The Board of Trustees works each year with the Head of School to set tuition. We strive to keep several important goals in mind: building a sustainable, financially healthy school, making PKS accessible to as many families as possible, and staying true to our history and mission.

2019-2020 tuition: $31,240

Note: Extended care, after-school enrichment, summer camp, and middle school travel and technology incur separate fees.

Photo by John Lee

Photo by John Lee

Tuition Assistance

We recognize that a PKS education requires a significant financial commitment, and covering the costs of an independent school education can be challenging. If tuition at PKS seems beyond your family’s reach, we encourage you to learn more about our tuition assistance program. 

PKS offers tuition assistance to families with demonstrated financial need.  We ask that every family cover a minimum 15% of their child’s tuition costs, but recognize that each situation is unique. We want to work with you so that no qualified student is prevented from considering enrollment at PKS for financial reasons.

Applications for tuition assistance are due by February 1, 2019 and both parents/guardians must submit:

  • 2017 and 2018 W-2s and 1099s for all employment held

  • Tax returns and all schedules for 2017 and 2018

The 2017 tax return should be submitted as soon as you file. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to provide ample time to conduct a complete review of your application.  If you cannot file your 2018 tax return by February 1, 2019 please do still submit all other documents and we will use this data to give an award conditional on your 2017 tax return. We will need all filed 2018 tax returns and supporting documents by March 31, 2019 at the latest.


How to Apply

Application Process

All enrolled and applying families are encouraged to consider the PKS tuition assistance program.  As a reminder, all families must reapply each year for award determination as circumstances change regularly. Assistance is not guaranteed year to year; it is dependent upon the family’s resources and the school’s budget each year.

PKS utilizes the online service of Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) to process applications. FAST is the standard submission format for all tuition assistance applications. FAST collects all the required documents and makes a recommendation based on details provided by PKS, such as our assistance budget for the year and number of qualified applicant. PKS can adjust the awards FAST recommends in certain circumstances.

FAST does not decide whether tuition assistance will be given or how much to give; rather FAST provides a need-based tuition assistance analysis service which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information submitted to FAST is confidential. Results are reviewed by the Tuition Assistance Committee, who makes award recommendations based on the following year’s budget.

Steps to Apply:

  • Log onto FAST

  • The application process is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program allowing you to partially complete an application and go back to it at another time. Online email and a 24/7 helpline are provided. Please contact FAST with any application specific questions.

  • The charge for the application is $45.00 and to be paid by credit card at the end of the online process. If you do not have a credit card, or cannot budget the fee, please email PKS Admissions for assistance.

  • After completing the online application you will be required to mail or upload your 2017 and 2018 tax returns for both state and federal taxes with all schedules and W-2s for 2017 and 2018 to the address below. 2017 and 2018 W-2s / 1099s and 2017 tax return and schedules are due by Feb 1, 2019, the 2018 tax return is due by March 31, 2019. Including PKS on the outside of the return envelope will ensure faster processing of your application.

    • Mail to: FAST Processing, ISM, 1316 North Union Street, Wilmington DE 19806-2594. PKS has pre-addressed envelopes which you can request by emailing PKS Admissions.

  • The online submission deadline for all admissions applications is January 10, 2019.

  • Your FAST application and tax returns must be postmarked by February 1, 2019.

  • PKS will make an initial tuition assistance determination based on your 2017 tax returns and 2018 W-2s and/or 1099s. If tuition assistance is offered, PKS will require a copy of the 2018 tax returns by March 31, 2019, to finalize the offer. Prior to receiving all tuition assistance materials, an offer of admissions will be conditional.


Tuition Assistance Policy

While the availability of school resources, the number of qualified applicants and overall budget constraints influence tuition assistance decisions, PKS is committed to making grants available to as many eligible applicants as possible.  In an effort to make the process fair to all, PKS considers the following when making award decisions:

  • The primary responsibility for financing a student’s education rests with the family.

  • Both parents/guardians are expected to contribute to tuition.

  • If a family has only kindergarten age or older students enrolled and a parent chooses not to work, PKS imputes an annual income for the non-working parent.

  • Please note that both parents/guardians must submit all 2017 and 2018 tax returns, forms, schedules and other documents by the applicable due dates, or else the tuition assistance application will be incomplete and will not be evaluated by the PKS Tuition Assistance Committee.

  • In the case of divorce or separation, or unmarried parents, PKS requires both parents/guardians to file an application for tuition assistance. PKS is not bound by any divorce agreement specifying a parent’s responsibility for educational expenses.

  • PKS believes a family should invest in their child’s education before elective expenses, for example, secondary home ownership, club memberships, maximizing retirement funding and expensive car leases/purchases.

  • PKS uses HUD income guidelines for San Francisco as a guide for determining which families are considered low, middle and high income.

  • PKS does not offer sibling discounts, but instead encourages families to apply for tuition assistance; all household members are taken into account.

  • Tuition assistance also extends to the four PKS auxiliary programs – Extended Care, Tutoring*, Camps, and Enrichment Classes*. For these PKS programs only, the school would apply your tuition discount multiplier to the gross price of the auxiliary program to calculate the net cost that you would owe. For Tutoring, tuition assistance is limited to ten sessions per school year; for Enrichment Classes, tuition assistance is limited to one class per session. Tuition assistance is also applied to the international trips offered in Grade 5, Grade 6 and Grade 7.

Tuition Assistance FAQ

What is tuition assistance?

Tuition assistance is a reduced tuition available to qualifying families to support them in covering the cost of education at PKS. Each family is expected to contribute a minimum of 15% of the total tuition.

Who makes tuition assistance decisions?

FAST makes a recommendation and the final decision is made by the PKS Tuition Assistance Committee, which is comprised of the Chief Operating Officer, Director of Admissions, and Business Manager.

What Other PKS Programs are supported by Tuition Assistance?

Families receiving tuition assistance will also qualify for the same discount for four auxiliary programs – Extended Care, Tutoring*, Camps, and Enrichment Classes*. For Tutoring, tuition assistance is limited to ten sessions per school year; for Enrichment Classes, tuition assistance is limited to one class per session. Tuition assistance is also applied to the international trips offered in Grade 5, Grade 6 and Grade 7. No other programs or activities are supported by the PKS tuition assistance program.

Will my family qualify?

This is difficult to answer without reviewing a complete application. We take into account a number of variable factors: family income, housing costs, debt, savings, monthly expenses. We also factor in discretionary expenses based on family circumstances. Our approach is that before we can ask our community to support financial aid, the applicant families must have reviewed their own finances and are using all resources they can to support their child(ren)’s education before requesting tuition assistance.

How do I determine what I can pay towards tuition?

When assessing what you believe your family can afford to contribute, wherever possible you should look to use your assets before asking for assistance. You should also factor in the costs of care after school and camps during school closure.

Must we reapply each year?

Yes. To every extent possible PKS commits to providing a similar level of funding each year to families receiving tuition assistance. However, circumstances change: families must apply each year and submit the most recent tax documents to ensure they still qualify.

If we re-enroll will we get the same tuition assistance rate each year?

Yes, provided that your financial situation does not change.  PKS prioritizes assistance to its existing families who qualify for tuition assistance.

What if I am single / divorced / unmarried parent?

PKS requires complete financial information from both parents/guardians, custodial and non-custodial. FAST is structured to allow both parents/guardians to submit information without the other parent seeing the details. PKS treats all information provided confidentially.

Can I request extra time to submit paperwork?

While submitting 2018 tax returns requires a tight deadline, you should have the 2017 tax returns ready and submitted these by February 1, 2019. Please have your 2017 tax documents submitted and application completed by the deadlines. PKS reviews all completed applications at the same time. A late submission may qualify on paper, but often there will be a smaller pool of funds, if any, available. We prioritize providing awards to those that both show need and have applications submitted by the deadline.

I’m applying to PKS, should I submit an application for tuition assistance now, or wait until I know if my child will be offered a place?

Now. You need to apply before the deadline of February 1, 2019. PKS makes tuition assistance awards when offer letters go out. To be considered for assistance we need to have your application by the deadlines detailed above. A late submission may qualify on paper, but often there will be a smaller pool of funds, if any, available. We prioritize providing awards to those that both show need and have applications submitted by the deadline.

I have received my tuition assistance award notifications, and I would like to appeal. How do I appeal?

If you believe there may be new or additional information or that your 2019 income and / or 2018 tax returns indicate a change in your financial situation that may impact your tuition assistance award and you would like to appeal the award, please email a letter explaining your family’s circumstances and provide any additional documentation that may support your appeal to


Photos: parent volunteers and John Lee