Affording Blue Oak School
As a parent, choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you’re like most parents, you are looking for a school that shares your values and offers individual attention, small class size, excellent teachers and has high academic standards.
But perhaps even more importantly, you are searching for a school that is going to provide a high quality, well-rounded experience for your child – a school that offers opportunities not only in the core academic areas, but also in art, foreign language and performing arts – a school that helps instill good work habits and qualities of personal responsibility and good citizenship.
For the past twelve years, families have invested in a Blue Oak School education because they know that Blue Oak School:
- Provides a challenging academic program
- Fosters confidence and develops character
- Nurtures intellectual curiosity
- Stimulates creativity through an integrated curriculum
- Develops critical-thinking skills
- Instills accountability and responsibility
- Prepares students for higher educational challenges
- Promotes habits of mind and values that endure
Blue Oak is committed to making our school accessible and affordable to families from a broad range of economic circumstances. In 2012, Blue Oak began its Indexed Tuition program which enables families who need tuition assistance to receive an enrollment contract based on a family’s individual financial situation. For the 2015-2016 school year, 45% of the families who have enrolled their children in Blue Oak receive tuition assistance in the form of an Indexed Tuition contract.
Tuition & Fees: 2016-2017 School Year
Annual Tuition: Kindergarten Index Tuition ranges: $1,800 to $21,600
Grades 1 - 8 Index Tuition ranges: $1,600 to $22,400
Blue Oak’s tuition covers all expenses related to a student’s education. There are no additional charges for books and supplies, field trips, graduation expenses, transportation, participation in athletics or technology use.
Families who participate in the Neighborhood Program (after-school care) or enroll in classes in the After School Program are billed separately for these expenses. Limited financial assistance for these programs is available for families receiving an Indexed Tuition contract. Blue Oak also offers an optional hot lunch program for which there is an additional fee.
Blue Oak families are asked to make annual donations to the Acorn Fund, Blue Oak School's annual fund. These gifts help fund such areas as technology initiatives, library acquisitions, tuition assistance and professional development. We ask that all families support this fundraising effort at a personally significant level; every gift is appreciated and meaningful. As we are a 501c3 organization, unrestricted gifts are tax-deductible, and some employers may match their employee’s gifts. For more information about the Acorn Fund and its use in the school budget, please contact the Development Office.
Non Refundable Deposit
A non-refundable tuition deposit is required of all families. This deposit is equal to 10% of a family’s tuition obligation and is required to complete a student’s enrollment. Tuition deposits must be made within three weeks of receiving a contract.
Mandatory Tuition Insurance
Tuition insurance (1.3% of the total tuition cost after deposit) is mandatory unless tuition has been paid in one installment (May) or two installments (May and August). Families using the ten payment plan are required to enroll in Blue Oak’s Tuition Insurance program. The cost of this program is billed separately in early September.
Tuition Payment Plans 2016 - 2017
Families may choose from 1 of 3 options.
1. Pay annual tuition in full no later than May 5
2. Pay annual tuition in two payments; the first by May 5 and the second by August 5
3. Pay annual tuition in ten monthly payments beginning in April 2016 and ending in January 2017.
Indexed Tuition allows Blue Oak School to offer a range of tuitions to support the economic diversity that is such an important component of our school community. Indexed Tuition is strictly need-based and recognizes that each family’s financial situation is unique.
Like most independent schools, Blue Oak uses an outside service to evaluate a family’s ability to pay tuition. Blue Oak has partnered with TADS, a company that has spent more than 40 years working to helps schools evaluate each family’s ability to contribute to their child’s education. TADS provides both families and the School with a high level of confidentiality, expertise, impartiality and accuracy.
TADS provides Blue Oak with a detailed analysis of each individual family’s financial strength, taking into consideration income, assets, family size, unusual expenses and the enrollment of other children in tuition-charging schools. Using the TADS analysis as a starting point, Blue Oak also looks at whether a family owns real estate or has other significant investments, life-style choices (stay-at-home parent, discretionary spending on vacations, etc.) other possible sources of funding for tuition and the tuitions being paid by families in similar situations. We look carefully at the financial choices that families make and trust that families understand the value of an independent school education and are committed to making education a top priority.
Applying for Indexed Tuition
While Blue Oak believes the primary responsibility for educating a child falls to the parents, we also recognize that for some families, the cost of an independent school education may seem out of reach.
Blue Oak encourages families who have concerns about their ability to afford the full cost of a Blue Oak education to apply for Indexed Tuition. Each family’s financial situation is considered thoroughly and confidentially on an individual basis to insure attention to special circumstances.
Not all families who are eligible to receive an Indexed Tuition contract will be offered one. Priority consideration is given to current students and then to eligible new students. In any given year, the number of students who are eligible exceeds the number of students who can be assisted through the school’s indexed tuition budget.
It is impossible for the school to determine the actual level of tuition for a given family until the time an offer of admission is made. Families should complete their on-line application in a timely fashion. Failure to meet deadlines may prevent the school from determining an indexed tuition rate, or may significantly affect the tuition amount assigned to the family.
Step 1: Complete an application for admission
Complete the Blue Oak School Application for Admission and submit it along with the $75 application fee.
Step 2: Collect financial information
Collect all of the financial information you will need to support your application (2014 taxes, household expenses, credit card statements, etc.) and complete the TADS worksheet.
Step 4: Log on to the TADS website
- Go to www.tads.com
- Select "Apply for Financial Aid"
- Select Blue Oak School
- Submit your TADS application
Step 5: Submit financial information to TADS
Submit all required financial information as requested by TADS.
Indexed Tuition Timeline
Families applying for admission between September and January.
- Applications for admission may be submitted beginning September 1. All applications should be complete by January 10.
- Schedule a time to visit Blue Oak: choose from group tours / open house / individual visits
- Attend an Indexed Tuition informational meeting (November) or arrange a time to meet individually with Michele Sanchez, Director of Admission to learn more about Indexed Tuition.
- Complete the TADS worksheet
- Submit an Application for Admission
- Submit and complete the TADS application no later than January 10.
Families applying for admission between February and June
Families who begin the admissions process later in the year should submit all of their application materials as quickly as possible. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in March.
- Schedule a time to visit Blue Oak: Choose from Group Tours / Open House / Individual visits
- Attend an Indexed Tuition informational meeting or schedule a personal meeting with the Director of Admissions.
- Complete the TADS worksheet
- Submit an Application for Admission
- Submit and complete the TADS application at the time you submit an application for admission
Families applying for admission during the Summer
Families applying for admission in the Summer months should understand that there are usually no funds available to offer Indexed Tuition contracts. Please contact the admissions office directly to determine if you should complete a TADS application as part of the admissions process.
Email Michele Sanchez, Director of Admissions or call 707.261.4522
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will submitting an application for Indexed Tuition hurt my children’s likelihood of being accepted?
A: Determination of tuition levels is a separate function from the admission process and will not affect a child’s likelihood of being accepted at Blue Oak.
Q: When will we find out the tuition level for our child(ren)?
A: Tuition levels will be indicated on the letter offering admission and on the enrollment contracts sent out electronically after a student is admitted.
Q: Does Indexed Tuition continue throughout a student’s time at Blue Oak School?
A: Each student’s financial need is calculated annually, therefore families are required to complete and submit an application for Indexed Tuition and submit all required financial information for each year that they wish to be considered for an indexed tuition rate. If there are significant changes in a family’s financial picture, the indexed tuition rate may change. Indexed tuition contracts may also change as the cost of tuition changes.
Q: What happens when a second child applies to enter Blue Oak?
A: Once the admission process has been completed and the child is accepted, the family’s financial circumstances will be renewed. Families should not expect that the amount they have been paying will be reduced when a second child enters the school.
Q: When will tuition be set for 2016-2017?
A: The Board of Trustee meets to set the annual tuition at their January meeting.
Q: How will you treat our application if one parent does not work?
A: Blue Oak works to treat all families equally. When there are no pre-school age children in the home, we assume that both parents are employed. If one parent chooses not to work, we will assign income based on the equivalent of full tuition to that parent for purposes of calculating the family’s estimated tuition contribution.
Q: If I am receiving an indexed tuition contract and my financial situation changes for the better, what do I do?
A: Families who receive Indexed Tuition contracts and have a positive change of financial status are expected to inform the school so that the level of their contract can be adjusted. Blue Oak expects honesty from all of its families.
Q: If my financial situation changes and I have need for assistance that I didn’t have before, what do I do?
A: You should contact TADS and provide information on the financial changes you are experiencing. You should also write a letter to the school requesting a reconsideration of your Indexed Tuition level and provided as much supporting information as possible (cash flow statements, current money available for tuition, etc.)
Q: If I receive an Indexed Tuition contract but I do not believe that it will enable me to enroll my child at Blue Oak, what should I do?
A: Families who receive an Indexed Tuition contract at a level that they do not believe is sustainable should contact the school directly and request a review of their application for tuition assistance. All requests for review must be in writing and must specifically state the specific financial reasons behind the request. A detailed monthly cash flow statement is required.
For more information, email Michele Sanchez, Director of Admissions or call 707.261.4522