We know that students of exceptional academic promise and exemplary character come from the full spectrum of socio-economic means. We also believe that the school provides a richer and more spirited learning environment when students from a diversity of backgrounds are represented in our classrooms and community. College Prep is committed to providing access to qualified students from all socio-economic backgrounds. Unfortunately, financial aid resources have not kept pace with the growing need. In our admission evaluation process, a teacher-led committee identifies prospective students who are the best match for the school’s educational values, goals, and expectations - the students our teachers would most like to have in their classes. When we compare that list of “most-wanted” students with the separately prepared list of students qualifying for aid, we often discover that we cannot support all of the students whom we feel deserve the opportunity to attend.
College Prep has kept its tuition in the lower to middle range among similar Bay Area independent secondary schools ($32,580 for 2011-2012), but even that cost puts a College Prep education beyond the means of many highly talented and deserving students. The financial aid program is designed to bridge the gap between what families can afford to pay and the full cost of tuition. In 2011, 24% of College Prep students received financial aid awards, with an average grant of $20,630. Almost $2 million has been designated for financial aid in 2011-2012. This year, grants range from $1,000 to $31,425. Financial aid, once awarded, will continue through the senior year, provided financial need continues.
As the School’s founder, Mary Harley Jenks, wrote in the first accreditation report in 1964, “College Prep seeks students diverse in every way (except in intellectual ability).” Increasing our financial aid resources will improve our ability to enroll the most qualified students, regardless of ability to pay - ranging from the most economically disadvantaged to middle-income families.
Financial aid support at all levels is vital to the accessibility of a College Prep education. A one-time gift of $150,000 will sponsor one full-need student for four years. An annual gift of $15,000 a year will sponsor a partial award for a deserving student. A named, endowed gift of $500,000 or more will provide aid to College Prep students in perpetuity, ensuring that future generations of students will benefit from the excellent education the school offers.
If creating educational opportunities for others is important to you, we invite you to contact us to start a conversation.