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6-7s Building Study: Progressive Education

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Manhattan Country School is widely recognized for its unique sliding-scale tuition system that supports diversity and equity.

Why Sliding-Scale Tuition?

In 1970, MCS began to search for a new way of financing the school, based on the precept that the school is one community of individuals joined in the common task of educating children. The sliding-scale tuition model was the result.

Our commitment to diversity rests firmly upon this tuition system and eliminates the categories of “financial aid” and “full-paying” families.

Sliding-scale tuition enables all MCS families to educate their children as equal members of an economically, racially and culturally diverse community.

How Does It Work?

Sliding-scale tuition is based on the principle that a family’s financial commitment should be in equitable proportion to its financial resources. The same financial information is asked of all parents. The Family Financial Worksheet is used to determine each family’s contracted fee for the coming school year. Approximately 75 percent of MCS families pay a fee calculated on the sliding scale.

How Is Each Child’s Fee Calculated?

Families submit a confidential Family Financial Worksheet (FFW) as part of their application. Current families submit a new FFW each January. Student fees are set on a sliding scale based on each family’s annual income.

Although we encourage all families to complete the FFW, families may choose not to submit financial information by signing the waiver at the end of the worksheet. By signing the waiver, families indicate that throughout their child's years at MCS, they will pay the maximum annual fee. 

What If a Family Has More Than One Child Enrolled at MCS?

The Family Financial Worksheet includes a graduated discount for siblings, which is based on income.

What Are the Full Tuition Costs?

Maximum fees are set annually by the Board of Trustees and are graduated by age level.

Child’s Age/Grade (as of 9/01/2019) Maximum Tuition*
4-5s to 9-10s $48,200
Fifth to Eighth Grade $50,500


Included in the annual tuition are the following:

  • Books and classroom materials
  • Daily morning snack
  • Lunch Monday through Thursday
  • Field trip transportation and expenses
  • Early drop-off coverage between 8:00 a.m.– 8:30 a.m.
  • Farm trip meals, lodging and activities for children in the 7-8s through Eighth Grade
*These figures apply to the 2019-2020 school year and are likely to increase in subsequent years.

Schools Replicating Our Tuition Model

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
  • 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