdf) recent paystub(s).

    • If you are a business owner, please upload 2018 and 2019 business tax return(s) and K-1(s) (when available).

Need more help?

SSS Parent Helpline 1-800-344-8328

SSS 2020-21 How to Apply for Financial Aid Flyer 

SSS 2020-21 PFS Workbook and Instruction Booklet  

How will you know when your application is complete?

Log back into the SSS portal to ensure you have submitted both your PFS and all supporting documentation.

Parents of Returning Students - Deadline is Nov. 15

For Parents of Returning Students 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2019

Tuition Assistance applications for Students Returning in 2020-21 are due November 15, 2019.

How You Can Apply for Tuition Assistance

Our policy requires that ALL PARENTS submit a Parents' Financial Statement (PFS).

Listed below are the tuition assistance application steps to complete by November 15:

  1. Submit the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) via the School & Student Services by NAIS (SSS) portal, directing your application to Carolina Day School, school code # 2123. Please note that there is a $51 application fee which you will pay electronically.

  2. Return to the SSS portal. After submitting your PFS, upload items listed below.

    • Upload (as a pdf) your 2018 tax return.

    • Upload (as a pdf) your 2019 tax return (when available).

    • Upload (as pdfs) your 2018 and 2019 W-2(s) (when available).

    • Upload (as a pdf) recent paystub(s).

    • If you are a business owner, please upload 2018 and 2019 business tax return(s) and K-1(s) (when available).

Need more help?

How will you know when your application is complete?

  • Log back into the SSS portal to ensure you have submitted both your PFS and all supporting documentation.

FAQs

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT TUITION ASSISTANCE?

You might find the answer here!

1. Will applying for Tuition Assistance have an impact on the admission decision for my child?

No. The Admission Committee is not aware of who is applying for tuition assistance and the tuition assistance decisions are made after a student has been accepted.

2. What does SSS do?

SSS uses a methodology to compute a family's ability to pay for educational expenses for all children. Most independent schools use SSS.

3. How is the Family Contribution calculated?

The family contribution is determined through a methodology developed by SSS. This methodology takes into consideration gross taxable and non-taxable income, itemized deductions, assets, liabilities, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools. After accounting for required tax obligations and allowances for basic necessities, at a very modest standard of living, a portion of the family’s remaining resources are considered available for education on a sliding scale. It is assumed that higher incomes will have more discretionary financial resources available for education.

4. Do I reapply each year for tuition assistance?

Yes. Each student's need is re-calculated annually. Therefore, parents are required to submit the PFS along with the other required documentation each year by the published deadlines.

5. What kind of tuition assistance can my family expect in the following years?

Assuming that your family’s financial status does not change dramatically, funding will generally be renewed at previous levels. You must re-apply for tuition assistance every year.

6. If my family is paying full tuition, could we receive tuition assistance in subsequent years?

We expect that families who begin by paying full tuition to the School will continue to do so unless unforeseen circumstances make that impossible. We advise families not to go to extraordinary lengths to pay full tuition their first year in the hope of receiving tuition assistance the next year. However, if your financial situation has changed significantly since you joined the School, you should apply for tuition assistance and include a detailed explanation of the change.

7. Are students ever asked to take jobs at Carolina Day School to help pay for their education?

No. In order to protect the confidential nature of tuition assistance, CDS does not use a work-study program. However, we do expect eleventh and twelfth grade students to contribute $500 to their education by obtaining seasonal or summer jobs.

8. Does tuition assistance cover other costs beyond tuition?

Yes.

For those students who utilize the bus, and therefore incur the additional fee for ridership, financial aid will be applied to the bus fee in the same proportion as it is applied for tuition.

For those students who attend After-School Care on an annual or semester (not drop-in) basis, we will provide financial aid to After-School Care fees in the same proportion as financial aid is applied to tuition.

(Please note that financial aid applies only to After-School Care on an annual or semester basis; it does not apply to After-School Care on a drop-in basis, nor does it apply to After School Adventures, Lower School Play for Your School Athletic Programs, or other types of programs after school.)

9. If only one parent works outside of the home, will my child be considered for tuition assistance?

Tuition assistance is intended only as a supplement to the family responsibility for a student’s education. Both parents in many CDS families work in order to earn sufficient income to provide an independent school education for their children. We believe that in a two-parent household both parents should earn an income once all children are in a full-day school program, unless there are extenuating circumstances. For purposes of calculating a family’s ability to contribute to their child’s education, an amount will be added to the family contribution that represents our best estimate of the reasonable earning potential of the non-working or under-employed spouse.

10. If one or both parents decide to attend graduate school, how will that decision impact the tuition assistance award?

The Tuition Assistance Committee would expect that the parent enrolled in graduate school will continue to earn income and has arranged to fund his or her education without depending heavily on family resources. If a parent chooses to attend school full time, and is thus unemployed, the Tuition Assistance Committee will add to the income of the family.

11. If I am single, divorced or no longer living with my child’s other parent, what information is required in order to determine an award?

The Tuition Assistance Committee expects all parents to contribute financially to their child’s tuition. Each household is expected to submit a completed PFS and all other required documentation in order for CDS to gain a realistic picture of family resources. If the non-custodial parent refuses to comply, the Financial Aid Committee will determine whether or not the family will be eligible for an award. If the custodial parent has not heard from the non-custodial parent for a period of time, to be determined by the Tuition Assistance Committee, forms may not be required. However, a letter of verification from a third party (minister, attorney, social worker, etc.) may be required. The Tuition Assistance committee may request a copy of the divorce decree, however, it may choose not to abide by it. Each situation is unique and will be handled on an individual basis.

12. If I am living with someone who is not my child’s biological parent or I am remarried, how will the Tuition Assistance Committee review my child’s file?

In situations such as and similar to this, CDS requires financial information from all adults involved in the applicant’s life. Each situation is unique and will be handled on an individual basis.

13. If my child lives with his/her non-parent or guardians, what information will the Tuition Assistance Committee require?

These applications are reviewed on an individual basis. However, if the parents are still living and are claiming their child on their tax return, the parents and guardians must complete and submit the PFS to SSS. If other family members have custody, they must also complete and submit the PFS to SSS. The Tuition Assistance Committee will also need copies of proof of custody.

14. If we cannot pay the Family Contribution noted in the award letter, is there an appeal process?

Yes. Please notify Carole Hilderbran in writing at childerbran@carolinaday.org or 828-210-9150 of your request for an appeal and submit all written documentation that you feel may provide the Tuition Assistance Committee with additional insight into your financial picture. More than likely, you will be asked to set up an appointment to discuss, in detail, your particular situation and the circumstances for your appeal.

15. Is there a tuition assistance waiting list?

Yes. Carolina Day School has more students qualifying for tuition assistance than we have the ability to fund. In the event the funds become available, we will contact you.

16. I still have questions regarding the tuition assistance process. Whom should I contact?

Feel free to contact Carole Hilderbran at childerbran@carolinaday.org or 828-210-9150.