Common Questions about Flexible Tuition

Flexible Tuition is a need-based tuition assistance program similar to those used by many private schools. The application process considers a family’s full financial situation, with the goal of making an OES education accessible to qualified students who could not otherwise join our school community.  

Below are common questions for families exploring Flexible Tuition.

How do you assess a family's financial situation?

Applicants complete and submit the Parent Financial Statement (PFS), provided by School and Student Services (SSS). This service calculates a family’s "demonstrated need," which is defined as the difference between the calculated amount a family can contribute to the cost of the student's education and the full cost of tuition at OES. All families at OES are expected to contribute toward the cost of their student's education.

If we pay a reduced tuition this year, will we pay the same tuition amount in future years? Do I have to reapply?

Current families who pay a reduced tuition can expect to pay similar amounts each year if their financial circumstances remain the same. Typically, families take on part of the annual tuition increase and OES takes on part as well.  However, every family must reapply for Flexible Tuition each year and meet all stated deadlines. If the current financial situation for a family changes, the amount of reduced tuition may be adjusted accordingly.

When will I receive a decision regarding Flexible Tuition?

For new students, the Flexible Tuition decision is communicated at the same time as the admission decision; returning students will receive notification throughout the month of March.

Flexible Tuition is need-based; are there any merit-based scholarships available?

IEA’s Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship offers the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarship to highly gifted students across the United States. Current 7th grade students, residing in the United States are eligible. Please see the IEA's website for detailed information on the application process. The deadline is typically in April of a student's 7th grade year.

Who has access to my financial information?

Flexible Tuition applications are reviewed by the Tuition committee only. All information is secure and held in strict confidence.

Unique Circumstances

I am separated/divorced; how will my finances be considered in the Flexible Tuition application?

In cases of divorce or separation, both parents are required to fully complete the Parent Financial Statement and submit their own tax documents. OES believes divorced or separated parents retain an obligation to contribute to the education of their children.

What if my child’s non-custodial parent is not willing to do the Flexible Tuition application?

If the non-custodial parent has had little or no contact with the child for a period of two years, and provides little to no financial support, the requirement for participation may be waived. The school requires a written statement from a non-family member who is aware of the family situation in a professional capacity. This might include the family lawyer, social worker, teacher, member of the clergy, or physician.

If the non-custodial parent is providing financial support and/or is in contact with the child, OES requires their participation. Flexible Tuition will be determined by the parents' ability to pay, not by their willingness to pay.

I’m a stay-at-home parent and do not work outside the home; how will this impact our Flexible Tuition application?

There are many wonderful reasons for being a stay-at-home parent, and this decision is one deeply rooted in family values and a lifestyle choice. When all children are school-aged and there is no clear reason for a parent not to be working, OES will impute a predetermined income figure into the calculations. This allows us to treat stay-at-home parent families equitably with a family in which both parents work. We do not impute income if one parent is disabled and cannot work, or if the parent is caring for an infant/toddler, or a disabled child in the home.