At Oakland Hebrew Day School, we appreciate the long-term investment that parents make in choosing to give their children the gift of a Jewish education. We know that each family is doing everything possible to make a meaningful contribution towards tuition and appreciate that families often make significant sacrifices to do so.
OHDS is committed to an excellent Jewish and General studies curriculum with a focus on 21st century learning, community building and Jewish values (middot). We are also committed to the diversity of our community along multiple dimensions, including socio-economic diversity. We want every family to be able to offer their child the gift of an exemplary Jewish day school education.
For these reasons, we have our Flexible Tuition program. Flexible Tuition allows families to access a tuition that meets their individual family’s financial needs. Over the next few pages, we have highlighted parents’ most frequently asked questions.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A FLEXIBLE TUITION EVALUATION
Step 1: Submit your family’s financial information online with FACTS. You will have the option to set up a new account or access an existing account. Your personal information will be safely managed with a high level of security. Please don't hesitate to call their customer support if you have any questions: 1-866-441-4637.
Step 2: Please upload the following to your application: 2019 Tax Form, 2020 W-2's (as soon as they are available), and a 1099 if you are self-employed. Please also upload a signed IRS Form 4506T. In addition, we require your 2020 Federal Tax Return as soon as it has been filed.
What is Flexible Tuition?
Flexible Tuition is a program that helps to ensure access to a Jewish Day School education for all and to help ensure continued socio-economic diversity of the school’s student body. The Flexible Tuition program offers an evaluation of each family's tuition. While every family is expected to contribute to the cost of tuition and fees and to support the community to the extent individual family circumstances allow, the school does not expect all families to pay the same tuition.
How does the Flexible Tuition program work?
OHDS uses a neutral, third party entity - FACTS - as a starting point to evaluate Flexible Tuition. FACTS helps to assess a family’s ability to pay for independent education and to help families feel confident that their request for assistance is being evaluated objectively and professionally.
How can a family know if they are eligible?
If a family would like the school to evaluate their flexible tuition, they must submit an application through FACTS and upload all required documents.
The formula used to evaluate the tuition level considers many factors that affect a family’s ability to pay, including: income, assets, family size, cost of living, unusual expenses, number of independent school or college tuitions currently being supported, and other discretionary costs.
We are happy to work with you to determine a level of tuition that meets your family’s needs. In order for the school to determine the level of tuition for which a family qualifies, it is imperative that the entire financial application is completed and submitted in January of each school year. Each family’s financial situation is considered thoroughly and confidentially on an individual basis to ensure attention to special circumstances.
How is Flexible Tuition handled in situations where parents are separated, divorced, remarried or cohabitants?
In the case of parents/guardians who do not live together (e.g. divorced, separated, never married), each parent/guardian household must submit an application along with all required documentation to be considered for Flexible Tuition. It is expected that both parents and all adults financially responsible for a student contribute to the cost of a student’s education regardless of legal agreements. OHDS determines ability to pay by factoring in all available resources from both parents and stepparents, regardless of custody or other legal issues. Families who are not able to submit all required documentation should contact us to determine if their Flexible Tuition can be evaluated.
Who determines a family’s flexible tuition level and how is it calculated?
Once your application is received and your documentation is verified, the Flexible Tuition Committee (which has no board or parent members to preserve confidentiality) looks at the data and further refines the Flexible Tuition level for the family based on all available data.
Who has access to my financial information?
The school is committed to protecting the privacy of its families. All financial information received by the school is held in the strictest confidence. Only the Admissions Director and the Flexible Tuition Committee has access to a family’s application materials. Once Flexible Tuition is determined, the Business Office is made aware of the tuition for that family.
Does every OHDS family have access to flexible tuition?
All families are invited to submit financial information for an evaluation of their tuition. Families who elect not to submit financial forms will pay the full cost of tuition.
The full cost of tuition per student is:
Bridge Kindergarten: $20,800
Lower School (K-5): $28,500
Middle School (6-8): $29,600
This includes textbook and field trip fees (except for 8th Grade Israel Trip). There is an additional $600 security fee for all families.
How can the school afford to offer Flexible Tuition?
We are able to offer Flexible Tuition as a result of income generated by fundraising, the school’s investments (reserves, endowment, and Scholarship Fund), and operating income.
What is the Flexible Tuition timeline?
All flexible tuition evaluations for new families applying to OHDS should be submitted no later than January 31, 2021. All required documents, including Federal tax returns, should be included with the submitted evaluations.
It is important that the Flexible Tuition Committee has all information on which to base its allocation decisions. Adhering to all deadline dates is essential. Failure to provide tax information may result in the Committee’s inability to determine or recommend a reduced tuition. Flexible Tuition will not be evaluated unless we have received all required paperwork and tax returns. Flexible Tuition evaluations received after the deadline will be processed only after all on-time applications. Reduced tuition may not be available for late submissions. For students newly accepted to OHDS, tuition levels will be indicated on the enrollment agreements sent in March.
What if my Flexible Tuition is higher than I believe I can afford?
You may request an appeal of your evaluation by writing to the OHDS Flexible Tuition Committee. Every effort will be made to understand and incorporate a family’s particular circumstance. Keep in mind that we do not have an unlimited pool of resources for flexible tuition. As a consequence OHDS must prioritize and allocate these funds. Where possible, the school will assist families seeking additional financial support by directing them to other outside resources and agencies.
Does Flexible Tuition continue throughout a student’s year at OHDS?
OHDS asks families to resubmit financial information each year so that tuition levels can be adjusted as needed based on changing circumstances.
Who handles questions regarding Flexible Tuition?
Questions about Flexible Tuition should be addressed to the Chief Financial Officer, Sebastian Desio: firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-531-8600. If you have any questions about completing the financial application, please contact FACTS directly at 1-866-441-4637.