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Tuition

Variable Tuition FAQs

Think again. St. Luke's Episcopal School proudly offers Variable Tuition. Tuition at SLES is not “one-size-fits all.” Tuition is set in a range that spans from 40-80% of the full cost. Variable Tuition adjusts the fixed rate to meet your family’s unique financial position. No family at SLES pays the full cost of education. Variable Tuition awards can place a St. Luke's education within your reach.

What is Variable Tuition?
Variable Tuition is a need-based assistance program similar to those used by many independent schools, colleges, and universities. This program allows families to apply for reduced tuition that is right for their families’ financial situation. This model makes an SLES education affordable for many qualified families who might not otherwise be able to join our school community.

Are there other independent schools who use this model?

We believe that we are the first school in Central Texas to launch Variable Tuition.  However, this is not a new or untested concept.  The first independent school to adopt a “sliding scale” tuition model was Manhattan Country School (NY).  They have successfully utilized this approach since 1970.  Subsequently, a variety of schools across the country have adapted this approach to their unique circumstances, all united by a goal of expanding access to qualified students.   Some of these institutions include:  Jewish Community Day School (MA), Grace Episcopal Day School (MD), Duke School (NC), St. Elizabeth’s School (CO), and Marin Country Day School (CA).

What percent of SLES students currently receive assistance?  Is this expected to increase with Variable Tuition?
Under our existing program, 21% of our current students are receiving financial assistance.   Though award amounts vary, the average is around 40% of the tuition cost.  Current award recipients have annual household incomes that range from $25,000-$200,000.   As we institute Variable Tuition, we anticipate an increase in the number of current and new families who will seek some tuition relief.  We are eager to wisely invest our resources to supplement the considerable investments that all parents make to secure an SLES education for their child.   

How Does Variable Tuition Work?
Any parents (current or new) of a K-8 student may apply for Variable Tuition if they are concerned about affording the fixed rate tuition. Many factors are considered when determining the Variable Tuition award, including income, assets, unusual expenses, and the size of the family. 

An application for Variable Tuition does not affect the admission process. Regardless of financial need, parents should initiate the re-enrollment or admission process as early as possible. Families may apply for Variable Tuition only after they have officially enrolled for the upcoming year.

The school cannot estimate the Variable Tuition award without the completion of a Variable Tuition application. Applications are submitted directly to FACTS, a third-party agency. FACTS evaluates the application based on location-specific criteria and makes a recommendation to the school’s Variable Tuition Committee. The committee notifies an applying family about their Variable Tuition award. 

Unfortunately, the school is frequently unable to meet the full demontrated need of all deserving students. We work within the available resources to make the school accessible to as many families as possible.

What is the cost to apply for Variable Tuition?
The cost to apply for Variable Tuition is $30/family. This fee is paid directly to FACTS when the online application is submitted. 

How do I apply for Variable Tuition?
Parents submit their financial information directly to FACTS. Click here to access St. Luke's FACTS portal. Applications for admission and for Variable Tuition are two separate processes. Admission to St. Luke’s is need-blind and does not guarantee receipt of a Variable Tuition award. FACTS will notify St. Luke’s when your application is submitted and completed.

What documentation does FACTS require?

  • Copies of your 2016 or 2017 IRS Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ 
  • Copies of all 2017 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
  • A non-refundable application fee of $30 paid directly to FACTS online. (Only one application to FACTS is required per family)

Is there an income limit to qualify for Variable Tuition?
There is no set income level to qualify for Variable Tuition. Each family’s situation is unique and will be carefully evaluated. Other factors that may influence Variable Tuition include multiple children, parish attendance, and military service.

If I am divorced or separated, do both parents need to supply documentation to FACTS?
Yes, both parents (custodial and non-custodial) must complete the application process with FACTS.

If my spouse does not work, will FACTS assign potential income to our application?
For purposes of calculating Variable Tuition, an income of $10,000 will be attributed to any non-working parent without a child under age five.

Do I need to apply for Variable Tuition each year?
Yes. Variable Tuition is awarded annually. A family’s financial circumstances can fluctuate from year to year, as can the overall financial needs within the larger St. Luke’s community. The Variable Tuition Committee’s decision to make an award one year does not set a binding precedent for Variable Tuition awards in future years.

When will I know how much Variable Tuition I will be awarded?
Typically, an award notice will be made within 2 weeks of completing the application with FACTS. All financial obligations to SLES must be current. Access to Variable Tuition applications is kept restricted and confidential. We ask that families receiving Variable Tuition award hold these details in strict confidence. Breach of confidentiality may result in forfeiture of a Variable Tuition award.

What if the Variable Tuition award is not sufficient for our needs?
Once an award has been made, any parents who feel that their circumstances are exceptional and warrant further consideration should submit a written appeal to the Variable Tuition Committee. If the final award is insufficient to meet the parents’ financial needs, the family will be released from its contractual obligations and the non-refundable enrollment deposit will be returned. 

Should every new SLES family submit an application for Variable Tuition?
No. Only families who feel that they may not able to pay the fixed rate tuition should submit an application.

If I do not qualify for the program this year, can I apply again next year?
Yes. A family that does not qualify is welcome to reapply the following year.

Do I need to apply for admission separately from applying for Variable Tuition?
Yes. Applying for admission and applying for Variable Tuition are two separate processes. However, new families may complete both application processes simultaneously.

Will applying for Variable Tuition hurt my student’s chance of being admitted to the school?
No. Admission applications and Variable Tuition applications are evaluated separately. Applying for Variable Tuition has no bearing on admission decisions.

What kind of economic situation is typical of a family who qualifies for Variable Tuition?
A wide range of families with a variety of circumstances qualify for the program, from those who are able to pay close to the fixed rate to those who are at the entry level of the variable range. Many factors are evaluated, including income, assets, unusual expenses, and the size of the family.

Are some families awarded "full tuition?"
No. All families at SLES are required to make a financial investment in their child’s education. Our commitment to providing Variable Tuition means that we are sharing in that investment with you. 

Will Variable Tuition lead to larger classes?
No. The SLES Board has established maximum class sizes. Within those limits, we will continue to accept qualified, mission-appropriate students.

Who should I contact with questions about Variable Tuition?
Prospective parents should direct questions to:

Margaret Ann Casseb, Director of Admissions
macasseb@sles-sa.org
(210) 826-0664 EXT. 239

Should every returning SLES family submit an application for Variable Tuition?
No. Only families who feel that they may not able to pay the fixed rate should submit an application.

If I do not qualify for the program this year, can I apply again next year?
Yes. A family that does not qualify is welcome to reapply the following year.

We are currently receiving. How does this work for Variable Tuition?
Variable Tuition is taking the place of financial assistance. If you are personally receiving an award, it is likely that the award level will be maintained. 

What kind of economic situation is typical of a family who qualifies for Variable Tuition?
A wide range of families with a variety of circumstances qualify for the program, from those who are able to pay close to the fixed rate to those who are at the entry level of the range. Many factors are evaluated, including income, assets, unusual expenses, and the size of the family.

Are some families awarded "full tuition?"
No. All families at SLES are required to make a financial investment in their child’s education. Our commitment to providing Variable Tuition means that we are sharing in that investment with you. 

Will Variable Tuition lead to larger classes?
No. The SLES Board has established maximum class sizes. Within those limits, we will continue to accept qualified, mission-appropriate students.

Does Variable Tuition include a “sibling discount?"
While a discount is not automatically granted, families with multiple SLES students who apply for Variable Tuition will be given special consideration.  

Who should I contact with questions about Variable Tuition?
Current SLES parents should direct questions to:

Betty Serna, Director of Community Relations
bserna@sles-sa.org
(210) 826-0664 

2018-2019 Variable Tuition Ranges (K-8)

Kindergarten

Grades 1-3

Grades 4-5

Grades 6-8

$7,545 – $12,575*

$10,330 – $17,220*

$10,585 – $17,640*

$11,600 – $19,335*

                             *Fixed rate tuition amount for parents who choose NOT to apply for Variable Tuition

2018-2019 Preschool Tuition

PK3 & PK4
Half Day

$9,450

Tuition Includes

  • Daily lunch
  • Educational materials and textbooks
  • Art, science lab, and elective materials
  • Most student school supplies (PK3 - 5th grade)
  • Most field trips and outdoor school experiences

 

The following fees are assessed separately:

  • Technology fee (5th - 8th)
  • Athletics
  • After school enrichment
  • Yearbook