Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid

At the Northwest School, we believe that a great education should be available to everyone and that we all benefit from a community that includes a range of socio-economic diversity.

During the 2021-22 school year, nearly 24 percent of students received financial aid or tuition assistance. Financial assistance is available to help families meet not only the tuition, but any additional costs through our Experience Fund.



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Tuition & Fees

Tuition* & Fees Middle School (Grades 6-8) Upper School (Grades 9-12)
Domestic $41,775 $44,125
International $46,810 † $49,765 †
Boarding Fees (5-day) $14,600
Boarding Fees (7-day) $20,425
* Lunch is included in tuition. Medical insurance is included in international tuition.

Other Expenses

While tuition does cover most of the costs associated with the school day, families can anticipate some costs in addition to tuition. Some additional costs apply to all students and are required, while others would depend on activities that your student chooses. Some additional costs may include:

  • Books* (~$200)
  • Grade Level Trips* (~$90)
  • Study Abroad for 10th Grade
  • Upper School Athletic Fees (~$125 per season)
  • Yearbook
  • Middle School After School Program   (~$15 per day)
  • Laptop for Upper School Students
  • Outdoor Program Trips (~$100 per trip)
  • Fees associated with Summits
  • Transportation

Required Fees

We recognize that families receiving financial aid already make a significant sacrifice in order to pay tuition, and that additional costs might represent a genuine hardship.

For families receiving financial aid, the costs listed above and other unexpected expenses that arise throughout the year are covered in full by The Northwest School Experience Fund (the X-Fund).

Financial Aid for Domestic Families

The Northwest School awards financial aid based on the calculated need of the family. Awards range from a few thousand dollars to the full cost of tuition, with an average amount of $32,286.

The Northwest School offers a nationally recognized financial aid program that aims to support all aspects of a student’s experience by covering 100 percent of additional fees regardless of the amount of aid a family receives.

In addition, the Northwest School aims to create community and ensure we support families with optional Financial Aid Affinity Groups.

Financial Aid Q & A

The Northwest School's financial aid director, Jonathan Hochberg, meets with interested families in a Q & A format recorded on Zoom. Jonathan fields questions about deadlines (spoiler alert: February 3), Northwest's unique financial process, what "needs based" actually means, and what documentation families will need to submit their financial aid application.


  • How to Apply

    This year, the Northwest School is accepting applications for Financial Aid through either Clarity or School and Student Services (SSS).* Families who are new to Northwest can choose whichever system is easiest for them; the methodologies result in the same outcome.

    * For SSS the School Code for the Northwest School is 1557

    DEADLINE Applications for financial aid open in October. Applications and all supporting documents for financial aid are due by February 3, 2023.



    APPLICATION STEPS

    1. Indicate Your Interest
    When you begin your application to the school, please indicate your interest in receiving information about financial aid. This will help us guide you through the process.

    2. Apply for Financial Assistance
    Submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) through SSS or Clarity. Based on the financial information you provide; our office estimates the amount your family can contribute to educational expenses. This helps us make fair and objective financial aid decisions. You can begin this process on October 1, 2022.

    » Apply via SSS open-new-window.png#asset:13888:url (opens in new window)
    The Northwest school code is 1557. Please note there is a $60 application fee due at the time of submission. If this presents a burden, please reach out to our office.

    » Apply via Clarity open-new-window.png#asset:13888:url (opens in new window)
    This application is mobile-friendly and available in English and Spanish. Please note there is a $55 application fee due at the time of submission; you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity Application for no additional charge.

    3. Return Supplemental Documents

    If possible, we ask for your 2022 tax documents as part of the application process. If you are applying via SSS you will need to submit these via their online portal. If you are applying via Clarity the system will automatically ask your permission to access your 2021 tax documents directly from the IRS. If you expect your 2022 or 2023 finances to be significantly different from the 2021 taxes, please submit a draft of the 2022 return and an explanation of the anticipated changes in income.

  • Policies and Considerations for Domestic Applicants

    OUR PHILOSOPHY

    The Northwest School is committed to educating a socio-economically diverse student body. Our financial aid process is designed to help us achieve this goal as equitably as possible. Financial aid and admissions decisions are separate processes, though communicated to each family at the same time. If we are unable to provide funds to an admissible student, they will be placed on our waitlist until funds become available.

    ELIGIBILITY

    New families should evaluate their capacity to pay tuition at the time they apply to the school for admission and apply for financial aid at that time if needed. Financial aid funds that are allocated for new families are awarded at the time of admission to the school. Financial Aid is awarded with priority to families who meet both the school application deadline and the financial aid deadline.

    WAITPOOL AND LATE APPLICATIONS

    Because financial aid is awarded with priority to families who meet our deadlines, it is unlikely that financial aid will become available after our deadline. This includes families who apply for aid after their child has enrolled in the school, as well as students accepted from the wait pool, and applicants who apply after the application and/or financial aid deadlines.

    FINANCIAL AID WAITLIST

    Each year, we have more applicants who are qualified for both admission and financial aid than we can fund from our financial aid budget. Students who are admissible and qualify for financial aid but whom we are unable to fund will be placed on our waitlist.

    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    Separated or Divorced Parents/Guardians
    The school considers the income and assets all parents and guardians when evaluating the need for financial aid. If either parent has remarried or has a domestic living relationship with another adult, we will also consider the income and assets of the stepparent or domestic partner, also bearing in mind the obligation of that stepparent or domestic partner to their own children. All parents and guardians complete a financial aid application and return all appropriate tax forms and schedules. It is the responsibility of the parent applying to The Northwest School to ensure that all the required adults who are described above are included in the financial aid application.

    Unemployed or Non-working Parents
    In general, all parents/guardians must be employed to receive financial aid from The Northwest School. We also realize, however, that certain circumstances may make it impossible for this to occur. Please explain any such circumstances in your financial aid application and describe the non-working parent/guardian’s circumstances and plans.

    Appeal Process
    If you are offered a financial aid award and find that you cannot afford the tuition with the amount of assistance awarded, we encourage you to ask for an appeal. You will be asked to provide additional information to allow the financial aid committee to evaluate an adjustment to the award amount, including a list of monthly expenses, copies of recent paystubs, and information about any unusual expenses that may not have been included in the original application.

  • Returning Domestic Families

    Priority for financial aid goes to returning students who received financial aid in the preceding school year.

    However, all families who receive aid must resubmit their current financial information each year so the financial aid committee can verify the award amount. If your family qualifies for aid at the time of admission but there is no funding available, you can enroll as a full-pay student and reapply for financial aid the following year as a current family.

    For the 2023-24 school year, families will apply using a new platform, Clarity. We are excited about this shift; we expect it will provide a quicker, easier, more seamless process for our families. More information will be available in November.

    Changes in Financial Situation

    If your financial situation changes after you enroll in the school and the full cost of tuition presents a hardship to your family, you may apply for financial aid as a returning family regardless of whether you previously received financial aid. Please contact the financial aid office to request information. Your contract may be revised if you qualify for financial aid and funds are available.

Affording Additional Expenses

The Northwest Experience Fund

The Northwest School Experience Fund was established to apply financial assistance in full or part to families who need it in order for their child to have the full experience of opportunities available to Northwest School students.

While tuition does cover most of the costs associated with the school day, families can anticipate some costs beyond tuition.

We recognize that families receiving financial aid already make a significant sacrifice in order to pay tuition, and that required additional costs might represent a genuine hardship.

For families receiving financial aid, the costs listed above are covered in full by The Northwest School Experience Fund (the X-Fund).

Additionally, there may be unanticipated expenses unique to each family (cleats for soccer or ultimate frisbee, for example, or participating in the school's Outdoor Program) that are covered by the X-Fund. Families are welcome to contribute something toward the costs of any of the above.

Some families receiving a high percentage of financial aid may also require assistance with the cost of transporting their student to and from school each day. For these families, the Northwest Experience Fund fully funds their student's participation in the school's bus program.

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Jonathan Hochberg, director of financial aid, by email or phone: (206) 816-6210.



Tuition Assistance for International Families

The Northwest School offers partial tuition assistance for international students considering boarding. Students are considered as they submit applications; priority for tuition assistance will be given to students who meet the Round 1 and Round 2 deadlines. Financial aid requires an application and will be awarded based on an assessment of the family's need.

  • How to Apply

    The Northwest School offers partial tuition assistance towards tuition and boarding fees for international students considering boarding. Unfortunately, we are only able to offer a few awards every year. Typical awards cover 20-35% of tuition and boarding fees.

    Only international applicants applying for boarding are eligible to receive tuition assistance. We consider a variety of factors when determining tuition assistance awards including academic and extracurricular success, and financial need.

    Tuition assistance is limited for international students. Students are considered as they submit their applications, and priority for tuition assistance is awarded to students who meet the Round 1 and Round 2 deadlines. We commit to awards for up to four years. If you would like to be considered for tuition assistance, you must complete the following:

    Application Steps

    Indicate Your Interest in Tuition Assistance When you start your application, please indicate your interest in receiving information about tuition assistance. This will help us to guide you through the process.

    Submit a Complete School Application To be considered for the 2023-24 school year please apply by one of these deadlines, preference is given to applicants who apply to our Round 1 deadline:

    • Round One Application Deadline: January 5, 2023
    • Round Two Application Deadline: February 9, 2023
    • Rolling Admissions Process Begins: February 9, 2023

    Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered as space is available. Learn how to apply.

    Apply for Financial Assistance Submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) through SSS or Clarity. Based on the financial information you provide; our office estimates the amount your family can contribute to educational expenses. This helps us make fair and objective financial aid decisions. Starting October 1, 2022, you can apply for financial aid online. Please allow up to 30 minutes to complete either application.

    Apply via SSS. The Northwest school code is 1557. Please note there is a $60 application fee due at the time of submission. If this presents a burden please reach out to our office.

    Apply via Clarity. This application is mobile-friendly and available in English and Spanish. Please note there is a $55 application fee due at the time of submission, and for no additional charge, you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity application.

Building Community

Student and Family Affinity Groups

The Northwest School offers optional opportunities for both families and students to participate in financial aid affinity groups.

These groups provide an opportunity for families receiving financial aid to connect across shared experiences. These groups meet throughout the year.

For more information please reach out to our director of financial aid, Jonathan Hochberg.

Important Dates and Events

  • October 1, 2022 — Financial Aid applications open on Clarity and SSS.
  • January 10, 2023 (7–8 p.m.) — Financial Aid Information Evening (virtual)
    This informational evening offers applying families an opportunity to learn more about the financial aid application process. While not required, this is an opportunity to anonymously learn about the financial aid process and ask any general questions. Specific questions about individual situations should still be handled privately with the director of financial aid. This session will be hosted on Zoom and recorded. 
  • February 3, 2023 — Financial aid applications and supporting documents due.

Contact Us

About Financial Aid
(Domestic Applicants) Please contact Jonathan Hochberg, director of financial aid, at 206.816.6210 or by email

About Tuition Assistance
(International Applicants)
 Please contact us at international@northwestschool.org

About School and Student Services (SSS)
Please contact SSS directly for help with your financial aid application by calling (800) 344 8328. SSS is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pacific Time.

About Clarity
Clarity offers in-app support for your financial aid application, as well as email support at support@claritytuition.com, in both English and Spanish. The application itself is also fully translated into Spanish.