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Financial Aid

Please review this comprehensive overview about our financial aid program. If you have questions about our program or any of the information in this section, please feel free to call us at (707) 636-2476.

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Financial Aid Philosophy and Guiding Principles

    The financial aid program was designed to ensure access for students who would benefit from a Sonoma Academy education but, due to limited financial resources, could not otherwise attend Sonoma Academy. We draw inspiration from our mission statement to “engage with the surrounding community” in order to create a learning environment comprising students from diverse economic and social (socioeconomic) backgrounds. Our student body comes from 30 different cities and 80 middle schools and we strive to assist as many families as possible. Approximately 50% of our families receive financial aid. Awards range from 5-95% of tuition; the average award is $23,000.

    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 costs.
    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.
  • Cost of Attendance

    Sonoma Academy’s financial aid program will also support a percentage of the mandatory fees listed below. Support for mandatory fees will be at the same percentage as your financial aid award. For instance, if your financial aid award is for 50% of tuition, then your fee for debate team participation will be at 50%.

    ·Bus transportation from Sonoma or Napa
    ·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.tads.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.
  • Applying for Financial Aid

    Each year, there are many more qualified applicants for financial aid than we have awards, so selection for these awards is competitive. The process works like this:
    1. Family Contribution: Determine the maximum amount your family can contribute and note in Section 21, lines 1 and 2. Contributions from extended family members, such as grandparents, should be noted on in Section 21, line 3.
    2. Submit: TADS online financial aid application should be submitted at www.tads.com. Financial aid applications should be submitted by November 1 for Early Decision applicants and January 11 for Regular Decision applicants. For currently enrolled students, the financial aid application must be completed by December 1, 2018.
    3. Qualify: Your demonstrated financial need, as determined via your financial application will determine if you qualify for an award.
    4. Selection: Qualifying for financial aid does not automatically mean a student will be selected.
    5. Acceptance: If offered an award, your family will need to decide whether or not to accept the offer or not.

    Once a family has accepted the offer of admission and corresponding financial aid award, the same percentage of financial aid will be awarded each year based continued financial need as determined by an annual reapplication through TADS. Significant changes in income will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require additional documentation.
  • 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.
2500 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Sonoma Academy is...

The only independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.