TUITION & TUITION ASSISTANCE

Tuition

Tuition is designed to meet the core costs of providing the highest quality educational program for our students. However, while tuition provides for much of our annual program costs, it does not cover the full expense of educating a child. Like many independent schools, we count on bridging the financial gap through charitable contributions made to our Annual Fund. By keeping tuition modest, we believe we can put an RA education within reach for more families and build the type of inclusive community we all wish to have.

Affording RA: Four Case Studies

Oftentimes when a family thinks about applying to independent school, they worry about the cost, making inaccurate assumptions about affordability. Families will sometimes assume they can’t afford tuition, there is no aid available, or that they won’t qualify for grant money. However, just as families learn about the right fit for their child(ren)’s academic and personal growth, they learn about RA’s tuition assistance program and realize the school helps roughly 24% of its students with an award each year, with the average award offsetting tuition by 40%. And just as the families who enroll their children at RA are diverse in their backgrounds, so are their tuition assistance needs. When we look at the community of families as a whole--and the $2M of tuition assistance to support their attendance--we appreciate the individual stories and partnerships with each; the examples below are constructed from RA’s financial aid committee over the past several years using elements from composite profiles.

Please note that while we have provided some basic financial information in each profile, it is important to understand that many other considerations can affect an award decision. If you would like to discuss your family’s specific circumstances in greater detail, please do not hesitate to contact our Director of Financial Aid, Dave Suter.
Case #1: Family of four, with one, an applicant for Grade 6, who lives with both parents, and has an older sibling at the public high school.
 
The family’s income is $245,000. The family owns their home, has some equity after living there for a decade, and both parents have accumulated retirement savings of roughly $225,000. There were no allowable unusual expenses. After the School and Student Services (SSS) calculation was adjusted for the Fairfield County, CT and Westchester, NY costs of living, the following was determined:

Tuition: $46,730
Estimated Family Contribution determined by SSS: $28,250
Aid offered by RA: $$18,480
 
Case #2: Family of four, with one, an applicant for Grade 2, who lives with both parents, and has a younger sibling in full-time day care because both parents work.


The family’s income is $318,000. The family owns their home, has some equity after living there for a handful of years, and the parents have retirement and cash assets of nearly $400,000. There were unusual expenses of $25,000. After the School and Student Services (SSS) calculation was adjusted for Fairfield County, CT and Westchester, NY costs of living, the following was determined:

Tuition: $39,980
Estimated Family Contribution determined by SSS: $21,740
Aid offered by RA: $18,240

 
Case #3: Family of three, with one, an applicant for Grade 4, who lives with a single parent, and has an older sibling at boarding school.


Both parents, though divorced, have a cumulative income of $130,000. Both parents rent their homes, their assets total about $90,000 and there were no allowable unusual expenses. After the School and Student Services (SSS) calculation was adjusted for the Fairfield County, CT and Westchester, NY costs of living, the following was determined:

Tuition: $44,720
Estimated Family Contribution determined by SSS: $7,930
Aid offered by RA: $36,790

Case #4: Family of five with an applicant for Kindergarten, a sibling applying for Pre-Kindergarten, and both live in a single-income family as one parent stays home with an infant.


The family’s income is $410,000, and they own their own home, but with little equity having just moved to it last year. There are high “unusual expenses” related to the care of an elderly grandparent in the home totaling $40,000. They have significant assets in retirement and savings of almost $350,000. After the School and Student Services (SSS) calculation was adjusted for the Fairfield County, CT and Westchester, NY costs of living, the following was determined:

Tuition: $24,300 + $32,040 = $56,340
Estimated Family Contribution determined by SSS: $41,380
Aid offered by RA: If both children enroll, $14,960; if one child enrolls, $0.

Tuition Assistance

Because the actual cost of educating each student exceeds that of our tuition and fees, every Ridgefield Academy student, in effect, receives aid - the difference between the tuition and fees, and the actual cost of an RA education.

Our substantial tuition assistance budget comes entirely from our operating budget. In recent years, nearly twenty-five percent of our students have received assistance; the range of grants is from $1,215 to $37,000.

We award tuition assistance to many middle-income families, families with relatively high incomes but more than one child in school, and those whose financial circumstances qualify them for a grant that equals the full cost of tuition and fees. Even if you're unsure if you qualify for assistance, we encourage you to apply.

Applying for tuition assistance has absolutely no effect on a student’s application for admission. Admission decisions are based on a student’s qualifications and the likelihood that they will contribute to the life of the school. A family’s application for tuition assistance is considered separately from the application for admission.

Tuition Assistance Timeline


Ridgefield Academy safeguards the confidentiality of all financial information supplied by applicants and does not publicly identify recipients of financial aid, except with parental permission. Only those persons directly involved in the financial aid process or in its administration will review this information.