Affording SA

Affording an SA Education

At Sonoma Academy, every student is known, seen, and celebrated in becoming and being who they are. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will serve every student equally. That’s why we support our students in defining a meaningful pathway of education that supports their needs, interests, desires for challenge and growth, and helps them fully realize their potential.

Similarly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tuition affordability. We work closely with each family to determine eligibility and to design a plan that works best for your family.

Merit Scholarships
All students who meet the admission application deadline are considered for merit awards. No separate application is required. These awards range from $1,000 to $15,000 per year and renew annually. Recipients are selected by the Admission Committee and you are notified of these awards when you receive your admissions decision. These awards are constant for four years. 

Family Individualized Tuition (FIT) Plan

We are proud to offer a Family Individualized Tuition. Every year, we admit a wide range of students from all over the Bay Area. Our students represent the rich diversity of interests, talents, passions, and cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the Bay Area. 

Through our FIT Plan we have families who pay annual tuition ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $56,580. These plans have been designed to meet the demonstrated need of each family and take into consideration all of the factors and circumstances that impact an individual family’s ability to afford tuition.
Many families who might not expect to be eligible for “financial aid” may still qualify for the Family Individualized Tuition program.

How Your FIT Plan is Created

We take a highly nuanced approach to tuition assistance with the goal of enrolling a student body that comprises a diversity of backgrounds, strengths, interests, geographic region, and is representative of our broader community regardless of their ability to pay tuition. 

Our Tuition Assistance platform, Clarity, helps us process applications for tuition assistance. Based on the financial information each family provides, Clarity creates an estimated Family Individualized Tuition plan based on an amount that each family can contribute to educational expenses. This helps our school make fair and objective tuition assistance decisions. 

The complex formula used to calculate the exact Family Individualized Tuition amount considers many factors that affect a family’s ability to pay tuition. In all areas we ask our families to make tuition a family priority and to financially stretch to support their students while at SA. 

The entire FIT Plan application must be completed in order for the school to determine the FIT Plan for each family. The FIT Plan Committee calculates a family’s ability to afford tuition and operates separately from the admissions process.

Factors Considered in the FIT Plan Process

Annual Income
Income means pre-tax earnings from wages, personal investments, and business investments. The formula that determines a family’s ability to pay considers other expenses than the IRS uses to calculate taxable income. Therefore, all tax schedules must be submitted. If parents/guardians reside in separate households, the income and expenses of both households are considered in the calculation.

If a family has major assets, savings, land holdings, or investments, the formula computes an income supplement that is added to the gross income. Home equity is based not on market value but on the price paid for the home and the years it has been owned. Generally, this will undervalue the equity. For most, but not all applicants, the additional income inferred from assets is a small factor. However, if the student has assets (savings, trust accounts, etc.), the formula includes them in calculating the amount the parents can pay.
Family Size 
Living allowance estimates are based on the number of people in a student’s household(s). Income is adjusted by expenditures for housing, food, or medical needs to obtain the available discretionary income.

Number of Private School or College Tuitions Currently Being Supported 
A family's FIT Plan takes into account the number of family members (including adults) attending any tuition-charging elementary school, middle school, high school, or college. 
Unusual Expenses
The formula for determining the parent/guardian contribution for educational expenses takes into account certain “unusual expenses” such as care of an aging grandparent, parent/guardian educational loan payments, legal fees, closing costs, and other expenses listed in the FIT Plan application.
Other Discretionary Costs
The formula expects a family to allocate only a portion of discretionary income to tuition payments.
Divorced, Separated, or Never Married Parents/Guardians 
The FIT Plan is based on the family’s ability to pay as demonstrated by the information submitted in the FIT Plan application. Both custodial and non-custodial parents/ guardians (regardless of legal settlements) who are divorced, separated, or never married are required to submit a separate application. 
2023-2024 Comprehensive Tuition*

Comprehensive Tuition Includes:

  • Tuition
  • Registration
  • Daily Lunch Service
  • Textbooks & Class Materials
  • Yearbook
  • Sonoma Academy Parents Association membership
  • Field trips
  • Annual retreats
  • Dances and social activities like Back-the-Pack games and Movie Night
  • Graduation cap and gown and Grad Night festivities
  • Shuttle service to and from the downtown Santa Rosa SMART Train Depot
  • On-campus Intersession courses
  • One Passport Program International Intersession course during a student's tenure at Sonoma Academy provided by an anonymous donor's funding of the Passport Program

Not Included:
Personal school supplies
AP exam fees

Important Dates

Early Decision Family Individualized Tuition Application Due Date: November 1, 2023

Regular Decision Family Individualized Tuition Application Due Date: January 8, 2024

Applications received after these dates will only be considered if there are any remaining funds.

Returning Families Family Individualized TuitionApplication Due Date: November 1, 2023 (for 2024-25 school year)

Tuition Assistance FAQs

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • If I am a returning student, do I need to reapply for tuition assistance?

    Yes, every student receiving tuition assistance must reapply each year. Please submit your application by November 1, 2023 for the 2024-25 school year.
  • Does my FIT Plan extend to additional fees?

    If your family receives a FIT Plan, the school will calculate an additional Activity Credit to partially offset the fees and materials listed below. 
    • Participation fees for debate, speech, robotics, and sports (including pre-season SA sports camps)
    • Supplemental required readers
    • PSAT test, and Sonoma Academy SAT preparation classes
    • Prom and winter formal dance tickets
    • Classroom mandatory field trip fees
  • Expectations of FIT Plan recipients

    FIT Plan recipients are expected to meet the same performance standards as any other student. This includes maintaining an academic record commensurate with their abilities and being positive citizens in our community. Students receiving a Horton STEM scholarship are expected to maintain a 3.5 unweighted semester and annual grade point average. To be eligible for the FIT Plan and to continue to maintain that plan, families must reapply each year and continue to demonstrate financial need.
  • Returning students requesting a FIT Plan for the first time

    If there has been an unexpected change in circumstances, Sonoma Academy will consider a FIT Plan application from returning families after the second year of enrollment; however, we cannot guarantee that funds will be available at that time. It is expected that families who begin at Sonoma Academy at the full tuition rate will continue to do so for the time the student is enrolled.
  • Unmarried, separated, or divorced parents

    When parents are separated, divorced, or never married, the income and assets of both natural parents are considered. Each household, including both custodial and non-custodial parents, must submit an online application. If a parent has remarried or is sharing a household, the current spouse’s supporting documentation is relevant in considering a family’s demonstrated financial need.
  • Transfer students

    FIT Plans for transfer students are limited. Prospective transfer students may apply, but all FIT Plans are first administered to all currently enrolled students already receiving a plan. Transfer students should apply by the established due dates.
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.