Tuition and Financial Aid

Going through the application process can come with a mix of emotions, especially when you start thinking through the logistics around cost and affordability. Seeing tuition rates can cause some sense of “sticker shock”, which is perfectly understandable. What you will find during this process is that you are dealing with two of the most important aspects of your life: your children and your finances. In the end, both are a vital investment for your family’s future. Please take the time to look through the information below and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Tuition Rates 2023-2024

Tuition covers all aspects of your child’s education including field trips, books, supplies, and even overnight field trips. Programming outside of the regular school day such as Extended Day or After School Music is not included. Please note: below are tuition rates for the 2023/2024 school year. We will have updated tuition rates for the 2024/2025 school later.


Pre-Kindergarten: $30,865

Kindergarten: $31,995

Grade 1: $34,200

Grade 2: $35,670

Grades 3-4: $37,300

Grades 5: $38,780

Grades 6-8: $40,760

Grades 6-8: $40,760

Financial Aid Overview & Estimated Cost

Cambridge Friends School strongly believes in integrity and having an ethical process when awarding families with financial aid. We are proud to support 40% of our families with a financial aid package each year which can range from covering a small portion of tuition to a large portion. It is all dependent on each family’s unique financial situation and is awarded based on need. All families from all financial backgrounds are welcome to apply, please see the below table for an idea on what tuition could potentially cost each year:


Family Income Level

Estimated Contribution Range

$0 – $40K

$2,000 – $6,000

$40 – $80K

$6,000 – $10,000

$80 – $120K

$10,000 – $15,000

$120 – $160K

$15,000 – $22,000

$160 – $220K

$22,000 – $25,000


Unlikely to qualify for aid for 1 child

Applying for Financial Aid


CFS uses a third-party system called Clarity to assess each family’s ability to afford tuition. It is an intuitive application that allows you to provide information which greatly assists the Financial Aid Committee when proposing awards. In order for CFS to honor our commitment in providing a fair and ethical process, we ask all families to apply for financial aid each year. To fill out the application, please visit here.


The application for financial aid is separate from the application for admission to CFS. Families are encouraged to complete the financial aid application at the same time as the school application. Both applications are due by January 15th.

Financial aid FAQs


How do I apply for financial aid?

Replace entire body of this subsection with the following:

You can apply for financial aid through the Clarity website.


How many students receive financial aid at CFS?

About 40% of our student body receives assistance.


Does the school offer merit, athletic, or artistic scholarships?

No. All financial aid is need-based.


Will applying for financial aid affect my child’s chances for admission?

The admission and financial aid processes are separate. After the Admission Committee recommends students for acceptance, those students who have applied for aid are reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee. Only students who are deemed acceptable by the Admission Committee are considered for Financial Aid. In considering financial aid requests, the School is “need aware” and may decide to offer spaces only to those students to whom we can also offer aid. If financial need cannot be met or cannot come close to being met by CFS, we may place your child on an admission wait list.


If we are offered aid and decide to enroll at CFS, can we expect the same level of funding for the future?

As long as your situation remains the same or similar, CFS aims to provide the same level of support with which you initially enrolled. If your financial situation changes, we may adjust your award accordingly, up or down. Families receiving aid are required to re-apply for aid each year for this reason.


If we decide to enroll at CFS without receiving financial aid, can we apply for assistance in future years? OR can a currently-enrolled family not receiving aid apply for assistance?

Yes. However, students who enter CFS without receiving financial assistance should not expect to receive it in future years unless there is significant change in their financial status, in which case, the family may request consideration for assistance by contacting the Admission Office to discuss the circumstances. Generally, CFS will use your ability to pay one year as an indicator that you will be able to pay in subsequent years. If there is a change in family circumstance, we encourage families to talk to us about the possibilities of financial aid, as returning families are our first priority.


How are financial aid awards and decisions made?

Priority consideration for financial aid is given in the following order: returning students already receiving assistance, returning students whose family circumstances have significantly changed and are now requesting assistance, and new families. Clarity uses calculations based on (but not limited to): household income, assets, debts, age(s) of the parent(s)/guardian(s), the number of dependents, and the number of children in tuition-charging schools.


What if I am self-employed or own a business or a farm?

When filling out your financial aid application through Clarity, the program will prompt you to upload specific documents pertaining to the kind of business you own. We will reach out if we need further documentation.


What if I have children at other schools where I pay tuition?

Clarity computes the total funds available for education (Estimated Parental Contribution) and divides this amount by the number of children attending tuition-charging schools. That number is what Clarity deems appropriate per child. It is important to note that CFS may not consider day-care facilities as “tuition-charging.” CFS does not consider graduate students in the calculation. We expect that families will apply for aid at each of the institutions their children attend. Copies of enrollment verification as well as grant awards from other institutions (elementary through college) may be requested and must be sent to Clarity with a cover sheet.


What if I plan to return to graduate school or go into business for myself?

Parents returning to graduate school, changing jobs, or starting a new business as a personal choice must realize that any decreases in income from this choice will not be subsidized by the financial aid budget at CFS. Choosing to reduce your household income will not make you eligible for an award or eligible for a larger award. In fact, a minimum income may be imputed for parents who do not work or who earn less than $15,000 per year.


In a two-parent/guardian household, what if one parent/guardian does not work?

CFS believes that adults in the household who are able to work can contribute toward the household income. Therefore, CFS may impute a minimum income of $26,520 for each adult in the household (MA state minimum wage at 40 hours per week). If one parent/guardian does not work because there are children in the household under five years old, we do not impute an income. If one parent/guardian earns less than $26,520 per year, we impute the total of $26,520 as that parent/guardian’s yearly income. 


What if I own additional property? Will this be considered in the application process?

Yes. Income from a non-primary property (such as rental income), as well as the total value of property, is considered in the calculation. In addition, the CFS Financial Aid Committee often adds depreciation from property and businesses back into the calculation as income. This will change the results of the initial Clarity calculation.


My child has a trust set aside for college education. Is that money protected?

Trust funds and other savings plans, investments, or other assets in a student’s name (including 529 savings plans) held for student for any reason, or restricted in any way, are taken into account for funding a CFS education. CFS follows the guidelines set by Clarity which considers these assets over the number of years the child will be in school, including college. For example, if your child is applying for Pre-Kindergarten and has 18 years left of school and has a fund of $10,000, we would expect that 1/18th (or $556) of the fund could go toward the first year at CFS.


* Is retirement taken into account in the Clarity calculation?

Clarity factors in parent/guardian’s ages, therefore taking into account how close parents/guardians may be to retirement. The calculation will protect more income as parents get older. Pre-tax funds set aside for 401K, 403B, or other similar plans are calculated into non-taxable income and are not “protected.”


How do I know my information is kept confidential?

All awards are confidential agreements between the recipient family and the School. A family’s application is retained on file for a limited period of time to document possible regulatory auditing, after which the records are destroyed. Financial aid recipients are not publicly identified at the School to the faculty or other families. The Financial Aid Committee considers awards strictly confidential. Families may not discuss financial aid information or disclose award amounts with others. Failure to adhere to this guideline may jeopardize future financial assistance.

With regard to the financial aid program itself, here is the statement from Clarity about security: Clarity is certified for both GDPR and SOC2 and uses enterprise-level security standards including end-to-end encryption of all personally identifiable information. For more information, please refer to Clarity’s Privacy Policy.


Are there other payment options to finance a Cambridge Friends School education?

Yes. CFS provides several avenues for tuition payment: (1) Families may pay all tuition by June 1 for the following year and receive a 1% discount. (2) Tuition may be paid in two installments, due on June 1 and February 1. (3) Tuition may be paid in ten monthly installments by debit authorization through Blackbaud Tuition Management beginning in May and ending in February. (4) Families may also look into additional educational loan options through Your Tuition Solution.


How are financial aid applications handled in situations where parents are separated, divorced, never married, remarried, or cohabitants?

In the case of divorced or separated parents, we require all information from both parties. A separate application is required for each household, along with the additional required documents, or they may submit one application with their information combined. In making grants to families with separated or divorced parents, we will not be governed by the terms of the separation or divorce agreement as to who is responsible for tuition. It is the parents’ responsibility to work out how the parent share is to be divided between them. If one parent refuses to file an application, the application may not be processed. If a parent is unavailable or uncooperative, the School may decide not to require his/her financial information provided a disinterested party (lawyer, clergy, etc.) can verify the relevant circumstances.


If a parent has remarried or has a partner, we will consider the resources of that adult, bearing in mind the obligation they may have to their other children. In cases of cohabitation, we need and will include information from all adults in the household. CFS considers the entire household income, whatever the legal status of the family may be. Financial information will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared between divided families. All parties are expected to communicate with each other as necessary and participate in good faith in submitting information.


What does financial aid cover?

Financial aid covers the cost of the day tuition at CFS, as well as books, sports equipment, and field trips. We also offer financial aid for covering part of the cost of our auxiliary programs, instrumental music and dance programs and Extended Day (XD).


Why do other schools offer different financial packages?

Each school has different financial aid policies and therefore may recalculate the initial Clarity family contribution based on such policies. Schools may also have differing policies on how much need they can meet. For instance, some schools only meet a certain percentage of need, while others meet full need. CFS attempts to meet need; however, we cannot always do so.


We know that another family makes more than we do and received a better financial package. We want to appeal our financial aid. What do we do?

Since financial aid is a confidential agreement between the School and your family, discussing the details of an award or financial circumstances is a breach of that confidentiality. It is important to note that failure to adhere to the guidelines of confidentiality may jeopardize future financial assistance. In addition, most families do not know the details of a friend or neighbor’s financial circumstances, and it is impossible to fully know all the variables that are considered in the process. If you feel that important, pertinent, and factual information about your own resources or financial position has been left out of your application, please contact the Admission Office with the new information.