Tuition & Financial Assistance

A Dunham Education: An Investment in Your Child's Future

We firmly believe that there is no better choice than Dunham if you’re looking for a Christian school where students are challenged to think, inspired to create, empowered to lead, motivated to win, and prepared to reach their God-given potential in college and in life. 

We understand that the decision to provide an independent school education represents a significant financial investment. Our desire is to make it possible for families to enroll their children at Dunham regardless of their economic circumstances. In order to partner with families and provide greater access to a Dunham education, we offer need-based tuition assistance and several payment plans. Other avenues of support included merit awards and the Virtus Scholarship Program for high achieving new students.

Take a moment to learn more about our tuition and fees, our financial assistance program, merit awards, and the Virtus Scholarship. If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions Office. We're here to assist you in making a Dunham education possible for your child.

Did you know?

  • We have a merit-based scholarship program for new students in grades 6-10.
  • More than $1.8 million in need-based financial assistance was awarded last year.
  • 34% of our families receive tuition assistance.  

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 school year are indicated below. Please contact the Admissions Office for a detailed explanation of tuition, fees, and payment options. Tuition and fees for the McKay Academic Center can be found here.

2020-2021 Tuition

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Upper School
Grades 9-12 - $18,875

Middle School
Grades 5-8 - $17,895

Lower School
Grades 2-4 - $16,410
First Grade - $15,190
Kindergarten - $13,670
PreK 4 - $12,110
PreK 3 - $10,550

Additional Fees

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Re-enrollment fee - $300 (non-refundable; due on or before Jan. 27; increases to $550 after Jan. 27)
Technology fee
 - $550 (PK4-12 only)
Dining Services
 - $790 (K-4); $1,000 (5-8); $1,100 (9-12)
Facilities Fee - $300 (PK3-12)
New Student Enrollment fee (K-12) - $750 (one-time, non-refundable fee for new students only; waived for children of alumni)

Tuition Payment Plans

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Option 1 - one-time payment due by March 20, 2020
Option 2 - payment in four (4) equal installments due March 20, April 20, May 20, and June 20, 2020
Option 3 - payment in equal monthly installments beginning the month following enrollment with the final payment due Feb. 20, 2021; please note that six percent interest is added to monthly payments.

Tuition Assistance

An independent school education is a significant investment, requiring planning and often sacrifice on the part of parents.  As a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), we strongly believe the family, to that the extent that they are able, is responsible for financing a child’s education.  We do understand, however, that not every family has the means to cover the full cost of tuition. Therefore, we offer need-based tuition assistance for those who would otherwise be unable to consider enrolling their children at The Dunham School.

Financial need is evaluated by ISM's Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), a service that provides schools with a third-party analysis and guidelines for making tuition assistance awards fairly and equitably. FAST considers a number of factors, including income and assets, and number of dependents. Allowances are made for living expenses, retirement, taxes, medical costs, and other unusual expenses. The FAST analysis serves as a guide for the school and is not a guarantee of an award amount. All tuition assistance decisions are made in-house by our Tuition Assistance Committee. 

Tuition assistance is available for students in PK3-12th grade. Families of all socioeconomic backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they have a need. We recommend applying for tuition assistance early as funds are limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Financial assistance awards are made only after a student has received on offer of admission to Dunham.

If you have questions about tuition assistance, please contact Michelle Pricer.

FAST logo

Please note: Tuition assistance is closed for the 2020-2021 school year. FAST will begin accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year on December 15, 2020.

To apply for tuition assistance, submit an online application to FAST along with the $45 fee (payable by credit card). The priority deadline to apply is January 2, 2021.

Tuition Assistance Policies

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  • Dunham accepts students based on their qualifications without regard to financial status; decisions concerning admission and tuition assistance are made separately. You are encouraged to apply for financial aid if you feel you have a need, and you are encouraged to apply early, as funds are limited.
  • Tuition Assistance is intended as support for those families who, no matter what amount of sacrifice, would be unable to afford the tuition.
  • Tuition Assistance is an outright grant used to offset the cost of a private school and does not have to be paid back.
  • Tuition Assistance does not cover fees such as dining, facilities, technology, and other miscellaneous fees.
  • Tuition Assistance is designed to help families cover a portion of tuition; please note that all families pay something to attend The Dunham School.
  • Tuition assistance awards are not automatically renewed. Families must reapply annually.
  • Current students and alumni receive first priority in the awarding of financial aid.
  • While no distinction is made among students, each tuition assistance recipient is expected to maintain the highest standards for him/herself and to make a positive contribution to the Dunham community.
  • Financial need is evaluated by FAST, a service powered by Independent School Management (ISM). This service provides schools with a third-party analysis and guidelines for making tuition assistance awards fairly and equitably on the basis of need. By submitting a FAST application, you grant permission for a financial evaluation and calculation of your suggested parental contribution for education. FAST then forwards this computation to The Dunham School.
  • All financial information submitted or discussed is held in the strictest confidence and will have no bearing on admissions decisions.
  • The FAST analysis serves as a guide for the School and is not a guarantee of an award amount. All tuition assistance decisions are made in-house, and the School may not be able to grant the full amount of financial aid that FAST has recommended.

The Virtus Scholarship

The Virtus Scholarship Program at Dunham awards full-tuition academic merit scholarships to new students entering grades 6-10 who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement, character, and leadership. The Latin word Virtus – interpreted as excellence, character, courage and worth – reflects the essential qualities expected of students desiring admission to The Dunham School.

Virtus Scholarships are based on individual merit, not financial need. All new students who believe they meet the eligibility requirements for the scholarship should apply. Candidates who are not awarded a Virtus Scholarship may be considered for a Merit Award and are also encouraged to apply for tuition assistance through our financial aid program.

Eligibility

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Any new student entering grades 6-10 who meets the following criteria may be considered for a Virtus Scholarship:

  1. Students must be currently enrolled and in good academic and disciplinary standing at another school.
  2. Core coursework grades earned for two consecutive years must be equivalent to a 3.75 GPA or higher.  A student whose achievement levels place him or her at the top 10% of the class will be given priority selection consideration.
  3. National standardized test scores of 90th percentile or higher for two consecutive years.
  4. Scores of 8 or above on all sections of the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE).
How to Apply

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  1. Candidates should submit a standard admissions application by January 1, along with documentation that demonstrates they meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. Candidates must indicate that they wish to be considered for the Virtus Scholarship by contacting our Admissions Office.
  3. Candidates will complete the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and submit a Virtus Scholarship essay.
  4. Once a candidate's admissions file is completed and reviewed by the Virtus Scholarship Committee, candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.
  5. Scholarship award notification will be made within five days of the interview.
Terms of Scholarship

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  1. The Virtus Scholarship covers full tuition for one year.
  2. Awards do not include fees for dining, technology, or miscellaneous fees.
  3. The award is reviewed each year and renewed only if the student continues to meet high academic expectations.
  4. Included with the notification of the award will be instructions for completion of the online enrollment contract.  This binding enrollment contract must be completed within five days of the award offer.  For contracts not completed by the deadline, the school will assume that the interest in the scholarship no longer exists and the offer will be withdrawn.  At that point, the scholarship will be awarded to the next candidate.

Merit Awards

New students entering grades 6-10 who fall below the Virtus Scholarship threshold may be eligible for a merit award. Candidates for these awards are identified through the Virtus Scholarship application process or admissions testing and interviews. Award amounts vary and are determined by the division head in partnership with the admissions office.

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