Since our founding, the Mustard Seed community has valued both equal access to an education of excellence, and a diverse population of learners. We understand that each family has unique financial circumstances and ability to pay, so we strive to assist qualifying families with a reduction in tuition.
We use a third party, Smart Aid, to assist us in evaluating financial need. Below are instructions for application for Sliding Scale Tuition. You may apply in English or in Spanish. If you have any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us.
After initiating your account at Smart Aid by entering your primary email address as your username, you will receive a verification email. Upon verifying that you are the account holder, you will be able to create a password-protected account to submit documents. Smart Aid will also inform you if your application processing is on hold due to missing documents through your email address.Smart Aid
After submitting your application, Smart Aid will request a number of documents (most recent IRS Form 1040, W-2, and pay stub) necessary for the financial assistance decision. Application IDs must be included on all documents.
The Financial Evaluation Committee reviews Smart Aid recommendations and supporting documentation, and makes an award decision unique to each family applying for financial assistance. The Sliding Scale award decision is communicated to the family via email.
In choosing a school for your child, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. We understand. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of Admissions and High School Guidance, Imaani F. Orr, or Admissions Associate, Ashley Sweeney with questions or concerns. You may contact Imaani at [email protected] /201.355.6635 or Ashley Sweeney at [email protected] / 551.256.8374. For your convenience, you may also complete our Inquiry Form and we’ll contact you.Request Information
Mustard Seed School is known for its robust need-based financial aid program, made possible by the generosity of individual donors, businesses, churches, and foundations. To help our families understand how our financial aid program works, we’re updating our language. The program still works exactly the same way, however, we’re now calling it Sliding Scale Tuition.
Every student’s tuition is indexed to some degree. As at any private school, the full tuition rate does not completely cover the cost of educating a student at Mustard Seed School. Every family benefits from funds from the endowment and the generosity of our donors.
Sliding Scale Tuition enables all MSS families to educate their children as equal members of an economically diverse community. It removes the categories of “financial aid” and “full paying” families.
The benefits are clear. Economic diversity:
Sliding Scale Tuition is based on the principle that a family’s financial commitment should be in equitable proportion to its financial resources. Tuition is indexed to your family’s unique financial profile, not solely income. Need is assessed by the MSS Financial Evaluation Committee.
It is an equitable process: the same financial information is asked of all parents who apply for tuition on a sliding scale.
Over 50% of our student body receives Sliding Scale Tuition. We believe in equitable access to education. Providing Sliding Scale Tuition is a part of our mission to remove barriers to excellent education.
Many factors are considered when determining the tuition amount a family is able to pay, including income, assets, extenuating circumstances, and the size of the family.
Parents apply for Sliding Scale Tuition through a third party, Smart Aid. Smart Aid evaluates your financial need and makes a recommendation to our Financial Evaluation Committee. The committee reviews your entire financial picture and determines your tuition.
When you apply for Sliding Scale Tuition through Smart Aid, you will need to upload your most recent IRS Form 1040, W-2, and pay stub. Separated or divorced parents are required to submit a set of documents for each parent and a copy of all legal documents pertaining to the child custody and support agreements.
Maximum fees are set annually by the Board of Trustees in December.
2021-22 Tuition and Fees
|Three full-day/wk preschool||$18,000|
Field trip and activity fee (K-8th grade only)
A wide range of families with a variety of circumstances qualify for the program, from those who are able to pay close to the full tuition rate to those who are at the entry level of the sliding scale tuition range. Many factors are considered when determining the tuition amount a family is able to pay, including income, assets, extenuating circumstances, and the size of the family.
Mustard Seed provides Sliding Scale Tuition thanks to the generosity of donors. This includes gifts from individuals, churches, companies, and foundations. Go to our Give section to learn more.
Yes. Every family is required to make some financial investment in their child’s education. Our commitment to providing Sliding Scale Tuition means we and our donor community are sharing in that investment with you.
The deadline to apply for Sliding Scale Tuition is February 15.
You can call Smart Aid at (800) 360-8027 or contact them through their website: https://smartaidforparents.com/
If you are a newly admitted family, you pay a deposit when you sign your enrollment contract. If you are paying full tuition, your deposit is 10% of the annual tuition. If you are applying for Sliding Scale Tuition, the deposit will be adjusted based on your Sliding Scale Tuition decision.
If you wish to pay your tuition in full, you may make a single payment directly to the school by April 10. If you wish to pay tuition in installments, you may contract with SMART Tuition, a third party that administers our tuition payments. All payments are due on the 10th of each month. You may choose the payment interval that works best for you: semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly. Late fees apply.