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Affording Grauer

We care deeply about our families, and understand that financing an independent education is a major investment in your child’s future. The Grauer School is an investment in the whole child—Mind, Body and Heart—which provides a lifetime of returns academically, socially, physically …even financially. Grauer students are fostering a love of learning, they are engaged emotionally and academically, and have a keen understanding of themselves and their community. These qualities will serve them well when applying to college and throughout their lives. In fact, the average Grauer senior receives the equivalent of much of their tuition “back” in merit-based college scholarship offers. If you put all of these advantages together, they add up to much more than the cost of our program.

"My scholarship to Grauer meant that I was fortunate enough to get an education that put me at a higher advantage to do what I wanted to do the most, help. Going to Grauer shaped the path of my life. I was able to understand that what I do as a person affects the community/world around me."
- Grauer Alumni, Class of 2015

Access to Purposeful Education

We understand that great education is a big investment, and our goal is to make it affordable for you. While we do have limited funding, our school is attempting to both grow and endow tuition assistance to ensure access to best-fit families.

The Grauer School is committed to providing access to purposeful education to exceptional students from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds, who represent our core values and are a reflection of our community. A diverse student body enriches the experience of every member of our school. To this end, we encourage your family to consider our Access-to-Grauer Plan. We envision that around 30% of our families will qualify.

How to Apply to the Access-to-Grauer Plan

We offer flexible tuition based on a combination of financial need, academic scholarship, and demonstrated leadership. Our ultimate goal is to find a level of tuition that is right for your family.

The Grauer School uses School and Student Services, SSS, which is a service of NAIS, the National Association of Independent Schools. Applications for new and returning applicants to this program for the 2019/20 school year are due on February 1, 2019. Applications received after this date will be considered on a funds-available basis.

Click here to view information about the financial aid application process using SSS in our Financial Aid flyer. For more information about SSS and completing your financial aid application, please refer to the SSS Family Guide to Financial Aid.

Application Steps

  1. Create an account on SSS and complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) online by February 1, 2019.
  2. Upload copies of your 2017 Federal Tax form (1040) and any estimated changes in your 2018 Federal Tax form by February 1, 2019. Be sure to include all schedules filed as well as your W-2 forms. You will need to submit your 2018 tax documents by March 1, 2019.
  3. Complete and upload the supplemental form, which contains questions specific to The Grauer School.
  4. If applicable, non-custodial parents should also complete a PFS and submit corresponding tax forms.


For more information about our Access to Grauer Plan, or for assistance with SSS, please contact Tricia Valeski at triciavaleski@grauerschool.com or call our Admissions office at (760) 274-2116.

Financial Aid FAQ

What are flexible tuition and financial aid?

Flexible tuition is the School’s effort to find the level of tuition and financial assistance that suits the individual family on a sliding scale.

We provide financial assistance as a decrease of tuition costs, formulated on the basis of the total circumstances of the individual family. All families who qualify do so according to Parent Financial Statement (PFS).

Who qualifies for flexible tuition assistance?

Major factors in determining tuition assistance include, but are not limited to, income and assets (home equity, investments, etc.) as well as character and scholastic performance.

The Grauer School locates promising students of high character and, from there, uses the PFS estimate of family contribution as a guideline to determine financial need. The Financial Aid Committee also requires prior year tax forms, W-2 forms, and answers to additional questions specific to The Grauer School. In review of applications, the Financial Aid Committee differentiates between discretionary and non-discretionary income.

How are financial recipients chosen?

The Grauer School uses the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) estimate of family contribution as a guideline in making awards. From there, we consider areas such as leadership, scholastic performance, character, and service. Recipients are generally exemplary students and citizens, and their parents routinely donate “in kind” services to the school.

How much assistance can I expect to receive?

The Financial Aid Committee allocates incentives to those who qualify financially along a sliding scale, and in accordance with our budget. Families should expect to contribute at least 50% toward their child’s education. The Committee considers financial need, academic scholarship, and demonstrated leadership when allocating awards.

Do I need to reapply for assistance every year?

Yes, your financial incentives are determined on a yearly basis. Returning applicants submit a PFS and all required documents by the deadline of February 1, 2019. Financial incentives will not be awarded if there is an unresolved past due balance.

What are the most common reasons for denial of tuition assistance?

Some of the most common reasons for denial of financial assistance include, but are not limited to, non-receipt of tax documents, discretionary expenditures, and excessive net worth in the judgment of the Financial Aid Committee.

What about stay-at-home parents?

In the interest of equity and in concert with common independent school practice, if one parent elects to stay at home and not seek employment, the Financial Aid Committee may impute an income equal to one tuition for the non-working parent who is not disabled or does not have extenuating circumstances.

What is the deadline for submitting our forms?

The deadline to turn in financial aid forms to SSS, including tax returns, for all current and prospective students is February 1, 2019.

Please note: To qualify for financial assistance you will need to have your current taxes completed before the April IRS deadline.

Will my records be kept confidential?

The Financial Aid Committee maintains strict confidentiality over financial aid files. Only those who are directly involved in the decision-making process and administration of financial aid have access to the information.

My four-year scholarship to Grauer meant the world to me. I was able to attend a college preparatory school without having to worry about tuition. This opportunity also motivated me to do better in school and keep my grades up because I knew that someone else was working hard to let me attend Grauer. To this day, I realize that Grauer has made me what I am, which is something I am proud of.
-Grauer Alumni, Class of 2014

Grauer Tuition and Fees

Current Tuition for the 2018/19 School Year:

Grades 7-10$24,885
Grades 11-12$25,725

Annual Enrollment Fees: $2,570

Tuition covers all academic, athletic and arts programs, along with most field trips, comprehensive college placement counseling, and our twice-annual, week-long Expeditionary Learning program. Tuition does not include lunch or transportation to or from school. Please note that tuition is subject to change.