“...so Jews became the people whose passion was education, whose citadels were schools, and whose heroes were teachers.” — RABBI LORD JONATHAN SACKS ZT"L

THINK YOU’RE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR HELP
PAYING FOR JEWISH DAY SCHOOL?

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED.

In 2022 the Samis Foundation established the Day School Affordability Initiative to make K-12 tuition for Seattle-area Jewish day schools even more affordable. The initiative provides financial relief for families whose income is too high to qualify for traditional scholarships, but for whom day school tuition is still a real barrier given the many competing priorities they face.

The program ensures that for families who earn less than $350,000, tuition will not exceed $15,000/year per child or 15% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), whichever is lower.

Samis created this initiative to make Jewish day schools in the Seattle area more accessible to families who are juggling important financial priorities, and hope to give their children the unmatched, lifelong benefits that only Jewish day schools can provide.

 

 

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to see if you qualify.

Eligibility Estimator

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Day School Affordability Initiative FAQ

How does the initiative work?

Jewish Day School Affordability grants are coordinated by each individual school. Once the school of your choice confirms that you’re eligible, your tuition is automatically reduced, and the Samis Foundation pays the difference directly to the school.

Who can qualify?

The Day School Affordability Initiative provides funds for families whose income may be too high to qualify for traditional scholarships, but for whom full tuition would represent more than 15% of their gross adjusted income. All families interested in a K-12 Jewish day school education at any Seattle area Samis-supported school are encouraged to apply. You have nothing to lose, and a lifetime of Jewish connection to gain.

Want to know if your family qualifies? Find out in just minutes with this quick and anonymous eligibility estimator.

What is adjusted gross income (AGI)?

You will find Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on line 11 of your 1040 tax return.

My kids are already enrolled in a Seattle-area Jewish day school. Can I still apply?

Yes! Both current and incoming day school families may be eligible to receive reduced tuition for the 2022/23 school year. Grants can be renewed annually and there’s no limit on the number of years of eligibility.

Want to know if your family qualifies? Find out in just minutes with this quick and anonymous eligibility estimator.

How do I apply?

To apply for Day School Affordability, contact the school of your choice. The school’s admissions officer will provide you with the simple checklist of documentation needed as part of the regular admissions process. In addition to submitting your tax return and W2s, you will be asked to complete a one page application that confirms your eligibility. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will be notified by the school.

What does the tuition cap mean?

Eligibility is based on income plus the number of children you have in tuition-charging schools. The purpose of the cap is to ensure that families pay no more than $15,000 per student or 15% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) per year, whichever is less. It does not change if you have one, two, or three students enrolled.

By capping household tuition, the benefits of a Samis Day School Affordability grant grow with the number of children enrolled. For example, a family may find that the calculator sets their household tuition cap, based on percent of AGI, at $21,000. That is the annual total the family would pay at Samis-supported Jewish day schools. But the program also caps tuition at $15,000 per student, so here’s how costs would be calculated based on the number of children enrolled:

  • With one child enrolled, the family would pay $15,000 regardless of the school’s set tuition.
  • With two children enrolled, tuition is $10,500 per student ($10,500 x 2 = $21,000).
  • With three children enrolled, tuition is $7,000 per student ($7,000 x 3 = $21,000).
Are there other factors that will change adjusted gross income?

Yes. The one-page application will ask additional questions that may modify your family’s adjusted gross income. Day School Affordability will take into account parsonage, alimony, and child support that’s not on your tax return, tax-exempt interest, and retirement contributions in excess of $6,000 per participant as well as tuition paid at all schools, early childhood through college.

Will grant eligibility be determined by the value of our home or other fixed assets?

Your eligibility calculation is not affected by assets and liabilities such as your home’s value or mortgage.

Once we qualify, how long can we expect Day School Affordability grants to last?

You can expect Day School Affordability grants to be available throughout the years your student is enrolled in a Samis-supported Jewish day school in Greater Seattle area. Your family’s eligibility would not change if your financial situation remains consistent. The Samis Foundation has built in increasing levels of support to account for tuition increases each year.

What if I have a child in a Jewish day school and one in another independent, tuition-charging school?

The tuition support available to your family will be calculated based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) and number of children in any tuition-paying schools. This program provides tuition support for any child enrolled in a Samis-supported Greater Seattle area Jewish day school.

For example, a family with 3 children in tuition-paying schools is eligible for a $37,500 tuition cap based on their AGI, but only one child attends a Samis-supported day school. In this case, the family pays just $12,500 for day school tuition (one-third of the cap). Tuition for the other children would be determined by their respective schools.

Which Jewish day schools are receiving this tuition support from the Samis Foundation?

Day School Affordability grants are available for all Seattle-area and Greater Seattle area Jewish day schools supported by Samis. Explore Jewish day school options in Greater Seattle area.

Do these grants disqualify our family from other scholarships?

Day School Affordability grants are given to families whose adjusted gross income (AGI) may preclude them from traditional scholarships and are available to any family earning less than $350,000. If your family is already qualified for or currently receiving a scholarship from a Samis-supported Jewish day school in Greater Seattle area, you may find the Day School Affordability program results in lower tuition. The school will automatically calculate your tuition under Day School Affordability if you apply for a traditional scholarship and your tuition will be the lesser of the calculations.

What’s the difference between a Day School Affordability grant and a traditional scholarship?

All families applying for admission to Seattle area Jewish day schools are invited to apply for financial aid. This form of aid is well established and is known as a traditional scholarship. For decades the Samis Foundation has ensured that all families who qualify for traditional scholarships receive financial aid to reduce the burden of Jewish day school tuition.

In contrast, Day School Affordability grants are designed to help families whose income is often too high for a traditional scholarship, and therefore would not have qualified for any form of assistance in the past. With these new grants, Samis is working to relieve the burden on Greater Seattle area Jewish families who are juggling important competing priorities and want to give their children the lifelong benefits of a Jewish day school education.

Making Jewish day schools across Greater Seattle area more affordable than ever

Recent studies of trends in Jewish day school tuition and participation rates show what Jewish parents have known for decades: The tuition at dual-curriculum Jewish day schools has grown too high, making them out of reach even for families who make what would ordinarily be considered a very comfortable income.

“ The real guardians of a state are the teachers.” — TALMUD YERUSHALMI, HAGIGAH 1:7