A Commitment to a Diverse Community

“Integration is beneficial to all children,” wrote Manhattan Country School Founder Gus Trowbridge in his 1965 drafting of the school’s First Principles. “Differences must be immediately experienced to be treasured and understood, and a school which avoids differences, directly and obliquely, places education outside the context of living.”

It is with that belief that Manhattan Country School opened its doors in 1966 as a school committed to educating students from a range of backgrounds. Today, Manhattan Country School has a student body with broad socioeconomic diversity and no racial majority.

Diversity Fostered by an Innovative Sliding-Scale Tuition Program

The rich mosaic of our student body is fostered by a sliding-scale tuition policy that makes it possible for nearly 75 percent of our families to pay tuition based on their means. Nationally, approximately 22 percent of independent school families receive financial aid.

The makeup of our staff is more diverse than the average independent school:

List of 2 items.

  • 41%

    Faculty of Color
    National average: 13.2%
  • 56%

    Administration of Color
    National average: 11.7%
Not only is diversity reflected among our students and staff, it is integrated into our curriculum. From the 4-5s’ home visit program in which children visit the dwellings of classmates of different racial, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds to the Upper School’s Social Justice Data Fair, MCS students learn about the differences reflected in our multicultural world.
Over the years, many schools have sought information about our tuition model as part of their own efforts to further diversity in mission-consistent and sustainable ways. Founders and board members of schools across the United States, as well as economists and policy makers, continue to seek guidance and engage MCS as a thought leader in this area. The following schools have replicated our sliding-scale tuition model:

  • Harlem Academy in New York, New York
  • La Escuelita and Yeshiva of Flatbush in New York, New York
  • St. Philip’s Academy in Newark, New Jersey
  • New Canaan Country School in New Canaan, Connecticut
  • Waldorf School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Greene Hill in Brooklyn, New York
  • Creative Learning Community in Tallahassee, Florida
  • St. Elizabeth’s School in Denver, Colorado
  • Children’s Day School in San Francisco, California
  • Friends School of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota
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