Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance | 2023-2024 Academic Year

To make a Lancaster Country Day School (LCDS) education affordable for as many families as we can, our tuition assistance program helps families with tuition costs. At LCDS, we are committed to a socioeconomically diverse school community. Applying for assistance does not affect admissions decisions. Lancaster Country Day School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin.  

Investing in an Independent School Education 
We at Lancaster Country Day School recognize the commitment a family makes when investing in a private school education. We know most families find the strain on their budget requires real sacrifice. We also firmly believe that you are investing in your child's future and putting their education first. We take this investment seriously and work hard to balance affordability with great programming and curriculum.

Decision Process
The LCDS Tuition Assistance Committee determines assistance awards for current and newly accepted families who have applied for tuition assistance. These awards are determined uniformly and even-handedly according to demonstrated need using our third-party service provider SSS (School and Student Services). You will complete your family’s Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), online in the SSS Family Portal. This application process gathers relevant information about family size, income, and expenses. SSS estimates the amount you can contribute to school expenses and forwards that estimate to us. We use this estimate as a starting point to determine the actual tuition assistance grant we can offer each family. If able, all parents of school-aged children are expected to contribute to the cost of tuition.  Each participant must submit an application through SSS.

LCDS offers more than $4 million of aid each year to students in grades K-12. However, this still leaves  qualified applicants we are unable to support. Therefore, we offer assistance to current families first, and then review the applications of newly accepted families.   
Tuition Assistance will be given on a first come, first served basis due to our current wait lists.

Dates and Deadlines for Returning Students

The deadline for returning students submitting your application is the last day of school prior to the Winter Break, December 16, 2022. Other important dates are listed here:
  • October 3, 2022 — This is the first date that you may begin your PFS application for the 2023-2024 school year. Start this process as soon as you can
  • October 1-December 16 — You may schedule a virtual appointment with the Tuition Assistance Concierge, Shelly Landau, to answer any questions you may have and talk through the process. You will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your appointment. Though not necessary, many families find it helpful to talk through the process and share any special circumstances one-on-one.
  • December 16, 2022 — Your PFS application is due by midnight prior to the start of Winter Break.
  • Early February 2023 — All returning families will receive your tuition assistance award notification by this time. The awards are "rolling" so you will receive notification as applications are submitted.

Merit-Based Tuition Assistance

  • Based on the academic strength of the applications
  • Is a reduction in tuition
  • Renewable each year through to graduation
  • Examples: Jarvis Scholarships and Legacy Partners Scholarships

Need-Based Tuition Assistance

  • Based on family financial circumstances
  • Is a reduction in tuition
  • Renewable each year, subject to changing income of family
  • Submit through SSS.  Tax document must be updated.

List of 7 items.

  • 8:1

    Student-Teacher Ratio
  • 50%

    Students Receive Tuition Assistance
  • 12

    Average Class Size
  • 5

    # of counties with bus service
  • $4M

    Tuition Assistance Budget
  • 58+

    Zip Codes
  • $10K-$20K

    Range of financial award (K-12)

Getting Started

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • How to Complete Your PFS Tuition Assistance Application

    1. BEGIN YOUR TUITION ASSISTANCE APPLICATION HERE. The application process itself is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program, which allows you to partially complete an application and return to it later.

      Before starting the SSS application, we recommend that you click on the SSS website and explore the Family Resource Center. If you have questions as you complete your PFS or submit documents in the SSS Family Portal, please contact the SSS Family Support Center. Assistance is available in English as well as Spanish.

      800-344-8328 (Family Helpline)

    2. You will use your 2021 tax information for your PFS application. It will need to be uploaded into the system at the time you complete your application.

    3. Pay the $60 application fee after completing your PFS. This is paid online through SSS once your application is complete.

    4. Scan and upload final 2021 tax statements, W-2s and accompanying schedules for every financially responsible parent or guardian. Your application cannot be processed until these documents are uploaded to your PFS. If you have difficulty uploading your documents, please contact the Business Office for assistance.
  • Qualifications

    All LCDS families who receive tuition assistance must reapply and provide tax/income documentation each year to verify their financial need. All adults who play a significant parenting role in a student’s life (including parents, stepparents, guardians, and others who pay tuition) are required to provide their tax information to SSS. Tuition Assistance applications submitted after the December 16, 2022 deadline will be considered on a rolling basis as funds allow. Financial aid applications for newly accepted families are reviewed only after the Admissions Committee has decided to accept the child.
  • Tuition Assistance Waitlist

    The Tuition Assistance budget of Lancaster Country Day School cannot meet all of the demands for aid, therefore some aid requests will be put onto a Tuition Assistance Waitlist.
  • Confidentiality

    All applicants’ materials, records, and award amounts are confidential. Tuition Assistance applications are reviewed only by SSS and the members of the Tuition Assistance Committee. Families are expected to keep the amount of their aid award confidential.
  • Tuition Payment Plan

    Lancaster Country Day School offers three tuition payment plans:
    1.  Single payment plan (100% due July 15, 2023)

    2. Two-payment plan (50% due July 15, 2023, and 50% due January 15, 2024)

    3. Ten-month installment plan (July 2023-Apri, 2024)

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • How do you determine my family’s needs?

    SSS processes our tuition assistance applications and suggests to us a recommended aid amount. It is based on a calculation of a family’s income, assets, debts and obligations, size of family, tuition paid elsewhere, and any other financial information shown on the applicant’s federal and state tax returns, W-2s and accompanying schedules. Our school’s Tuition Assistance Committee will use the suggested award calculation from SSS as a guideline in its consideration of a family’s demonstrated need.
  • Tell me how I will explain my family’s special circumstances so that you will best understand our situation.

    You will have an opportunity to tell us this information at the very end of your PFS application. This information will help us understand your family’s unique circumstances and give us a more complete understanding of your financial situation.  You may also set up an in-person Zoom meeting to explain your situation further.
  • What possible outcomes can I expect from this process?

    The Tuition Assistance Committee will meet to review all aid applications for families who are currently enrolled and new families who have been accepted for admission. If eligible for tuition assistance, you will receive an award letter as soon as the decision is made.  If you qualify for aid but the aid budget is insufficient to offer an award, you will be placed on the Tuition Assistance Waitlist. If you do not qualify for aid, you will receive a letter stating this.
  • If my family qualifies for tuition assistance, will that same award be given to us each year we are at the school?

    Each year, families must reapply for financial aid through SSS because a family’s income and circumstances may vary from year to year. If your financial situation does not change, we will make every effort to continue to provide similar amounts of assistance from one year to the next, striving to offer a similar percent of aid to that grade’s tuition. It is generally expected that a family’s capacity to pay will increase over the years.
  • What are the requirements or qualifications for applying for tuition assistance?

    Current families must be up to date with their tuition accounts. (Re-enrollment Contracts may be held for academic or financial reasons.) You must have a completed aid application on file with SSS by the deadline. Current families on re-enrollment hold, or those who apply late for admission, risk not receiving tuition assistance.
  • Are there other costs beyond tuition?

    Yes. For Lower and Middle School students, there is the cost of the school uniform. For Middle and Upper School students, there is the cost of textbooks. Lunch is not included in tuition, nor is regional bussing, before-school and after-school care, or private music lessons.
  • What is the income cut-off to qualify for tuition assistance at your school?

    Few families find it easy to pay for independent school tuitions. Most adjust their spending priorities, maximize earnings, and carefully manage assets to do so. All families have unique circumstances, and therefore providing a specific, universal cut-off point is difficult. Award amounts range from $1,000 up to $20,000 (grades K-12).
  • What if there is a change in my income, especially after my award has been made?

    We ask that families be open with us concerning any changes in their financial circumstances. Just reach out to the Tuition Assistance Concierge Shelly Landau or the Business Office to discuss these changes.
  • What about divorced, separated, never-married or single parents?

    We consider the income and assets of any adult who plays a significant parenting role in a student’s life. All adults (parents, stepparents, guardians, and others who pay tuition) are required to provide their tax information to SSS as part of the tuition assistance application.

Still have questions?

Contact Shelly Landau
Tuition Assistance Concierge
Call or Text (610)223-3366
Lancaster Country Day School is a preschool-12th grade, coed college preparatory school with students from Lancaster, Hershey, York and Reading.