Tuition Assistance: A Blessing for Our Families

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It is CLS policy that our families see actual-cost tuition billing. The amount can vary from year to year, depending on enrollment. While this amount is comparable to other fine private schools in Oregon and elsewhere, it can still be surprising to those who have not previously considered the cost of a great education. We believe that it’s important that our families know this cost even if you don’t end up paying the full amount. Knowing the true price of something is an important part of knowing its value.

Columbia would like to make a high-quality Christian education affordable to families committed to providing this for their children. To that end, we encourage our families to participate in our tuition assistance program. This post is a report on most of the tuition assistance awarded to our participating families during the 2016-2017 school year.

The total credits and tuition assistance for this school year have been $21,932.50. This includes discounts for multiple students per family, a practically free tuition for a new student via the new student voucher won from last year’s radio auction, and $10,557 in directed and general tuition assistance. It does not include credit toward tuition, which is figured on an ongoing basis, as family scrip purchases are reported to the school treasurer.

For the upcoming school year, we are expecting our first year of proceeds from the Quinn/Klaviter endowment to provide the equivalent of 1-3 full tuition amounts. The intent is to split these funds as general tuition assistance among students participating in financial aid, according to the estimated need of the families.

Besides the endowment, tuition assistance money comes from special gifts and fundraising. Unlike some schools, CLS does not require that our families participate in tuition assistance or fundraising, though families receiving tuition assistance are encouraged to help with fundraising, if possible. The more help, the more assistance there can be.

To participate in CLS tuition assistance, families begin with the TADS financial aid assessment of your family’s financial need. This can be done online, but TADS has a customer service crew in the U.S. available to help by phone and email. The school and other families can also give advice and some kinds of help, if needed. TADS is a national company providing financial services with customer support for schools and their families. Their financial aid assessment process is designed to keep financial data secure and confidential.

For anyone reading this before April 1, 2017, remember that our per-family registration fee of $450 has been drastically (but temporarily) reduced since December. It will return to the full amount on April 1. Qualifying students must be registered for the next school year via TADS before April 1.

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