Tuition and Assistance

An ESD education is a long-term investment in your child’s academic and social-emotional future. What is nurtured and developed today shapes your child’s tomorrow.


What is tuition assistance, and who is eligible to receive it?

Tuition assistance is a grant, not a loan, given to qualifying families based on financial need to offset the costs of an ESD education. The grant does not have to be repaid. Families who have students entering Beginners through grade 12 are eligible to apply for need-based assistance. The majority of tuition assistance is awarded to students in grades 5 through 12.
What does tuition assistance cover?
Tuition assistance grants are applied to the basic tuition and fees. Costs not included in tuition and fees include uniforms; activity/participation fees for optional clubs, activities, and athletics; and textbooks for grades 5-12. Based on a family’s demonstrated financial need, textbook awards may be offered to help offset the costs of textbooks. There is a Non-Tuition Assistance fund available to help with some of these expenses.
Will applying for tuition assistance diminish my child's chances of being accepted?
The ESD Admission Committees make “need-blind” admission decisions and are not aware of which families would be applying for tuition assistance. The admission and the tuition assistance processes are reviewed by different committees. Tuition assistance applications are kept strictly confidential, and they do not influence admission decisions.
If I expect that my circumstances would only allow for a small grant, should I still apply?
Absolutely! Each year, ESD makes grants typically ranging from $2,500 to more than $30,000. We recognize that every family situation is different and that even a small amount of assistance can make a critical difference for many families.
Who will see my tuition assistance information?
All tuition assistance information will be treated as highly confidential. Only the Tuition Assistance Committee will see this information, and only the Committee and the Business Office will see the award. Division heads and faculty members are not privy to any financial materials, nor are they aware of which families apply for tuition assistance.
How do we apply for tuition assistance?

Families interested in applying for tuition assistance should contact Shelle Montgomery, Director of Tuition Assistance, at email or 214-353-5827. The tuition assistance application materials will be provided to families during the admission process. Families who complete the tuition assistance process by the necessary deadline will receive notification of decisions on March 8, 2024.

While ESD does have a generous tuition assistance budget, it is not unlimited. For that reason, it is very important that families follow the published tuition assistance application timeline.

What factors are considered when considering tuition assistance awards?
ESD uses the calculations provided by SSS, a third-party, as a starting point in determining the demonstrated need of a family. Other factors taken into consideration include the information provided in the Self-Report of Monthly Income, tax forms, the number of children in tuition-bearing schools, as well as extenuating circumstances. Additional criteria are used for those who are self-employed or own a business or farm, or if there is a non-working parent and all children are of school age. There are circumstances in which a family might be exempt from the policy of imputing a salary for a non-working parent, such as caring for a disabled or elderly parent, or staying home with an infant or toddler.
How does the Tuition Assistance Committee prioritize awarding the funds?
Priority in the tuition assistance process is given to current ESD families. The tuition assistance budget as well as the number of applicants can change every year. There are times when the demonstrated need for tuition assistance might exceed the budget. When this occurs, given the nature of “need-blind” admission decisions, a student can be accepted for admission, yet the tuition assistance offered may not meet a family’s financial need. A new family’s tuition deposit will be refunded if the tuition assistance award is insufficient to enable the family to meet the total remaining financial obligation at ESD.
What consideration is given to families with multiple children who attend independent schools?
The Tuition Assistance Committee uses the SSS methodology as a basis for its determination of what a family might reasonably expect to contribute toward educational expenses. The total amount available from a family for education costs is divided among all children attending tuition-charging schools, through the undergraduate level. It is ESD’s policy that a family requesting aid from ESD will also apply for aid at all other tuition charging schools.
If I am divorced or separated, do both parents need to apply for tuition assistance?
Yes, both parents will need to submit completed forms and tax information. All financial information is kept strictly confidential, and at no time will one party have access to the other’s information. If a parent is no longer involved in the life of a child in any way, please speak directly with the Director of Tuition Assistance. ESD awards a single grant to the student; it is the responsibility of the parents to determine a payment schedule. Questions regarding payment schedules can be directed to the Accounts Receivable Manager in the Business Office.
If we receive an award this year, will we receive the same amount next year, and do we need to apply again?
Current families who are receiving tuition assistance can expect to receive a similar grant each year if the financial analysis from SSS, income, and assets remains the same. However, every family must reapply for tuition assistance each year and meet all of the stated deadlines. If the current financial picture for the family changes, the tuition assistance award may be adjusted based on the updated information. Families who file late applications will be reviewed and awarded aid based on remaining funds and may not be awarded assistance based on demonstrated financial need.
Are there accommodations available for significant changes in income?
ESD realizes that some families experience unexpected temporary financial stresses, due to the sudden loss of a job, family illness, unexpected medical expenses, or other circumstances. Families are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of Tuition Assistance or the Business Office as soon as it becomes apparent that there is a change in circumstance. The Business Office is happy to work with families to develop a temporary payment plan during a time of difficulty. We are unable to help if we are unaware of the changes in a family’s financial situation.
If, after we receive the award, we feel we still cannot afford to send our child to ESD, is there an appeal process to request more assistance?

You may appeal the tuition assistance award by submitting, in writing to the Director of Tuition Assistance, the following information:

  • A letter detailing any new or recurrent information (regarding employment status, income, expenses, etc.) that will be important for the Committee to consider, including the amount of additional funding that is being requested.
  • Copies of personal bank statements for the last three (3) months; savings and checking.
  • If you are self-employed, please provide any business-related bank statements for the last three months.
  • Any additional information you feel is important for the Committee to know.

The funds for appeals are limited and will be directly impacted by the number of acceptances and declines from the initial offers of assistance. The Committee will make every effort to distribute available funds during the appeal process in the most equitable manner possible.

If we do not qualify for assistance, what can we do?
Families who apply for assistance but do not qualify will be offered an 11-month, no-interest payment plan. Additionally, there may be other payment alternatives that can be made available by contacting the Business Office.
What scholarships are available at ESD?
The majority of ESD’s tuition assistance awards and scholarships are based solely on a family’s demonstrated financial need. To be eligible for need-based endowed scholarships, the family will need to submit a tuition assistance application. ESD does not offer athletic scholarships of any kind. 
Is there assistance for costs above and beyond tuition and required fees?

ESD has become increasingly aware of the financial resources necessary to attend our school, beyond the cost of tuition. As a result, we have established unique ways of assisting deserving families beyond traditional tuition assistance. Families receiving tuition assistance are eligible to apply for assistance in covering the costs of required school-related expenses and athletic expenses for grades 7-12. In recognizing that many of our Pre-Kindergarten through sixth-grade students participate in sports through our Sports Fellowship Program, we offer funding to offset registration costs in this program.

School-related expenses include, but are not limited to: school supplies, field trips, tutoring, SAT or ACT prep courses, college application forms, art supplies, uniforms, and annual expenses incurred each year in the Upper School.

Athletic expenses can involve athletic fees, equipment/apparel, and travel costs that are deemed important to a student’s athletic experience. Examples of such expenses include mandatory athletic fees/assessments, equipment, locker signs, SPC travel costs, and meals.

Will we be asked to contribute to the Annual Fund?
All families will be asked to donate to the ESD Annual Fund, as it is a vital link to the overall health of the School. The ESD Annual Fund campaign allows the School to fully fund regular annual operating expenses, including faculty and staff salaries and benefits, facilities expenses, field trips, equipment, and supplies necessary to deliver a fully integrated curriculum. Every gift to the ESD Annual Fund, regardless of size, matters. What is important is that everyone participates at a level that is meaningful to them.
We did not apply for tuition assistance during the admission process. Can we apply for tuition assistance now that we have been accepted?
We strongly encourage all families who will require financial assistance to meet our stated deadlines. We cannot guarantee that funds will be available at the end of the admission season. 
Does the school ever give a full tuition assistance award to cover 100 percent of the cost of tuition and required fees?
Families applying for tuition assistance should be guided by the principle that the primary responsibility of financing a child’s education rests with them, not with the School. Tuition assistance is not intended to cover 100 percent of the cost of tuition and required fees. Families who choose an independent school place a high value on their child’s education, and this value is generally reflected in lifestyle choices that permit the use of some of their discretionary resources for the cost of education.
Does ESD offer a sibling discount?
No. Families who believe in the benefit of having multiple children with us are encouraged to file an application for tuition assistance.
We think we could probably pay tuition for the first year or two, but would need tuition assistance after that, or we suspect we make too much money to qualify for tuition assistance. Is TA reserved only for families with very low incomes?

These are some of the most common questions we hear each year. Please keep the following in mind:

The amount of tuition assistance grants varies widely. We recognize the range of socioeconomic status in any community and are determined not to “squeeze out” middle-income families.
A student who enters without tuition assistance is typically expected to continue without tuition assistance for the duration of their enrollment, unless there is a significant demonstrated shift in financial circumstance. These shifts are usually unexpected job losses, medical events, etc. - in which case ESD will do it best to meet the family’s need. If you anticipate that full tuition is or will be a stretch for your family, please apply for tuition assistance as early as possible, as this helps us plan accordingly. 

How can we justify the commitment of resources for an ESD education when those resources should be set aside for college?
We believe the value of an independent school education positively develops not only the intellect but also the character of a young person. Our hope is that students will emerge from The Episcopal School of Dallas with greater college preparedness, maturity, and motivation, and, therefore, increased choices and opportunities for higher education. Our graduates typically attend colleges that possess extraordinarily strong financial assistance programs to assist families in financing their child’s education at the next level.
Are there any special obligations for students who receive tuition assistance?
Each student, regardless of tuition assistance, is expected to maintain the high personal and academic qualities evidenced at the time of admission to ESD. Tuition assistance recipients have no work commitment beyond that of any ESD student.
What is "demonstrated need"?
The Episcopal School of Dallas subscribes to the guiding principles that the primary responsibility for the cost of a child’s education resides with the family and that tuition assistance must be based on demonstrated need, not on willingness or unwillingness to pay. The Tuition Assistance Committee utilizes all data provided through the PFS and tax documents submitted and verified by SSS to determine a family’s “demonstrated need” – demonstrated need is the difference between the cost of education at The Episcopal School of Dallas and a family’s expected contribution to that education.