The Flexible Tuition program ensures access and socioeconomic diversity at LWHS.
Thanks to its 124 year history of being accessible to students from all walks of life, including 77 years of being tuition free, Lick-Wilmerding High School enjoys the legacy, the resources, and the strategic resolve to push the limits on what it can mean to be a truly accessible independent school.

Today, 28 percent of LWHS’ operating budget is devoted to Flexible Tuition, 35% of our students are enrolled through the school’s Flexible Tuition Program. One thing we have learned is that language of discourse really matters—especially when talking about accessibility. Based on feedback received from parents during the 1988–1989 school year, we have for more than two decades eschewed the use of the term "financial aid" in favor of "Flexible Tuition."

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Flexible Tuition Application Process

List of 4 items.

  • Step 1: Start preparing your 2019 Tax Returns as soon as possible.

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  • Step 2: Submit the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) by Thursday, January 23, 2020

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  • Step 3: Submit 2019 tax information and LWHS Supplemental Information Form by Friday, February 14, 2020

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  • Step 4: Notification & Enrollment

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Frequently Asked Questions

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is Flexible Tuition?

    We recognize that many families who might not expect to be eligible for “financial aid” still qualify for a tuition break. The Flexible Tuition Program allows families to apply for reduced tuition, which ranges from $700 to $47,000 for the 2019–2020 school year. Full tuition for the Class of 2023 is $49,215. The school encourages families to apply if they think they may qualify. LWHS is determined to keep the school accessible to families from a wide range of economic backgrounds, so we offer a wide range of tuitions that include fees, lunch, and expenses for books and supplies.
  • Q: Is my family eligible for Flexible Tuition?

    There is a wide range of families who qualify, from those who can afford only minimal tuition to those who can afford almost full tuition. In calculating each family’s ability to pay, the school considers many factors. The complex formula used to calculate the exact Flexible Tuition level considers many factors that affect a family’s ability to pay. It is impossible for the school, or for a family, to determine the level of tuition for which they qualify unless the entire Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) application is completed. For more information about how Flexible Tuition is calculated, and to see sample Case Studies, please view the Flexible Tuition Brochure.
  • Q: Does an application for Flexible Tuition affect a student’s chances of admission to the school?

    A family’s financial need does not affect a student’s acceptance by the school. Flexible Tuition is determined separately.
  • Q: When will a family learn if they have been offered Flexible Tuition?

    Admission acceptance letters sent on March 19, 2020, will include a separate response regarding Flexible Tuition. Responses to families will fall into three categories: an offer of Flexible Tuition; notification that the family does not qualify for Flexible Tuition; or notice that the family is waitlisted for Flexible Tuition. A waitlist designation means that a family will be considered for Flexible Tuition if additional funding becomes available.
  • Q: If a ninth grader’s family participates in Flexible Tuition, does the student stay in the program until graduation?

    Provided family circumstances remain the same and the school’s resources can continue to support the program to the same extent, the school intends to fund the student for four years. To continue in the program, the family must reapply each year.
  • Q: Are all students who are offered admission also offered Flexible Tuition if their parents qualify?

    Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to offer Flexible Tuition to every student who qualifies for both admission and a reduced tuition. A student may be admitted to the school but waitlisted for Flexible Tuition.
  • Q: If a family does not receive Flexible Tuition one year, can they reapply the following year?

    Although a family is welcome to reapply or apply for the first time for Flexible Tuition in any year, the school is seldom able to accept families into the program after ninth grade.
  • Q: In the case of parents/guardians who do not live together (e.g. divorced, separated, never married), do both households have to submit financial information?

    Yes, each parent/guardian household must submit a Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) along with all 2019 tax documents (1040, W-2, any relevant schedules) to be considered for Flexible Tuition. LWHS determines ability to pay by factoring in all available resources from both parents and step-parents, regardless of custody or other legal issues.
  • Q: What if my family has unusual circumstances?

    Please send us a supplemental letter if there is additional information that addresses your financial situation not taken into account by the Parent Financial Statement or the LWHS Supplemental Information Form.

Lick-Wilmerding High School

755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.