Riverstone School Tuition Adjustment Commitment

Tuition Adjustment (TA) is available for families with demonstrated financial need. We are committed to a need­-blind admissions policy and a purely need­-based TA policy. TA is awarded based solely on a family’s ability to pay tuition and has no merit­-based component.

Riverstone School considers it a high budgeting priority to make Polymath’s Quest education available to all families. Riverstone School commits over $100,000 of unrealized income to provide TA for approximately seventy­-five percent (75%) of the families at the school. Despite this significant financial commitment, the combined high level of financial need and the number of families requesting TA annually means that there is not enough income to meet every family’s TA request.

While the TA program helps many families, financing a student’s independent school education is a responsibility that rests primarily with the family, including non­-custodial, separated, and divorced parents.

Given the limited TA budget pool, it is essential that families seek appropriate and reasonable means for contributing the maximum level of tuition possible so that the school can be financially sustainable and continue to adequately support our talented and dedicated faculty and staff to provide a rich and dynamic Polymath’s Quest education to all of our students.

We hope that the following frequently asked questions and answers will help you better understand Riverstone School’s TA program.

1. Who is eligible to apply for Tuition Adjustment?

All families are welcome to apply. Eligibility is determined by the TA Committee.

2. What criteria is eligibility for Tuition Adjustment based on? 

A family’s total income, assets, and expenses are considered. Relevant information from all parents/guardians, including those who are divorced, separated, or never married, and non-­parent spouses/partners should be included in the application. It is expected that parents are working to capacity to provide the highest level of tuition they can achieve.

3. Who is required to complete the forms? 

All parent or guardians, including those who are divorced, separated, or never married, and non­parent spouses/partners are required to contribute relevant information as part of completing the forms. If a special circumstance precludes the other parent or guardian from participating in the TA process, an explanation and documentation will be required.

4. What is the Tuition Adjustment process? 

●  A completed application must be submitted, including answers to all supplementary questions, 
by the TA application deadline.
●  All required documents, the first two pages of your tax return and schedules, 1099, and any 
other relevant documentation must be submitted. Prior year taxes may be submitted with the 
application, however current year taxes will be required.
●  After the TA Committee review, discussion, clarification, and comparison to similar family situations, 
a decision will be reached on the amount of the need-­based award. Families will then receive an enrollment contract with their award amount.

5. What if I miss the application deadline? (Does not apply to the 2018/­2019 academic year) 

For returning families, late applications will still be reviewed but may not receive as much aid due to the limitation of funds. For new applicants, the TA Committee will reserve a limited amount of funds so that they can be evaluated according to the criteria as the full pool of applicants. Applications received after the cut­off date may be limited to a fifty percent (50%) maximum award.

6. Who is on the Tuition Adjustment Committee? 

The TA Committee is a volunteer advisory group to the Riverstone School Board of Directors which is mandated to review TA applications and determine the tuition levels based upon a family’s ability to pay and the financial needs of the school.

7. How does the TA Committee work to fairly divide the financial resources available for Tuition Adjustment? 

Each application is reviewed in the context of the whole community of applicants and allocated budget available for TA. This may constrain the TA Committee with regard to the amount that each family can be awarded and may vary annually. The TA Committee is charged by the Board of Directors with responsibly meeting the budgetary needs of Riverstone School. The Board of Directors meet with the TA Committee following each award cycle to review the process.

8. How do I know what Riverstone School’s financial situation is annually? 

Riverstone School will present its current year’s budget annually to interested community members in the fall trimester.

9. What should I do if no adjustment is granted, or if the Tuition Adjustment received is less than I require in order to enroll my child/children?

It is important to note that a request to review or appeal a TA determination will only be considered where a change in circumstances has occurred or relevant financial information has come to light since submitting the application. If these conditions are met, you may write a letter requesting the TA Committee to review your TA determination. This letter should outline any changes in circumstances, expenses, or financial obligations omitted from your original application and should include the amount of additional support you are seeking. Your request will be carefully reviewed. Following the review of your letter you may be invited for a conversation with an external professional designated by Riverstone School to review TA determination appeals. Please note that any change to a TA determination following an appeal will depend on the available funds remaining in the TA pool. Requests for a review must be submitted to the School Administrator within two (2) weeks of receiving your adjusted tuition contract. 
You may also apply to participate in the Riverstone Tuition Work Exchange program. Please inquire with the Administrator.

10. If my financial situation changes due to increased expenses (e.g., major home repairs, the need to purchase a new vehicle or orthodontics for a child) after I have submitted my application for an adjusted tuition or later in the school year, would this qualify for an appeal of my Tuition Adjustment?

No. These types of events are considered to be in the normal range of unexpected expenses that occur in the course of home and/or vehicle ownership and raising a child/children. Therefore, it is expected that families will manage their finances in such a way that these types of expenses can be covered when needed.

11. What should I do if my financial situation changes significantly due to a major life change (e.g., job loss, medical crisis, or divorce) after I have submitted my application for an adjusted tuition or later in the school year?

If there is a significant change in your financial circumstances at any point after you have received your TA determination, or during the school year, you may request a review to see if a further adjustment is appropriate. Requests should be emailed to admin@myriverstone.org. Conversely, should your situation change in a more beneficial direction, such as from a job promotion or other significant increase in income, you should also be in contact to have a review so that you are contributing to tuition at an appropriate level.

12. Will my tuition level change if I add or withdraw a child from school during the contracted school year?

Each child is treated individually. If added during the school year, a review of the needs and remaining school year will occur. If you withdraw a child, you are required to pay the minimum amount due on the tuition contract until the spot can be filled.

13. Who do I contact if I have further questions?

All questions can be directed to the Riverstone School Administrator, at 406-­361-­0433 or admin@myriverstone.org.