Dear Applicant Families,
Thank you for your interest in Odyssey School’s Access Program. I prefer to use the word Access Program in place of Financial Aid Program because I am aware that the language of financial aid can sometimes create a negative spin. As a long-term school head, I have been tracking the cost of an independent school education in California and the United States, in general, since 1980. It is safe to say that, over the last several decades, tuition levels have easily outpaced inflation. During the current 2015–2016 academic year, the average price tag for local CAIS-accredited schools was approximately $40,000 when tuition and all fees were accounted for. Odyssey School operates on the college model of Cost of Attendance (COA). This year, our COA is $31,500 and this number incorporates all fees including expedition costs, book, technology, after school Homework Club, and registration fees as well as other miscellaneous charges. Parents unanimously feel that the COA at Odyssey School represents an outstanding value especially in comparison to current local school pricing structures. That all said, I realize that the investment in an independent school education is a substantial earmark in any family’s budget spreadsheet.
Odyssey’s admissions team works tirelessly to determine if the school is the “right fit” for each enthusiastic applicant. After that decision is made, we consistently promise to do the best we can to assist students with their dream of becoming Odyssians. All of this work occurs within the realities of Odyssey School finance. During the last 3 years, we have set aside increasing amounts of money to help students and families gain access to Odyssey’s extraordinary educational offerings.
We employ a third-party service, FAST, to help us process Access Fund applications. Based on the financial information you provide, FAST gives Odyssey an estimated amount your family can contribute to educational expenses. This estimate is a starting point to help us make fair and objective Access Award decisions. The information provided by FAST allows us to use a uniform methodology to annually assess each family’s ability to pay for education.
Note that FAST uses the term “Financial Aid” instead of “Access.” Please read and follow the step-by-step instructions and know that all information provided to OMS will be considered highly confidential. The Access Award Committee will determine financial aid awards and these awards will be conveyed with your child’s admission decision.
Head of School