Admissions

Financial Aid

We draw inspiration from our mission statement to “engage with the surrounding community” in order to create a learning environment comprising students from a diversity of backgrounds. Our commitment to socioeconomic diversity ensures that almost 50% of the student body receives nearly $3.9 million in financial aid each year. 

Financial Aid Application Steps

 If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please review the process and steps below.

Determine Family Contribution: Discuss and decide the maximum amount your family can contribute.

1. Apply: Visit the TADS web site (mytads.com) and complete an online application for financial aid. If you have any questions during the process, you may reach TADS at (800) 477-8237, Monday through Friday from 6 am to 6 pm Pacific Time.

2. Qualify: Your demonstrated financial need, as determined by your TADS application and our Financial Aid Committee, will determine if you qualify for an award.

3. Be Selected: The amount of qualified applicants every year exceeds the nearly $3.9 million annual financial aid budget. Qualifying for a financial aid award does not automatically mean your child will be selected.

4. Accept: If offered an award, your family will need to decide whether to accept or not.

All awards are based on demonstrated financial need and may not be combined with one another.


Please go to myTADS.com to create an account. You will use this account to upload all of your financial aid application components. For divorced or separated parents, or never married parents living apart, a separate financial aid application must be submitted for each household.

Documents to be uploaded with your application
  • Federal Tax Returns
  • Form W-2/1099
  • Federal Business Tax Returns: If applicable, upload to your TADS account with all pages and schedules of forms 1065, 1120, or 1120s, as well as any K-1s.
  • Letter of Family Circumstance: If a letter of explanation would help us better understand your financial situation, please include it in your TADS application.

Important Dates

Early Decision Financial Aid Application Due Date: November 1, 2019

Regular Decision Financial Aid Application Due Date: January 10, 2020

Returning Students Financial Aid Application Due Date: December 1, 2019
 
Applications received after these dates will only be considered if there are any remaining funds.

Financial Aid FAQs

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • How is Financial Aid Awarded?

    Determination of financial aid and admission decisions are made by two separate committees. Any family who, after carefully reviewing its own means and any other options such as the payment plan, believes that its resources are not enough to meet tuition costs is encouraged to apply for financial aid. 

    It is important, however, for families to know at the outset that we do not have the resources available to meet the need of every admitted student who may qualify for financial assistance. The financial aid process is based on the assumption that families are applying for aid only after having fully explored every possibility for meeting tuition.
     
    The Financial Aid Committee administers the financial aid program. Awards are based on a family’s demonstrated need and Sonoma Academy’s allocated budget. Confidentiality of information provided by families is carefully maintained.
     
  • If I am a returning student, do I need to reapply for Financial Aid? 

    Yes, every student receiving financial aid must reapply each year. Please submit your application to tads.com by December 1, 2019 for the 2020-21 school year. 
  • Does My Financial Aid Award Extend to Additional Fees?

    If you receive financial aid, 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 Financial Aid Recipients

    Financial aid 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. STEM scholars are expected to maintain a 3.5 unweighted semester and annual grade point average. To be eligible for financial aid and to continue to receive aid, families must reapply each year through TADS (www.mytads.com) and continue to demonstrate financial need.
  • Meeting Financial Need

    To the extent possible, parents have the primary responsibility to contribute to educational expenses; families should contribute accordingly. Sonoma Academy makes every effort to meet the full demonstrated need of each family. Awards are based on a full assessment of a family’s financial situation. Many factors are taken into account including, but not limited to, the number of children; how many children attend a tuition-paying school; additional dependents; all sources of income, assets, and liabilities; expenses such as mortgage or rent, cars, camps and lessons; and unreimbursed medical expenses. There is an expectation that both parents are working unless there is a pre-schooler or elderly parent at home.

    Our Financial Aid Committee reviews all applications and makes financial aid award decisions annually. Financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the information provided on the family’s TADS application and supporting tax and wage information.
  • Determining My Family Contribution

    We have many more qualified applicants for financial aid than we have awards; selection for awards is competitive. We believe it is important that our families understand that their tuition payments directly support the cost of our program and tuition fees alone are not sufficient to support the full cost of a Sonoma Academy education. As such, it is important that every family stretch to contribute the maximum possible. Each family’s circumstances are unique, so there is no set formula for how to determine your maximum contribution amount.
     
  • Other Family Contribution Sources

    Families with additional income sources to fund a Sonoma Academy education (from grandparents, an employer, scholarship, etc.) should note this amount on the TADS application; it is required that this amount be reported.
     
  • 529’s College Funds and Other Student Assets

    Sonoma Academy requires you to report 529 college funds and other student assets.
     
  • Returning Students Requesting Aid for the First Time

    If there has been an unexpected change in circumstances, Sonoma Academy will consider an 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 to TADS. 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

    Financial aid for transfer students is limited. Prospective transfer students may apply, but financial aid is first allocated to all currently enrolled families already receiving financial aid. Transfer students should apply by the established due dates. Admitted transfer students will be notified in March or later if there is any funding.
     
  • International Students

    Sonoma Academy does not award financial aid to international families. International families include all non-US citizen families that reside outside of the United States and do not file US income tax returns.
     
  • High School Loan Programs

    For information on loan programs designed specifically to help families pay for their children's high school education, visit Your Tuition Solution.

Sonoma Academy Is...

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.