FAMILY INDIVIDUALIZED TUITION

One of the reasons we started The Hatch School was to reimagine how schools demonstrate commitment to equity. At a school that charges tuition, there is a particular obligation to ensure that inclusion and access are at the very core of how tuition decisions are made.

That's why we chose a Family Individualized Tuition model, or FIT. Learn more about FIT, the process by which HATCH determines tuition obligations, and how FIT centers equity below.

Jessica Hanson & Sarah Peterson, co-heads

An independent school education is a tremendous investment, and the sticker price of most independent high schools in Seattle is out of range for the vast majority of families. With high school tuition levels close to $40,000 and the median household income in the area just above $100,000, most families can't imagine being able to pay tuition for one child, never mind several. The truth is, most middle-income families would qualify for financial aid at independent schools. While well intentioned, traditional financial aid often sets up a dynamic that is problematic. We believe there is a better way to support families and the school community.

Most independent schools treat financial aid as an award, extended to a small subset of students at the school who have been identified as needy families. Intentional or not, this often creates a dynamic which frames full-pay students and families as the standard and financial aid students as less than standard, or "other".

FIT replaces the traditional independent school financial aid model. With FIT, every family at the school makes a financial commitment to a HATCH education that is customized and based primarily on income, expenses and assets. All families participate in FIT, and every family is a "full pay" family.

It's still true that independent school tuition is a significant, long-term commitment for every family, and The Hatch School strives to share information about each family's tuition level in a way that is transparent, timely, and in support of families' agency in making educational decisions.

Every family at The Hatch School engages with the FIT process. The Hatch School works in partnership with each family to identify a tuition level that balances a family's meaningful investment in education and is financially attainable.

As part of the application process, each family completes a FIT survey through Ravenna. This survey provides The Hatch School with initial information about the family's intended path forward through the FIT process. The survey also provides an option for families to request a personalized (but not guaranteed) range for their predicted tuition obligation. The FIT survey can be submitted any time after your family completes the Preliminary Application.

Within days of completing your FIT survey, HATCH will follow up with your family about next steps. For most families, HATCH determines the final FIT level by working with School and Student Services (SSS). SSS provides consistent, independent analysis of each family's reported financial situation and maintains secure storage for each family's shared information. Through SSS, families complete the Parent Financial Statement, which is a comprehensive questionnaire, in which families provide details about household income, expenses, and assets. Additionally, families must provide SSS with documentation that corroborates reported financial information.

Though completing the Parent Financial Statement can be a time-consuming process, rest assured that both SSS and The Hatch School are available to provide as much support as needed to complete the process. Offers of enrollment and finalized FIT levels are shared with families at the same time.

Learn About FIT

Learn About FIT

Your Family's FIT

Your Family's FIT

The FIT Process

The FIT Process

FIT levels range from $300 - $29,000 for 2022-23, and tuition covers most, but not all, expenses associated with a HATCH education, including:

  • textbooks

  • school-supplied technology / computers

  • fees for field trips, participation in athletics and co-curricular programs

  • the lunch program

  • a subsidized transit pass

Since tuition is individualized for each family, it's important to be able to anticipate what your household’s Family Individualized Tuition will be should your student decide to enroll at The Hatch School. However, since tuition is truly individualized for each family and depends on a number of factors, it's hard to share this information concise​ly. The sections below share some possibilities for family individualized tuition outcomes; each income level refers to the combined annual gross income for all adults who share financial responsibility for the student.

Tier 1: $80,000 or less

Families in this income range rarely have the capacity to devote significant financial resources towards tuition, and typically have an expected annual FIT level of between $300, the FIT minimum, and $4,000.

Read some detailed case studies for Tier 1 families here.

Tier 2: $80,000 - $120,000

Independent school tuition often seems out of reach for middle income families. The Hatch School recognizes that families in this range often have to make difficult choices about how best to allocate financial resources, and strives to set a FIT level for each family for which a HATCH education is accessible. Annual FIT levels for Tier 2 families are often between $300, the FIT minimum, and $20,000.

Read some detailed case studies for Tier 2 families here.

Tier 3: $120,000 - $200,000

The financial flexibility of families with incomes in this range varies widely. Factors beyond annual income - such as family size, number of dependents in tuition-charging institutions, and accrued assets -  weigh heavily in determining each family's FIT level, and the range of FITs in Tier 3 range from less than $5,000 up to $29,000 annually.

Read some detailed case studies for Tier 3 families here.

Tier 4: $200,000 or more

While many Tier 4 families have the financial capacity to fund substantial investments in their child's education, other families - particularly families with multiple children  - expect that the tuition bill for several children will make independent school out of reach. Because of this, some Tier 4 families might have a FIT level of $12,000 or below, while others might easily support a FIT level of $29,000.

Read some detailed case studies for Tier 4 families here.