Affordability at US

Christina Townsend-Hartz, Director of Admission & Financial Aid

If US is the right place for your student, then we want to make the finances work for your family.  At the end of the day, it’s not about families working within the constraints of our budget but rather us working within the constraints of theirs.

List of 3 items.

  • 10-100%

    Percentage of tuition our affordability program covers
  • $8 million

    Total dollars awarded to families
  • 50%

    Percentage of our families who participate in our affordability program

Types of Aid

University School offers need-based aid to families who need financial assistance, and awards merit scholarships to high-achieving students.

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  • Need-Based Aid

    Need-based financial aid is geared at helping families afford an education at University School and is based on a family’s financial information.
    • Assistance ranges between $2,000 and $35,000
    • Average household income of families receiving need-based aid is $175,000
    • The average family receiving assistance starting in kindergarten would receive over $228,000 during their son's US career
  • Merit Scholarships

    Each year, University School is fortunate to provide a number of full scholarships to qualified students. Merit scholarships are awarded to students entering grade 9 and are based on test scores and GPA. Read more about the Merit Scholar program.
    • Over $350,000 in merit awards given each year
    • Awards range from $2,500 to $15,000
    • Merit scholars receive awards during all four years of high school

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  • Myth


Payment Options

List of 4 items.

  • One Payment Plan

    Families who wish to pay 100% of tuition will make one payment by August 15.
  • Two Payments Plan

    Families who wish to make two payments will pay 50% of tuition on August 15 and the remaining 50% of tuition on January 15.
  • Quarterly Payments Plan

    Families can choose to pay tuition in four equal payments.  The payments would be due July 15, October 15, January 15 and April 15.
  • 10 Payments Plan

    Families can choose to spread tuition over ten equal payments beginning July 15 through April 15.

Be Prepared

At US we strive to break down the financial barriers to provide access for boys across Northeast Ohio. We also know that navigating the world of financial aid can be intimidating. Our popular financial aid webinar returns this year to help relieve the anxiety of the process. We'll describe the various forms of aid and how to ensure that your family gets the aid needed, so your son can make the most of his educational journey.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Connect & Learn More

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Additional Information

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • What are the tuition and fees for the 2021-22 school year?

    Grades Junior K - 4: $17,420 - $29,760
    Grades 5 - 8: $30,750 - $33,760
    Grades 9 - 12:  $33,760 - $36,770
  • What are the terms of the financial aid program?

    Every financial aid application will be reviewed on an individual basis. Our guidelines are meant to assist the Financial Aid Committee with the issuance of financial aid awards.  

    Continuing families currently receiving financial aid will be given first priority. Adherence to deadlines is essential because funds will be allocated to other families if materials have not been submitted by the deadline.

    Financial aid awards are for one year. Failure to comply with financial aid deadlines may disqualify a student from receiving aid. Misrepresentation, or failure to disclose completely all information on the Parents’ Financial Statement, will result in the loss of financial aid.
  • What forms are required when applying for financial aid?

    Families should fill out the PFS at and submit all tax documents and necessary schedules.  In addition, families should fill out Form 4506. This document is available at and should be signed, undated, and uploaded through SSS.  Form 4506 is an IRS document that is used to retrieve past tax returns, W-2s, and 1099 transcripts that are on file with the IRS. The document gives permission for a third party to retrieve the taxpayer’s data.
  • When is the deadline to submit the 2020 and 2021 Federal tax returns?

    A complete 2020 Federal tax return, including all appropriate schedules, must be received by SSS via NAIS by FEBRUARY 4, 2022. 

    A complete 2021 Federal tax return, including all appropriate schedules, must be received by SSS via NAIS at your earliest convenience, but no later than APRIL 30, 2022.
    If you require special considerations, please contact the Director of Financial Aid. 
  • What are the considerations for special situations?

    Unmarried Couples and Single Parents
    The birth parent(s) and guardian(s) must report all income and assets.

    Divorced or Separated Parents
    University School policy for determining the financial need of students from separated or divorced families is derived from the underlying principle on which we base financial aid for all of our students—that is, parents should pay the educational expenses of their children to the extent they are able. 

    In situations where an applicant’s parents are separated or divorced, the term custodial parent is used for the parent with whom the applicant resides (or has resided with most often during the twelve months prior to the application). The other parent is referred to as the non-custodial parent. The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), which is submitted to SSS for central processing, is completed by the custodial parent, and if that parent has remarried, by the step-parent. Non-custodial parents are also expected to complete a PFS form and send it to SSS.

    We will consider the assets of both birth parents before making any award and cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed responsibility for educational expenses. If either parent has remarried, the School will also consider the assets of the step-parent, always bearing in mind that the obligation of that step-parent is to his or her own birth children.

    It is the responsibility of both parents to submit the appropriate financial information. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to ask the non-custodial parent to complete the appropriate forms. If the requested information is not provided, the Financial Aid Committee will not be able to review your application. Remarriage of either parent creates a new family unit with new relationships, but we believe that the natural (or adoptive) parents still have a responsibility for educational expenses despite any legal agreements to the contrary. Therefore, the income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the entire new family are considered pertinent to the birth (or adoptive) parents’ ability to contribute to the cost of education.

    In accordance with this policy, the custodial parent (and any spouse) should file the PFS. The non-custodial parent (and any spouse) must file the PFS as well. Applicants awarded aid and accepting the offer of admission to US will be required to submit a signed copy of their 2018 and 2019 IRS Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ with all schedules and attachments for each parent.

    We will consider waiving the requirement for submission of the Financial Statement for Parents Who Are Separated or Divorced by the non-custodial parent under the following circumstances:
    1. Information is provided which clearly indicates that the location of the non-custodial parent is unknown.
    2. Information is provided that the non-custodial parent has not provided support and has had no contact with the family for at least 10 years.
    In either of the above mentioned situations, supporting documentation clarifying the situation will be accepted from a doctor, lawyer or other such person with knowledge of the family’s circumstances. There may be other extenuating circumstances which would warrant our waiving this requirement.
  • What other fees do I need to pay?

    Tuition does not include:
    Books for grades 9-12 (books are purchased online; annual costs are approximately $750); before and after school care; optional field trips, such as international trips; some athletic equipment; optional sports fees; and optional club fees.
    Families can request financial support for anything not included in tuition by contacting the Director of Financial Aid.
  • What about tuition refunds?

    University School requires all parents to participate in the Tuition Refund Plan. The cost of this insurance protection is included in the annual tuition and fees. For more information see the Tuition Refund Guide.
  • What about athletic equipment?

    Uniforms (except shoes and other specialized equipment) are supplied to members of most varsity, junior varsity, and freshman interscholastic teams. Otherwise, students must provide their own athletic equipment, which may be purchased at the School’s athletic store and billed at less than retail cost.
  • What are our transportation options?

    Many parents choose to drive their sons to school or carpool with other families. Bus service from some area public school districts is also available. In addition, US offers shuttle bus service between the Shaker and Hunting Valley campuses at no cost.

    Beginning in 2020-21, University School is partnering with Laurel School and Hathaway Brown School to provide expanded transportation options for students throughout 33 Greater Cleveland communities. Families whose children attend more than one of these schools will be able to use one transportation service. This expanded transportation access will complement bus service offered from many public-school districts.

    Transportation to the three independent schools will be available to and from the following communities: Aurora, Avon, Avon Lake, Bainbridge Twp., Bath, Bay Village, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland (Downtown), Cleveland (University Circle), Cleveland Heights, Concord Twp. (Lake County), Copley, Coventry, East Cleveland, Edgewater, Garfield Heights, Gates Mills, Hudson, Independence, Kirtland, Lakewood, Mentor, North Royalton, Richfield, Rocky River, Solon, Strongsville, Twinsburg, Westlake, Willoughby, and Willoughby Hills.

    Transportation options include both one-way and round-trip, as well as contracts for a full year or for individual trimester sessions. Pricing ranges from $930 to $3,100. 

    For more information about transportation options, routes, times and pick up locations, please see the Transportation webpage. For questions, please contact Transportation Coordinator Karrie Butorac at 216.831.1984 x7364.

Parent of a Senior

Our son entered US as a boy with more promise than means, and thanks to the school’s generosity we look forward to watching him graduate this year—a young man one step closer to reaching his true potential.  If US is where your son belongs, don’t let assumptions about affordability stop you from applying. It was the encouragement of another US family familiar with the aid process that spared us from that mistake.

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 870 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved.