Tuition Assistance & Scholarships

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 $5.2 million in tuition assistance each year. 

Tuition Assistance Application Steps & Process

Our tuition assistance program is designed to help families with the cost of tuition, based on demonstrated need.

All students are eligible to apply for tuition assistance. Tuition assistance awards are competitive due to the high number of qualified applicants each year. Qualifying for an award doesn’t automatically guarantee that you will be selected to receive it. All tuition assistance and scholarships require a tuition assistance application.

What are the criteria?
In addition to tuition assistance, we offer two need-based scholarships with unique requirements: the Davis Scholarship for first generation Latinx students and the Sam Horton STEM Scholarship. Learn more at the links on the right.

Important Dates

Early Decision Tuition Assistance Application Due Date: November 1, 2023

Regular Decision Tuition Assistance Application Due Date: January 8, 2024

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

Returning Families Tuition Assistance Application Due Date: November 1, 2023 (for 2024-25 school year)

Tuition Assistance FAQs

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • How is tuition assistance awarded?

    Determination of tuition assistance 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 tuition assistance. 

    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 tuition assistance process is based on the assumption that families are applying for aid only after having fully explored every possibility for meeting tuition.
    The Tuition Assistance Committee administers the tuition assistance 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 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 tuition assistance award extend to additional fees?

    If you receive tuition assistance, 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 tuition assistance recipients

    Tuition assistance 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 tuition assistance and to continue to receive aid, families must reapply each year 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 Tuition Assistance Committee reviews all applications and makes tuition assistance award decisions annually. Tuition assistance is awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the information provided on the family’s application and supporting tax and wage information.
  • Determining my family contribution

    We have many more qualified applicants for tuition assistance 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 Tuition Assistance application; it is required that this amount be reported.
  • 529 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. 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

    Tuition assistance for transfer students is limited. Prospective transfer students may apply, but tuition assistance is first allocated to all currently enrolled families already receiving tuition assistance. 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 tuition assistance 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.
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.