Friends School of Minnesota is committed to an economically diverse student body. We provide financial support to families who need it to help send their children to the school. As a Quaker school, we will always be an independent, tuition-based institution, but we work hard to ensure that tuition is not a barrier to attending FSM. The school expects families to finance their children’s education to the extent that they can. All of our families do extraordinary things to make FSM a priority in their lives.
Families who cannot afford full tuition fill out a financial statement each year with an outside service, School & Student Services of the National Association of Independent Schools. Every family’s financial picture is different so we use SSS to help determine need using a standardized and complex formula. SSS takes into account many factors, including a family’s size, income, expenses, assets, debts, and special circumstances. You can learn more about SSS and this process at http://sss.nais.org.
The FSM Tuition Aid Committee considers each application carefully and works to make aid awards that are fair and in balance with the greater community. Returning families’ need is met first, including new siblings enrolling. Then we turn to new admissions, working to balance the socioeconomic diversity of each class as best as we can. Requests always exceed our budget, but we have been able to meet the school’s goal of providing assistance to over a third of our students. The school also has contingency aid funds to help families experiencing unexpected, temporary changes such as job loss.
FSM has been fortunate to have continuing strong enrollment, low attrition, and robust contributions and fundraisers—all of which make it possible for our tuition aid budget to meet the needs of our families. Our wonderful plant sale provides an amount equivalent to over half of the tuition aid budget each year.
For a small school, we give an extraordinary amount of tuition aid. About 20 percent (roughly $450,000) of our gross tuition is devoted to tuition aid and that money currently supports over a third of our student body. The average aid award this year was about $8000, or around 60 percent of a student’s tuition. Unlike many small independent schools, we are able to provide grants of up to 90 percent of tuition. This greatly increases the socioeconomic diversity of our student body.
If you have any questions about tuition aid at Friends School of Minnesota, the tuition aid committee members (Shane Zack, Susan Nagel, Melanie Spewock, Garth Morrisette, and Lili Herbert) would be pleased to talk with you. We are very proud of the school’s continuing commitment to keeping FSM financially accessible! Learn more about FSM’s tuition aid process on the school website at http://www.fsmn.org/admissions/tuition-aid