Flexible Tuition Program

The 2019-20 PFS is now open. PFS fee is $51.
December 31, 2018 - Last day parents can submit a 2018-19 PFS.

 

Flexible Tuition reflects Akiba Academy’s commitment to an exceptional, creative, and balanced dual Jewish and General studies education with a focus on 21st century learning, the whole child, and Jewish values. Every member of our community is important, and this program helps support an inclusive, welcoming environment. 

Jewish education is an investment, and parents assume this responsibility in the hopes of a better future for their children. We understand the strain that this can put on a family. Which is why we’ve gotten creative with ways to reduce costs and to keep tuition manageable for our families with children from 12-months-old through 8th grade.

We’ve figured out a way to help families make tuition more attainable. Our Flexible Tuition Program will allow us to remain an economically-diverse school, and continue offering every child a Jewish education.

We are committed to families from a wide range of economic backgrounds. To that end, we have decided that it makes sense to offer a range of tuition level options. The question we’re posing is, “What level of tuition can a family afford to pay?” For families who apply to the Flexible Tuition Program, this program offers a different, more holistic mindset.

For additional questions, please contact the Flexible Tuition Committee – flex@akibaacademy.org.

FAQs about Flexible Tuition

What is Flexible Tuition?

Critical to the thought of adopting a Flexible Tuition approach is the desire to keep Akiba Academy accessible to families from a wide range of economic backgrounds. While every family contributes to the cost of tuition and fees, each family's unique economic situation can be better explored through this program. 

Why has Akiba Academy adopted the Flexible Tuition model?

  • We are committed to the school’s continued socio-economic diversity.
  • Through this program, we can include students beginning with Teenoki (12 months). 
  • Previous programs with various discount and aid offerings were not being fully utilized.
  • We thought a simpler approach would be more useful for families.
  • We simplified the amount of payment options to streamline the process.

How is Flexible Tuition different from Financial Aid?

It is a different mindset and approach. Rather than focusing on a tuition grant or aid, the focus is on asking, “What level of tuition can my family afford to pay?”

Some of you may perceive or experience it to be the same as financial aid; we believe it is an important philosophical shift. The bottom line is that we are determined to keep the school accessible to families from a wide range of economic backgrounds.

Does every Akiba Academy family need to apply for Flexible Tuition?

All families are invited to submit financial information to determine the tuition level for which they are eligible. 

How does the Flexible Tuition Program work?

Akiba Academy uses a neutral, third party entity as a starting point to calculate the Flexible Tuition Program level. That organization is SSS by NAIS, a service ($49 fee per family) that is used by more than 2,400 K-12 schools and organizations across the country. SSS by NAIS assesses a family’s ability to pay for independent education and helps them feel confident that their application is being evaluated objectively, confidentially, consistently and professionally.

How can a family know if they are eligible for the Flexible Tuition Program?

First, a family must apply through SSS by NAIS (school code is 900307) and needs to submit all required financial information to determine its flexible tuition level. The formula used to calculate the tuition level is complex, and considers many factors that affect a family’s ability to pay (i.e. income, assets, family size, cost of living, unusual expenses, other discretionary costs, number of independent school or college tuitions currently being supported, etc.).

It is impossible for the school, or for a family, to determine the level of tuition for which they qualify unless the entire application is completed online and submitted to SSS by NAIS each year. Each family’s unique financial situation is considered thoroughly and confidentially on an individual basis to ensure attention to special circumstances.

How is Flexible Tuition handled when parents are separated, divorced, or remarried?

In the case of parents/guardians who do not live together (i.e. divorced, separated, never married), each parent/guardian household must submit a personal financial statement, along with all prior year tax returns to be considered for Flexible Tuition. Akiba Academy is not bound by any decrees, agreements, or legal documents excusing a parent from financial responsibility for his or her child’s education. It is expected that both parents and all adults financially responsible for a student contribute to the cost of a student’s education regardless of legal agreements. Akiba Academy determines ability to pay by factoring in all available resources from both parents and step-parents, regardless of custody or other legal issues. Families who are not able to submit all required documentation will jeopardize the student’s eligibility for the Flexible Tuition Program.

Who determines a family’s Flexible Tuition level and how is it calculated?

SSS by NAIS first determines a family’s tuition level with its automated system. The Flexible Tuition Committee, which is comprised of third-party members, looks at the data provided by SSS by NAIS. This occurs on a confidential, anonymous, case-by-case basis and further refines the Flexible Tuition level for the family based on all available data. 

Who has access to my financial information?

The school is committed to protecting the privacy of its families. All financial information received by the school is held in the strictest confidence. Only the Flexible Tuition Committee has access to a family’s application materials. No other school faculty, administrators, board or parent members will have access or knowledge of the application. Once a Flexible Tuition level is determined, the Business Office is made aware of the tuition for that family.

How can the school afford to offer Flexible Tuition?

We are able to offer Flexible Tuition as a result of income generated by fundraising and the school’s investments (reserves, endowment, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas support). Tuition does not fund the Flexible Tuition Program; revenue collected through tuition payments applies only to the student for whom it is intended. 

Will this make the process more complicated?

No. We created this program to simplify the process. Flexible Tuition is a simple way to apply based on the needs you have.

What is the Flexible Tuition timeline?

  • The time frame for determination of Flexible Tuition moves quickly. Please see the detailed timeline in the “Key Application Dates” below.

  • Federal tax returns, which are a necessary component of the process, must be submitted very early in order for a Flexible Tuition determination, so please make a tax appointment as early as possible so you can submit a copy of your return by the deadline. It is important that the Flexible Tuition Committee has all information on which to base its allocation decisions. Adhering to all deadlines is essential. Failure to provide tax information may result in the Committee’s inability to determine or recommend an indexed tuition rate.

  • Flexible Tuition will not be awarded unless all required paperwork and tax returns are submitted on time. Flexible Tuition applications received after the deadline will be processed after all on-time applications. Reduced tuition may not be available for late applicants, and they may be added to our wait pool until a decision is reached.

What if my Flexible Tuition is higher than I believe I can afford?       
You may request a review of your application by submitting a letter of appeal to the Flexible Tuition Committee (email them at flex@akibaacademy.org). Every effort will be made to understand and incorporate a family’s particular circumstance. Keep in mind, we do all we can to help all families. The appeal decision of the Flexible Tuition Committee is final. Where possible, the School will assist families seeking additional financial support by directing them to other outside resources and agencies.

Does Flexible Tuition continue throughout a student’s years at Akiba Academy?

Families are required to re-submit financial information each year so that tuition levels can be adjusted as needed based on changing circumstances.

Who handles questions regarding Flexible Tuition?

General questions about Flexible Tuition should be addressed to the Flexible Tuition Committee directly at flex@akibaacademy.org.  

Key Application Dates

Returning Students – Re-enrollment

January 12, 2018 Re-enrollment process begins
February 4, 2018 If applicable, completed SSS by NAIS application due (school code is 900307)
February 11, 2018
1. Returning student re-enrollment contract due with non-refundable deposit
2.  If applicable, indicate interest in Flexible Tuition on enrollment contract
March 4, 2018 2017 IRS Tax Return Information due to SSS by NAIS
March 16, 2018 Flexible Tuition decision letters sent
March 26, 2018 Family acceptance or appeal must be received by Flexible Tuition Committee

 

New Applications

November 1, 2017 New student application process begins
March 15, 2018 1.   New student application due
2.   If applicable, completed SSS by NAIS application due (school code is 900307)
3.   2017 IRS Tax Return Information due to SSS by NAIS
April 16, 2018 New student acceptance letters sent
April 26, 2018 Enrollment Contracts and non-refundable deposits due for new student enrollment
May 3, 2018 Flexible Tuition decision letters sent
May 10, 2018 Family acceptance or appeal must be received by Flexible Tuition Committee

 

 

How To Apply For Flexible Tuition

Returning Families

Step 1: Indicate if you are interested in Flexible Tuition on your enrollment contract.

Re-enrollment for existing students will begin in January. To re-enroll, please visit Akiba’s Re-Enrollment page. The form provides an opportunity for you to check a box indicating your intent to apply for Flexible Tuition. 

Step 2: Submit your family’s financial information to SSS by NAIS.

Go to this link (school code is 900307.) SSS by NAIS will process one application per household thereby making it easy for families with multiple children at Akiba Academy. Make payment for the application to SSS by NAIS, not to Akiba Academy. The cost per household is $49.00 and is nonrefundable. Payment is online by credit card.

Step 3: Send tax documentation to SSS by NAIS.

With your application, send copies of your complete 2017 IRS tax return no later than March 4th deadline and 2017 W-2s to SSS by NAIS. Tax documents can be uploaded in PDF format to the SSS by NAIS system. Documents may not be sent by email or mail. If applicable, please upload a certified copy of your divorce decree to SSS by NAIS and to email it to the Flexible Tuition Committee at flex@akibaacademy.org

New Families

Step 1: Please submit your online application.

 

Step 2: Submit your family’s financial information to SSS by NAIS.

Go to this link (school code is 900307.) SSS by NAIS will process one application per household thereby making it easy for families with multiple children at Akiba Academy. Make payment for the application to SSS by NAIS, not Akiba Academy. The cost per household is $49.00 and is nonrefundable. Payment is online by credit card.

Step 3: Send tax documentation to SSS by NAIS.

With your application, send copies of your complete 2017 IRS tax return no later than March 4th deadline and 2017 W-2s to SSS by NAIS. Tax documents can be uploaded in PDF format to the SSS by NAIS system. Documents may not be sent by email or mail. If applicable, please upload a certified copy of your divorce decree to SSS by NAIS and to email it to the Flexible Tuition Committee at flex@akibaacademy.org.

School and Student Services
For assistance with completing the Flexible Tuition Program application please contacts SSS directly at:
800-344-8328
(From outside of the US or Canada, dial 952-967-9922)
 
Hours for SSS:
Monday-Friday 9am-8pm ET
Saturday 9am-4pm ET