The Ethical Culture Fieldston School is committed to making education
affordable to all academically qualified students regardless of their
financial situation. The financial aid program has always been important
to our mission. The school was founded in 1878 with the goal of
educating the “working class child” from New York City. Today we have
one of the strongest and most comprehensive financial aid programs of
any independent school in the country. Currently, over 360 students,
representing 22 percent of our student body, receive financial aid
awards totaling in excess of $11,000,000. In addition, many ECF parents
utilize the 10-month payment plan to help finance their children’s
The financial aid submission deadline was December 15, 2012. If you need to file for financial aid please contact Victoria Daley at 718-329-7341 or via e-mail at email@example.com
Many parents want an independent school education for their children
for several good reasons, including the small class size, the rich
curriculum, the individual attention, and the extracurricular
opportunities. They understand that the elementary and secondary school
years are critical years where the foundations and skills for lifelong
learning are acquired. They appreciate that these are the years when
their child will establish a unique identity and find the values that
will define his or her life. Providing an independent school education,
however, requires careful financial planning for most families. This webpage is designed to help you estimate the cost of an education at
the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and learn more about the resources
available to you.
- Financial Aid FAQs
- What is financial aid?
- Financial aid is need-based tuition assistance given to qualified families to offset the cost of an Ethical Culture Fieldston School education. Unlike a student loan financial aid does not need to be repaid.
- Who can apply for financial aid?
- Families with students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 may apply, although financial aid in pre-k is limited.
- Does applying for aid influence the eligibility for acceptance decision?
- Families are encouraged to apply for aid as early as possible because of limited funds. Financial aid grants are not made until after a student meets the qualifications for admission.
- How do I apply for financial aid?
Consult the Financial Aid section of the website to access the Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) online financial aid application. The Ethical Culture Fieldston School also requires that the following items be submitted directly to TADS in order to complete a financial aid application:
- A copy of your most recently filed 1040 and W2 tax forms and supporting tax schedules
- Business return and schedule if you own a business
- A signed Parent Contact and Guideline Agreement
- A signed federal 4506 form that gives the School permission to receive the filed tax forms directly from the federal government
All information is treated as highly confidential
- How is financial need determined?
- A family’s financial need is the difference between the tuition charged and the family’s ability to pay. We use Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) to help determine what a family is capable of contributing toward educational expenses. Families complete the Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) application form on line or they can mail in a hard copy directly to them for processing. The application form is then forwarded to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and provides the school with a general recommendation on a family's ability to pay for education. The financial aid office uses the assessment as a guide in allocating financial aid awards. Other factors are also used when determining the financial need of a family such as, the number of children in tuition-charging schools, all sources of income, savings, investments, and assets.
- Is my financial information kept confidential?
- Yes. All information relating to the parents' financial position will be treated with the utmost confidentially. This information is used only to arrive at a fair determination of financial need.
- Is financial aid automatically renewed each year?
- ECF requires families receiving aid to re-apply each year. Understanding that it is the family’s obligation to make sure all accounts with the Business Office are current, if a family is in arrears and has not made special arrangements with the business office, the Financial Aid Office may not allocate aid for the following year. If your financial status changes you may be awarded more or less aid in any given year.
- How do I know I qualify for financial aid?
- The Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) application process ensures that each family's needs can be measured fairly and equitably. If you believe that your resources are not sufficient to meet the total costs of an ECF education, you are encouraged to apply for aid. You are always welcome to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss this process further.
- How soon should I apply for financial aid?
- Requests for financial aid often exceed the funds available so it is important to apply as early as possible. The deadline for submitting your financial aid application for the following academic year is December 15 and funds are allocated first to current families who meet the deadlines and have demonstrated need.
- Is there a repayment obligation when a family receives financial aid from ECF?
- No. There is no obligation to repay financial aid grant money awarded by the school. Loans are distinct from financial aid grants. Any loans parents make with an independent party should be repaid according to the particular loan agreement.
- Does Ethical Culture Fieldston School offer merit based scholarships?
- No. All financial aid at ECF is awarded on the basis of demonstrated need.
- What percentage of the student body receives FA?
- Are the costs of books and lunch included in your tuition? Are any other costs included as well?
- Lunch is included in our tuition but books are not. Books are on average an additional $750 for Middle and Upper School students. If you receive financial aid the same reduction will be applied to the cost of books.
- Are there any additional costs?
- Yes. The school is trying to keep all costs at a minimum but there are additional costs, especially in the Upper School. The tuition and fees listed do not cover such costs as transportation, gym clothes, individual music lessons, required trips, athletic fees, and computers with internet access.
- Do you assign an income for parents who do not work?
- Yes. The Ethical Culture Fieldston School expects families to look at all of their own resources before requesting financial aid. We will impute a salary to the parent who is not earning income. Families who have children under the age of 5 are exempt from this policy.
- Will tuition increase?
- Yes. The ECF Board of Trustees meets every January to review the tuition figures for the next academic year. Tuition revenues cover only about 82 percent of the school’s annual operating expenses; the remainder comes principally from annual giving and endowment income. As the schools operating costs increase over time so does tuition in an attempt to close the gap.
- What happens if a family applies for financial aid who was admitted as a full tuition family?
- Families are asked to apply for financial aid by the December 15th deadline. If you did not apply for financial aid during the admission year that your child was admitted to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, you will not be awarded aid. They only time an exception may be made is in the event of a significant change in your circumstances such as loss of a job, death of a parent, additional child entering a tuition charging school or an illness which prevents a parent from earning income.
- How do you treat divorce decrees in which one parent refuses to pay for independent school education?
- Ethical Culture Fieldston School expects that separated or divorced parents will contribute to the cost of their child’s education regardless of whether or not there is legal obligation for them to do so. In the cases of divorce or separation, ECF requires information from both natural parents and stepparents. We can appreciate that these are difficult times for families but we require that each parent complete and submit a Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) application. While the financial aid committee will consider the assets of both natural parents and stepparents in determining an award, we take into consideration the other obligations of that stepparent.