"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."
Admissions

Tuition & Affordability

Dear Friends,

Inherent to Friends Seminary’s mission to “prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be” is the unshakeable belief that students do their best learning when they are immersed in an equitable, representative, safe, and diverse community. For over two centuries, Friends Seminary has prioritized access and affordability for all interested families who share this vision.

Friends families have unfettered access to the full Friends experience regardless of their household incomes. We believe every family should feel a tremendous pride of place and a sense of belonging in our community. A family’s financial aid application status bears no weight during the admissions process, and our Financial Aid Committee process ensures a dignified and equitable experience for all applicant families. In addition to tuition aid packages, we also offer comprehensive ancillary aid in all three divisions so that students can immerse themselves in the School’s vibrant student life and community. (Scroll down to see how we support the Costs Beyond Tuition in each division.)

We know that each family’s story informs how we can best support their financial needs. We are eager to listen to, to partner with, and to advocate for families as they make a Friends education their reality. We look forward to welcoming you and working with you as you explore a truly transformative education at Friends Seminary.

Warmly,

Paige Sweet, Director of Affordability and Financial Aid
& The Financial Aid Committee
psweet@friendsseminary.org
646-979-5043
Tuition and Fees
Below you’ll find the total cost of a year at Friends, including tuition, fees, breakfast and lunch, and all required trips. At Friends, we believe that affording the academic experience should be accessible to all families, regardless of their financial profile. In an effort to make Friends affordable to all, the School offers financial aid packages toward the total cost of tuition and fees.
Depending on students’ engagement in school life, there may be additional costs beyond tuition for optional experiences, like our global education trips or our after school programming. For families who receive financial aid, we offer support for most of these costs beyond tuition (see this page for more information). Part of our mission is to ensure that all students have access to the full depth and breadth of the Friends experience.
2021-2022 Tuition & Fees
K-12* $56,300
New Student Fee $2,500 (One-time fee upon enrollment; financial aid may apply toward this fee)
*In the Upper School, certain books and supplies are not included in tuition and are additional costs. Financial aid may be available toward these costs.
PAYMENT PLANS
Upon enrollment or re-enrollment, we require a non-refundable deposit for new and returning families. For families receiving financial aid, the deposit amount is adjusted according to their percentage of aid and total tuition cost. To ensure families have a variety of ways to manage their balance, Friends offers three payment plans determined upon enrollment: a one-installment plan, a two-installment plan (payments in May and November), and a nine-installment plan (payments between April and December).
Applying for Aid
  1. Beginning October 4, 2021, visit the SSS Family Portal at solutionsbysss.com/parents.
    1. If you applied for financial aid last year, log into the Family Portal as a Returning Family using the same email address and password.
    2. If you have never applied for financial aid, create your Family Portal account with your email address and a password. (A family’s FA application status remains confidential during the admissions process.)
      An invitation to all families who are applying for financial aid packages for the first time:
      Affording Friends Evening (webinar), Thursday, October 21, 2021 (7-8pm) Join us to learn more about budgeting for the costs of an independent school and planning for a long-term educational investment. We will share details about our financial aid process and answer your questions. We look forward to having this important conversation with you! (Register through Ravenna.)
    3. Friends Seminary’s SSS code is 3334.
  2. All completed financial aid applications and tax documents (2019 and 2020) must be submitted by December 15, 2021.
    1. All families offered a financial aid package for 2022-2023 must upload their 2021 tax documents by April 15, 2022. Your 2022-2023 FA package is not finalized until you have uploaded your 2021 tax documents.
  3. Complete a PFS for Academic Year 2022-2023. You can log out of the portal at any time and return later to finish it. The PFS is a comprehensive application that will take some time to complete. Give yourself the time you need by not waiting until the deadline approaches.
    1. Complete one PFS per household. In cases of divorce or separation, we require both households to submit all required information in order to consider an application complete.
    2. Use your legal name that appears on your tax documents.
    3. Enter only whole numbers.
    4. Differentiate applicants from dependents.
      1. “Student applicants” refer to the children who are applying for financial aid via the PFS.
      2. “Other dependents” refer to the children and/or adults for whom you provide support but ARE NOT applying for financial aid for.
    5. If you are a business owner, enter only the amount you actually draw as a salary as reported in your tax documents. You will provide information about profit/loss elsewhere on the PFS.
    6. Do your best to estimate what your 2022 numbers will be based on prior years. You will confirm these numbers when you upload your 2022 tax documents this spring.
    7. Calculate debt and unusual expenses. Use the information SSS provides, and clarify information in the Notes section.
    8. Be honest and tell your story. Take time to carefully consider how much you can pay towards tuition. Offer explanations and details in the Notes sections so that your situation is clear and understandable. Paige is always available to talk more about the important stories behind the numbers, and you can reach out to her any time (psweet@friendsseminary.org, or 646.979.5043).
  4. Once all PFS sections are complete with green checkmarks, the “Submit and Pay” button activates. Follow the prompts to the payment screen; SSS uses its own algorithm to determine whether a family’s application fee is waived. The $55 fee is nonrefundable. Once your PFS is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn from the SSS system.
  5. Review the wide range of materials that SSS has put together to help families with their financial aid process. They are found at solutionsbysss.com/parents. You can also reach out to SSS directly for any support you need while filling out the PFS. Parent Support can be reached at 1.800.344.8328, or sss@communitybrands.com.
Cómo Solicitar Ayuda Financiera
    1. A partir del 2 de octubre de 2020, visite el Portal Familiar SSS: solutionsbysss.com/parents.
      1. Si solicitó ayuda financiera el año pasado, ingrese al Portal Familiar como Familia Registrada usando la misma dirección de correo electrónico y contraseña.
      2. Cree su cuenta en el Portal Familiar con su dirección de correo electrónico y una contraseña.
      3. El código de SSS de Friends Seminary es 3334.

    1. Todas las solicitudes y documentos de impuestos (2019 y 2020) deben ser sometidos en o antes del 15 de diciembre de 2021.
      1. Todas aquellas familias que se les ofrezca ayuda financiera para 2022-2023 deben someter sus documentos de impuestos del 2021 en o antes del 15 de abril de 2022. Su ayuda financiera no será completada hasta que se sometan los documentos de impuestos del 2021.

    1. Complete una PFS para el año académico 2022-2023. Puede salir del portal en cualquier momento y volver más tarde para terminarla. La PFS es una solicitud extensa que puede tomar algún tiempo en completarse. Prevea el tiempo necesario y no espere hasta que se acerque la fecha límite.
      1. Complete una PFS por familia. En caso de familias separadas o divorciadas, requerimos que ambos hogares sometan toda la información requerida para completar su solicitud.
      2. Utilice su nombre legal: Asegúrese de que el nombre en la Declaración financiera de los padres (PFS) sea exactamente igual al nombre que aparece en sus documentos fiscales.
      3. Ingrese números enteros.
      4. Diferenciar a los solicitantes de los dependientes.
        1. Las preguntas acerca de los "estudiantes solicitantes" se refieren a los hijos para quienes se solicita la ayuda financiera a través de la PFS.
        2. Las preguntas acerca de los "otros dependientes" se refieren a los hijos (o adultos) que reciben ayuda de su parte, pero NO están solicitando ayuda financiera.
      5. Si usted es propietario de un negocio, deberá contestar las preguntas acerca de su salario en la sección de Ingreso Familiar. Ingrese únicamente la cantidad que recibe como salario (según se registra en su W-2). Usted deberá proporcionar información acerca de sus ganancias o pérdidas en otra parte de la PFS.
      6. Haga lo mejor posible para estimar sus números del 2022 basado en años anteriores. Confirmará esos números una vez someta sus documentos de impuestos del 2022 en la primavera.
      7. Calcule deudas y gastos inusuales. Use la información que provee SSS y luego explique en la sección de notas.
      8. Sea honesto y cuéntenos su historia. Tómese su tiempo para pensar cuidadosamente cuánto cree usted que podría aportar de su bolsillo para la matrícula. Proporcione explicaciones cuando lo solicitamos de modo que su historia o su situación sea clara y comprensible. Paige está disponible para escuchar las historias importantes detrás de los números y puede comunicarse con ella en cualquier momento (psweet@friendsseminary.org o 646.979.5043). Si prefiere hablar en español, Paige se asegurará de proveer traducción.

    1. Una vez todas las secciones de la PFS se hayan completado con marcas de color verde, se activará el botón de “Pay and Submit this PFS” (Enviar y pagar). Siga las instrucciones que lo llevarán a la pantalla de pago; SSS utiliza su propio algoritmo para determinar si la solicitud de ayuda financiera será libre de costo. El costo es de $55 no reembolsables. Una vez que se haya enviado la PFS, no podrá retirarla del sistema de SSS.

  1. Revise la amplia variedad de materiales que SSS ha recopilado para ayudar a las familias durante el proceso de ayuda financiera. Los materiales se encuentran e solutionsbysss.com/parents. Comuníquese con SSS Parent Support al (800) 344-8328 o sss@communitybrands.com.
Costs Beyond Tuition
To ensure that all families have access to the full Friends experience, we are committed to offsetting additional program costs. If other costs present themselves throughout the school year, please reach out to Paige Sweet, the Director of Affordability and Financial Aid, to see what ancillary aid may be available.

Lower School

In addition to tuition aid packages, Friends offers…

  1. Application fee waivers for students in placement programs, for students who demonstrate financial need, and for students applying for attrition grades. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  2. Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to all Friends students, and we invite all in the community to join us for breakfast in the mornings beginning at 7:30 AM.
  3. All course materials, including books and technology, for Grade K-8 students. Refer questions to the Divisional Office.
  4. Extended academic and support services, including testing, evaluations, tutoring, and therapeutic services for students based on their family’s percentage of aid. Division Heads must recommend and approve these services. Please speak with your student’s Division Head if you have any questions.
  5. Musical instruments that can be loaned or rented for the school year on a case-by-case need basis to students who receive financial aid packages and are enrolled in Friends music classes. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  6. Full or half-fare Metrocards for all students residing in NYC depending on age and distance. Refer questions to the Upper School Office.
  7. Free NYC Board of Education bus service for all Grades K-6 students residing in Lower Manhattan or on the Upper East Side. Refer questions to the Lower School Office.
  8. Friends events (including the Benefit and PA events) at a discounted rate for families receiving financial aid packages or in other situations of financial need. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  9. Extended Programs at a discounted rate based on a student’s percentage of aid. This includes:
    1. Early Bird (7:45–8:25 AM; Grades K-4)
      Supervised play and breakfast before the school day begins. There is no charge for students (a) receiving more than 89% financial aid; (b) who take the NYC Yellow Bus or West Side Bus; (c) whose parents are attending a pre-authorized Parents Association meeting. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    2. After Owls (3:10-4:30 PM; Grades K-6)
      A diverse range of after school programming that families may opt-into from once a week to every school day. Students receive a discount based on their percentage of financial aid (up to 75%) on the base rate cost; there is no base rate cost for students who receive more than 89% financial aid. Some After Owls programming may include workshop fees that are ineligible for financial aid discounts. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    3. Extended Day (4:30–5:30 PM; Grades K-6)
      Extended Day offers an additional hour of supervision and a nutritious snack after After Owls programming concludes. Students in Grades K-2 have free play, quiet games, or crafts & art activities. Students in Grades 3-6 receive homework support and organizational guidance or may independently read. Students receive a discount based on their percentage of financial aid on the base rate cost; there is no base rate cost for students who receive more than 89% financial aid. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    4. Childcare during on-campus PA meetings free of charge for all families with a currently enrolled student.
    5. Summer Friends (June Camp) for Grade K-8 students at their percentage of aid discount (up to 75%), though some exclusions may apply. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.

Middle School

In addition to tuition aid packages, Friends offers…

  1. Application fee waivers for students in placement programs, for students who demonstrate financial need, and for students applying for attrition grades. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  2. Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to all Friends students, and we invite all in the community to join us for breakfast in the mornings beginning at 7:30 AM.
  3. All course materials, including books and iPads, for Grade K-8 students. Refer questions to the Divisional Office.
  4. Faculty assistance, peer tutoring, and independent study for all Grade 7-12 students for no additional cost in the Chapman Academic Center (7:30am-4:30pm). Refer questions to the Divisional Office.
  5. Extended academic and support services, including testing, evaluations, tutoring, and therapeutic services for students based on their family’s percentage of aid. Division Heads must recommend and approve these services. Please speak with your student’s Division Head if you have any questions.
  6. Athletic Equipment for team sports, including uniforms and required equipment, at no charge.
  7. Musical instruments that can be loaned or rented for the school year on a case-by-case need basis to students who receive financial aid packages and are enrolled in Friends music classes. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  8. Full or half-fare Metrocards for all students residing in NYC depending on age and distance. Refer questions to the Upper School Office.
  9. Free NYC Board of Education bus service for all Grades K-6 students residing in Lower Manhattan or on the Upper East Side. Refer questions to the Lower School Office.
  10. Friends events (including the Benefit and PA events) at a discounted rate for families receiving financial aid or in other situations of financial need. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  11. Extended Programs at a discounted rate based on a student’s percentage of aid. This includes:
    1. Early Bird (7:45–8:25 AM; Grades K-4)
      Supervised play and breakfast before the school day begins. There is no charge for students (a) receiving more than 89% financial aid; (b) who take the NYC Yellow Bus or West Side Bus; (c) whose parents are attending a pre-authorized Parents Association meeting. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    2. After Owls (3:10-4:30 PM; Grades K-6)
      A diverse range of after school programming that families may opt-into from once a week to every school day. Students receive a discount based on their percentage of financial aid (up to 75%) on the base rate cost; there is no base rate cost for students who receive more than 89% financial aid. Some After Owls programming may include workshop fees that are ineligible for financial aid discounts. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    3. Extended Day (4:30–5:30 PM; Grades K-6)
      Extended Day offers an additional hour of supervision and a nutritious snack after After Owls programming concludes. Students in Grades K-2 have free play, quiet games, or crafts & art activities. Students in Grades 3-6 receive homework support and organizational guidance or may independently read. Students receive a discount based on their percentage of financial aid on the base rate cost; there is no base rate cost for students who receive more than 89% financial aid. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.
    4. Childcare during on-campus PA meetings free of charge for all families with a currently enrolled student.
    5. Summer Friends (June Camp) for Grade K-8 students at their percentage of aid discount (up to 75%), though some exclusions may apply. Refer questions to the Extended Programs Office.

Upper School

In addition to tuition aid packages, Friends offers…

  1. Application fee waivers for students in placement programs, for students who demonstrate financial need, and for students applying for attrition grades. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  2. Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to all Friends students, and we invite all in the community to join us for breakfast in the mornings beginning at 7:30 AM.
  3. Books and required course materials for all students who receive financial aid packages of 89% or more. Refer questions to the Divisional Office.
  4. One-time reimbursement for a laptop purchase for students who are new to the Upper School and receive financial aid packages. All laptop purchases must meet the school’s technology requirements (Please contact the Technology Department). Reimbursement amounts depend on a student’s percentage of aid. Please contact the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid for more details.
  5. Faculty assistance, peer tutoring, and independent study for all Grade 7-12 students for no additional cost in the Chapman Academic Center (7:30am-4:30pm). Refer questions to the Divisional Office.
  6. Extended academic and support services, including testing, evaluations, tutoring, and therapeutic services for students based on their family’s percentage of aid. Division Heads must recommend and approve these services. Please speak with your student’s Division Head if you have any questions.
  7. Athletic Equipment for team sports, including uniforms and required equipment, at no charge. Aid is available to students who demonstrate financial need for required equipment beyond uniforms on Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  8. Musical instruments that can be loaned or rented for the school year on a case-by-case need basis to students who receive financial aid packages and are enrolled in Friends music classes. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  9. Full or half-fare Metrocards for all students residing in NYC depending on age and distance. Refer questions to the Upper School Office.
  10. School trips discounts at a percentage of aid discount (up to 75%) on the total cost of the trip (transportation, food, fees, and lodging, if applicable) for students who receive financial aid packages. This aid can be applied to all music trips, sports trips and/or camps, and Global Education trips (one international and one domestic trip in a student’s career). Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
  11. College Board/ACT exam fee assistance and waivers for students who meet the federal guidelines. Refer questions to the College Counseling Office.
  12. Discounted ACT or SAT one-on-one tutoring for Grade 11 students at their percentage of aid through the School’s partnership with Zinc Educational Services. Refer questions to the College Counselling Office.
  13. School-organized college tour, traditionally hosted during spring break by the College Counselling Office. A discount on the total cost of the trip is available based on a student's percentage of aid (up to 75%) for one tour during the student’s career at Friends. Additional financial support may be available through the tour company. Refer questions to the College Counselling Office.
  14. Friends events (including the Benefit and PA events) at a discounted rate for families receiving financial aid packages or in other situations of financial need. Refer questions to the Director of Affordability & Financial Aid.
Tuition FAQ
Who qualifies for financial aid packages, and who should apply?
We invite all K-12 families to apply for financial aid packages if they need assistance to afford Friends Seminary. Our Financial Aid Committee comprehensively reviews and considers every completed financial aid application in a process that is kept separate and confidential from the admissions application process. All financial aid packages are based on a family’s financial need; we do not offer merit-based scholarships.
Over 20% of our student body receives a financial aid package to offset the cost of tuition. Financial aid packages range from 5% to 99% of the school’s tuition. In some cases, enrolled families who haven’t applied for financial aid packages in the past apply when they experience drastic changes in their financial situations; in other cases, families who have received aid in the past decline to apply for a financial aid package when they become able to afford the full cost of tuition.
Friends honors that all families are different, but we expect that all parents/guardians assume financial responsibility for an applicant’s education to the extent that they are financially able. Thus, to be considered for financial aid, we require financial aid applications and tax documents from all custodial parents/guardians and households. We also require families to disclose whether grandparents or other parties contribute financially to a student’s tuition. If only one parent/guardian is legally and financially responsible for an applicant, we ask for supporting documentation before waiving the application requirement for any other parent/guardian.
What is the process of awarding financial aid packages?
First and foremost, the financial aid application process is personalized and confidential. The Director of Affordability and Financial Aid serves as a family’s liaison throughout the application process and during the school years once a student is enrolled at Friends. As a Financial Aid Committee, we take time and care to review every aspect of a file, seeking to understand the stories beyond the numbers. We consider a family’s size, their special situations and circumstances, and the nuance of their finances, and we strive to meet the needs of as many families as we can within our financial aid budget. We expect that all families applying for aid will be forthcoming with their financial information to help us have as accurate a financial landscape profile as possible; we also expect they will submit their application and supporting tax information before the deadlines.
Friends prioritizes applications received before the deadline in the following order:
  1. Families who are Members of the New York Quarterly Meeting
  2. Friends faculty/staff
  3. Currently-enrolled Friends families already receiving aid (including K Early Notification)
  4. Currently-enrolled Friends families who are applying for financial aid for the first time
  5. Families of newly-admitted students
  6. Applications submitted late, and applications of families whose tuition balances were not paid-in-full by the application deadline. Late applications can only be reviewed if funds are available.
When will we find out what our financial aid package is?
Financial aid packages are shared in the enrollment and re-enrollment contracts and are accompanied by a detailed letter to each family from the Director of Affordability and Financial Aid. In some years, the Financial Aid Committee is able to offer a window for families to submit appeals if their financial circumstances have changed drastically since the time they submitted an application. Families can contact the Director of Affordability and Financial Aid if they have questions about their financial aid packages.
Do we have to apply for financial aid every year?
All families must complete a financial aid application and submit required tax documents every year that they apply for financial aid. Additionally, all tuition balances and other school accounts must be paid in full before a family can be considered for a financial aid package.
Can we expect the same aid every year?
Families receiving aid can reasonably expect continued financial support in line with what they have been receiving, assuming their financial circumstances remain consistent. The Committee also takes into consideration the tuition increases from year-to-year and adjusts financial aid packages accordingly. If a family experiences significant financial changes in any given year, tuition awards will be adjusted accordingly.
What other costs exist?
While financial aid packages apply to the cost of tuition, we offer comprehensive support for additional costs beyond tuition for almost everything for which there is an additional cost, like school events, trips, and activities with fees. Please see the Costs Beyond Tuition pages for more details.
What if we did not apply for financial aid, but now we realize we need to?
Before enrolling at Friends, we encourage families to carefully assess their capacity to afford the complete and long-term educational experience an independent school provides. If initially accepted without, or not currently receiving, a financial aid package, a family cannot expect to receive financial aid at Friends unless there is a major change in life or financial circumstances (unemployment, health issues, etc.).
The School budgets for financial aid in advance and works to anticipate the needs of enrolled families using information from the previous year and projected data. However, the School does reserve a modest emergency fund for families who encounter dramatic, unforeseeable financial crises over the course of their time at Friends. Modest aid may also be awarded to families whose income growth has not kept pace with that of tuition and other expenses. In some cases, a family may be offered a one-time financial aid package as they work to stabilize a unique circumstance. If a family should not expect a financial aid package in the upcoming year, the Director of Affordability and Financial Aid will communicate well before the time of enrollment.
What if I have more questions?
Questions about Affordability and Financial Aid, Costs Beyond Tuition, and General Support?
Contact Paige Sweet at 646.979.5043, or psweet@friendsseminary.org
Questions about Payment Plan and Tuition Amounts Due?
Contact Amber Tian at 646.979.5075, or studentbilling@friendsseminary.org
Questions about Navigating the Contract or Re-Enrollment?
Contact Crystal Scott at 646.979.5041, or cscott@friendsseminary.org
Questions about SSS?
Contact the SSS Help Desk at 800.344.8328, or sss@solutionsbysss.com
(A Spanish-speaking representative is available during business hours.)
Quaker Families
While all families applying for financial aid must fill out an application through the NAIS School and Student Services (SSS) website, we offer additional tuition support to Quaker families applying to Friends who are members of a Meeting. Please see below for the various funding that may be offered.
  • Endowment for the Education of Quaker Students: In 2012, the Friends Seminary School Committee established a fund to ensure that children of Quaker families admitted to the School are supported financially so that they may benefit from an education at Friends Seminary.
  • The Gilmore Fund for Quakers: This fund provides financial aid for Quakers.
  • The Friends Council on Education’s National Endowment for Quaker Children Fund: This fund aims to increase the ability of Quaker families to afford to send their children to Friends schools. Friends schools value the presence and active participation of their Quaker families; likewise, Quaker families value the institutional missions and commitments of their schools. For this reason, NEQC and Friends Council join the efforts of families, schools, and Monthly Meetings to provide tuition assistance for Quaker families who demonstrate need. Grants from this fund are available to children of Monthly Meeting members in grades K- 12 who are new to their Friends school. Families must meet financial need standards as determined by the school and at least one parent of a prospective student has been a member of a Monthly Meeting for a full year prior to the supported year. Upon acceptance to Friends Seminary, the NEQC Tuition Aid application process begins when the family submits an Application Form to the Monthly Meeting for signature of the clerk and to the Director of Financial Aid. Awards from the National Endowment for Quaker Children (NEQC) take the form of grants to the schools for $1000 per student in addition to their financial aid grant from the school. Checks are sent to the schools in the fall in a lump sum for all participating students at each school.
Please note, individual Meetings may have their own education funds in addition to the ones listed above, so inquire about further support from your Meeting.
Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.
FRIENDS SEMINARY
222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
P: 212-979-5030
F: 212.979.5034