The Value of Summit
An independent school is a true investment in your child. The faculty, staff, administration and board at Summit feel privileged each day to live our mission: Summit School provides a challenging curriculum within a caring environment to help students develop their full potential. Summit has more than 85 years with a history of excellence and innovation that inspires us to challenge and support each child.
At Summit, our educators’ daily work with children, families and colleagues creates habits of mind that our students carry with them the rest of their lives. The Summit experience transforms students through our enduring, stable values which bring to life our fundamental commitment to inspiring learning.
- Independent schools allow parents and children to decide what they want from a school, and then find a school that has a mission – the school’s philosophy, values and approach to teaching – that meets those needs. Read more.
At an independent school, the staff, the parents, and the students share a belief system about education, and the resulting synergy among parents and educators creates a learning experience superior to schools not mission-driven.
Independent schools are just that - independent. Independent in governance meaning that the school is organized as not-for-profit and is governed by a self-perpetuating board of directors. Independent in finance meaning that the school charges tuition and raises money to operate, as opposed to being supported primarily by public monies or religious subsidies.
No less important is the fact that independent schools operate under the highest method of accountability: since no family is compelled to select an independent school, if the school fails in its mission, any family can leave that school and choose another option for their child. Independent schools can only survive if they are extraordinarily successful at achieving their mission.
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LUNCH: As part of our program, students in Eaglets-9th Grade eat school lunches prepared in one of our two dining rooms. All students are provided a mid-morning snack.
Summit offers four payment plans for tuition. The school administers student account payments through the FACTS Management Company. There is a nominal annual fee associated with the various payment plans listed below. The annual fee is waived for those choosing the single or two payment plan.
- Single payment of full tuition and fees due upon receipt of the July 1 statement. Those choosing the single pay option will receive a credit of 1% as a discount against tuition. Credit will be reflected on the July billing statement. The annual FACTS tuition management fee will be waived for this option. This option is available to families enrolling prior to July 1 and who complete contracts by the due date.
- Two payments: ½ tuition and fees due upon receipt of July 1 statement and ½ tuition and fees due upon receipt of December 1 statement. The annual FACTS tuition management fee will be waived for this option.
- Four payments: ¼ tuition and fees due upon receipt of each of the following statements: July 1; September 1; December 1; March 1, plus the annual FACTS tuition management fee of $45.
- Monthly Installments: Ten monthly payments plan administered by FACTS. Payments will be automatically drafted on the designated monthly payment due date, plus the annual FACTS tuition management fee of $45.
- The enrollment contract and tuition become binding May 31 each year. After May 31, parents are obligated to pay the entire tuition, whether or not their child completes the school year.
- Upon enrollment, families are given the option to purchase the Tuition Refund Plan. This plan is a unique form of insurance originated by a third party insurer, Dewars, to provide families the opportunity to protect their tuition investment at Summit School. The program refunds a portion of the unused annual tuition and insured fees when students are withdrawn or dismissed for covered reasons.
- Gifts to the Annual Fund help to offset the cost of tuition and the full cost of educating a student at Summit. All gifts are considered charitable contributions and are fully tax-deductible. Find out more here.
Additional Services and Fees
Before and Afterschool Care: Summit provides supervised afternoon programs and activities for students in junior kindergarten through grade 6. Early morning care is from 7:00 am - 8:00 am. Afternoon care is from dismissal until 5:45 pm. Priority is given to children of working parents. Rates and registration will open July 1.
School Bus Transportation: The school typically provides bus service between home and school for an extra fee to areas where there is sufficient demand. Due to COVID-19, Summit will not be providing bus service for the 2021-2022 school year. Please contact Andy Fansler at 721-0540 x1004 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Sports Transportation: Upper School students who participate in after school sports pay a Transportation Fee of $100 per season (fall, winter, spring).
The school is able to offer assistance to students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by The School and Student Service (SSS) for Financial Aid, a service of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). A family seeking financial aid should make it known at the start of the admissions process.
The financial aid application process will be explained during the Parent Visit. You may find the Parents' Financial Statement online. The SSS system opens on November 1 for the following school year.
Summit School welcomes admission applications at any time of year. We encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible for the following academic year. In particular, applicants considering financial aid are encouraged to apply for admission by December of the prior year.
Purpose of financial aid
Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance enables Summit School to enroll students with promise who would not otherwise have access to an independent school education because of financial constraints. The extension of aid makes our school more accessible and affordable, fostering a more diverse school community.
Summit financial aid is need-based only. We do not offer merit scholarships.
We believe the primary financial responsibility for a child's education rests with the parents to the full extent that they are able. All families are expected to contribute to the cost of their student's education.
Summit awards are direct grants; they do not need to be repaid. Grants of financial aid are not intended to cover 100% of the cost of attendance at Summit School. The program assists families in grades JrK-9th.
Summit School works with School and Student Services (SSS) by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to determine financial assistance. More information and applications are found online. The SSS system opens on November 1 for the following school year.
How is financial aid determined?
The Financial Aid Committee at Summit uses a completed Parents' Financial Statement designed by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) to help us determine your family's contribution to educational expenses. We use the standardized calculation by SSS as an initial guide in determining your child's aid. This system considers gross taxable and non-taxable income, assets, liabilities, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools or colleges. After an allowance for basic necessities and required taxes, the remaining funds are considered available for education on a sliding scale.
How do I begin the process?
For families new to Summit, the process begins with a conversation with the Director of Enrollment Management at the beginning of the admission process.
The financial aid process is a separate process with an online application. The SSS system opens on November 1 for the following school year.
SSS provides many resources for parents on their website.
Please note: Applying for Financial Aid must happen in conjunction with an application for Admission to the school. Financial Aid awards are made only after acceptance to the school.
For families currently enrolled at Summit, please notify Carter Sturkie (Director of Finance and Operations, phone: 336-722-2777, ext. 1029 or email email@example.com). If you subsequently decide NOT to apply for aid, please notify Cindy Kluttz (Director of Advancement and Enrollment Management phone: 336-722-2777, ext. 1032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Financial Aid Timetable
SSS online system opens
December 31 or before
SSS forms due on-line or by mail to Summit
W-2's due to Summit (awards will not be made without last year's W-2's)
New families may submit last year's Tax Returns until current year's are available
Online re-enrollment for currently enrolled families
April 15 or before
Current Tax Returns due to Summit or uploaded to SSS
March, April and May
Enrollment contracts and notification of financial aid awards e-mailed to new families
What forms must we complete?
- SSS application
- W2 forms
- federal and state tax returns and all schedules or accompanying documents*
- property tax statements
- financial statements
- trust agreements
- business tax returns and schedules (also IRS Form 4506)
- other documents which might be helpful in fairly determining level of need.
*If a family is filing their tax return late, they are required to submit IRS Form 4868 – Request for Automatic Extension - by March 15. This form contains an estimate of income and taxes due. Once available, a copy of Form 1040 will be required.
Financial aid may be withheld from families or students who have not been timely in completing the required financial aid forms, paying their account, or who are not meeting acceptable standards of academic performance or behavior, provided however, that students receiving financial aid will not be held to a different behavioral or academic standard than other students who are not receiving financial aid.
Only one parent works outside the home. Must both parents be employed to receive financial aid from Summit?
In general, yes, if all children in the family are in school. However, if one parent is unable to work, that is not held against them. In cases where there is no clear reason for a parent not working, then the committee will impute income for that parent.
I have decided to go back to school while my child is at Summit. Will it affect my financial aid?
Quite possibly. We assume that a parent who is enrolled in school has arranged to fund his or her education without diminishing their ability to contribute to the cost of their child's education.
I am divorced, or no longer living with my child's other parent. Will Summit still expect that person to be part of my application for financial aid?
Yes. Summit School expects parents to pay the educational costs for their children to the full extent they are financially able. This principle applies to all parents, even those who are separated or divorced.
Summit is not bound by, and will not honor, any decrees, agreement, or legal document excusing a parent from financial responsibility for a child's education. Nor will Summit be bound by a parent who has disclaimed financial responsibility for the student. In the event that a custodial parent and child has no contact with the child's non-custodial parent for the past two years, a letter of confirmation, addressed and sent to the Financial Aid Committee, is requested from a third party/individual (lawyer, minister, etc.).
We are also aware that circumstances differ widely among separated or divorced parents and urge you to contact the Admissions Office if such information cannot be provided.
I may remarry or establish a permanent relationship with another adult. Will that person's financial circumstances be considered in the financial aid allocation for my child?
Yes, the addition of another adult into a household generally changes its financial picture to a considerable extent. In the school's view, your resources and expenses, including those for education, become family resources and expenses, just as those of your new partner become part of the family financial picture. We will ask you to complete the Parents' Financial Statement together, providing information pertinent to the new family unit and appropriate tax documentation, realizing at the same time that change of this sort can be emotionally difficult and require a period of adjustment.
Is it true that a family of four must earn less than $150,000 to qualify for financial aid?
Not necessarily. It depends on many factors, notably how many tuitions/childcare costs are being supported and what other aspects there are to the family. For a single tuition, a 15 percent guideline has worked in the past (take 15 percent of gross income and compare to tuition—if 15 percent is lower, then apply for financial aid). If a family earns over $150,000, it is unlikely they will qualify for more than a small award, if at all.
Summit School will treat as confidential all financial information provided by families. Only those persons directly involved in the financial aid decision-making process or in its administration will review this information. The identity of all students on financial aid will be held in confidence and restricted to the smallest number of persons possible.
The Summit Fund is the primary way for alumni, parents, past parents, grandparents, and friends to support the annual priorities of our school. By giving, you help Summit take advantage of mission-driven, real-time innovations that keep a Summit education dynamic – both in and out of the classroom.
No other fund is this versatile, or this necessary, or this important. By participating in The Summit Fund you are making a difference throughout our campus while directly supporting every student, every faculty member, and every academic program. Gifts of every size are appreciated and foster a sense of community among Summit families.
Annual gifts to The Summit Fund are essential as they provide critical dollars to cover the school's program costs each year. All gifts, whether large or small, are greatly appreciated. Your gift provides:
- Cutting-edge classroom equipment and technology
- Financial aid for deserving students
- Opportunities for our extraordinary teachers to grow professionally
- Resources for our visual and performing arts programs
- Innovative maker spaces
- Robust upper school athletics
- Experiential travel, field trips, and museum learning
These are just a few of the direct benefits to our students right now and enhance their lives on Summit's campus every day.
Gifts to support capital projects and the endowment come in many ways: unrestricted, restricted, or named endowments which support an area of particular interest to a donor and by bequest.
Roots & Reach Campaign
Summit is a strong school today because past families planned and gave to support its capital growth.
All members of the Summit School community are responsible for its long-term interests and financial stability, and are asked to make Summit a philanthropic priority to maintain the quality of the school’s facilities and programs. Current Summit students benefit directly from the investments made in our plant and facilities by generations of families before us, as well as the visionary and bold decisions entrusted to the community by the Board of Trustees.
The goal for the Roots & Reach Campaign is to raise $1 million by 2026.
Summit’s endowment funds, established in 1959, have grown to more than $14,100,000 and generate $720,000 annually for the operating budget. These funds enable Summit to respond quickly to needs and keep the school innovative.