Tuition & Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office at University School aligns with the mission of the school. We hope to provide deserving students an opportunity for an amazing educational experience that may otherwise not be obtainable. Our goal is that no worthy, mission appropriate student be deterred due to financial limitations.

University School maintains a considerable financial aid program to ensure that the most qualified candidates have the opportunity to attend University School regardless of financial circumstances. The school is committed to having a diverse student body that reflects the broad mix of the communities we serve.
Annually, US awards $4.4 million in financial assistance to more than 30% of students.
Financial aid awards are solely grant awards. Applying for financial assistance has no bearing on the Admission Committee’s deliberations and its assessment of an applicant’s potential as a US student.


University School employs School and Student Services (SSS), a national program managed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) that collects and analyzes financial data provided by families. To determine eligibility and to apply for financial aid, go to 

For more information about our financial aid program, please call or email Christina Townsend-Hartz.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Does University School offer financial assistance and scholarships?

    We maintain a considerable financial aid program to ensure that the most qualified candidates have the opportunity to attend University School regardless of their financial circumstances.
  • What is the schedule for making tuition payments, and are there payment options available?

    A registration deposit of $2,000 (financial aid students $500) is due at the time of signing the Enrollment Agreement. The registration deposit will be applied to the student’s account, but will not be refunded if he does not matriculate for any reason.  The school requires all parents to enroll in Advanced Education Services (AES) to make tuition and fee payments.  AES offers two payment options: 10-month and quarterly.  Half-year and 100% plans are available directly through the School's Business Office.  For details, please refer to the University School Financial Information sheet or call AES at 800.551.2773 ext. 15.  Any incidental charges applied to the student's account will be due by June 1.  For more information, contact Paula Russo in the Business Office at
  • What are the tuition and fees for the 2016-17 school year?

    Grades K - 4: $21,100 - $26,000
    Grades 5 - 8: $26,900 - $29,600
    Grades 9 - 12:  $29,600 - $32,300
  • What are the terms of the financial aid program?

    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.

    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.
  • 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 2016 Federal tax returns?

    A complete 2016 Federal tax return, including all appropriate schedules, must be received by SSS via NAIS by MARCH 15, 2017. We understand that it can be difficult for some families to submit a return by this deadline, and in order for the School to give fair consideration to all families, we must receive your completed 2016 tax return by February 15, 2017.  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 2016 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?

    Fees do not include:
    Grades 9-12 books (books are purchased online; annual costs are approximately $600); before and after school care; optional field trips, such as international trips; some athletic equipment; optional sports fees; and optional club fees. Please click here to view the Financial Information sheet.
  • 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.
  • Do families have to purchase textbooks?

    For grades K-8, the cost of required materials - including those used in regular programs in the arts, foreign languages, science and shop - are included in the fees.  For grades 9-12, students order books online at MBS Direct. Book costs are approximately $600. This cost may be further reduced by the opportunity to purchase quality used textbooks through our student-run book buy-back program or through MBS. Qualifying book returns are eligible for a refund of up to 45% of the purchase price.
  • 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  one-way or round-trip.

    The school has also teamed up with Laurel School to provide transportation throughout Greater Cleveland and nearby communities, including Bainbridge, Solon, Aurora, Chagrin Falls, Willoughby, Lakewood, Westlake, Rocky River, Bay Village, Twinsburg, Hiram, Macedonia, Broadview Heights, Independence, Richfield, Akron, Bath, and Copley. Pricing ranges from $1,800 to $3,700 depending on the route and frequency.

    For more information on transportation options and costs, please call the School's Transportation Department at 216.831.1984 x7364 or click here: Transportation Offerings.

US Parent

Our son shadowed, fell in love (as did we), and we vowed to do what we could within the family budget to make things work. Our family has two incomes; we make a decent living, but we are a household of six, and could only allocate a certain amount of money for each child. We were blessed and surprised to find out that the US awards made it possible for our son to attend the best possible school for his development into a strong, considerate, smart young man with leadership skills and strong morals. 

Director of Financial Aid

List of 1 members.


Financial Aid Webinar

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: 216.321.8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, OH 44022
Phone: 216.831.2200
University School serves 870 boys in grades K-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.