Affordability FAQ

Q: What is not covered by tuition and financial aid?

Families are responsible for a $200 enrollment fee, incidental costs, and transportation to and from school (at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as the fall or spring break). Families are also responsible for providing their students with the required gear as outlined on the “Conserve School Supply List” found under the parents tab at the top of this website. Note that specialty items like tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags are available for check-out from the school.

Q: Of the $25,000 fee, what portion is tuition and what portion is room & board?

For the fall 2019 semester and the spring 2020 semester the breakdown is as follows:

  • Tuition costs: $14,920
  • Room & Board costs: $10,020 

Q: What effect does the need for financial aid have on a student's admission application?

None. The admissions committee does not have access to a family's scholarship application status.

Q: Why is financial aid based on federal taxable income?

Using federal taxable income provides a mechanism for taking into account each family’s unique situation. To obtain a family’s taxable income, the family’s gross income is first calculated and then adjusted based on deductions, credits and exemptions that the family qualifies for including but not limited to:

  • credits for family members enrolled in higher education,
  • credits for health insurance premium,
  • credits for mortgage interest paid,
  • deductions for qualified medical expenses,
  • deductions for contributions to retirement accounts,
  • deductions for charitable contributions, and
  • exemptions based on the number of dependents in a family.

Q: What if taxable income goes down after a student is accepted?

Conserve School will recalculate the Lowenstine Honors Scholarship value for situations where a family’s taxable income goes down by more than 10% from the previous year.

Q: What if a student's sending school is still charging tuition?

Conserve School recognizes that private schools may need to charge students a “holding fee” during the time their students are at Conserve School. However, in accordance with the policies of the Semester Schools Network, Conserve School recommends that holding fees be limited to 10 percent (or less) of the annual tuition for a missed semester in order not to overburden families. If a school’s holding fee exceeds 10% of the annual tuition for the missed semester then the family is encouraged to let Conserve School know.

Q: What if a student's parents are divorced? Or were never married?

If a student has legal guardians who share financial responsibility for the student then both guardians provide financial information and complete a supplementary form. The purpose of the form is to clarify the percentage of financial responsibility for each parent.

Q: Who has access to my financial information?

Need-based scholarship applications are reviewed by the Conserve School Business Office. All information is secure and held in strict confidence.

Q: What if a student withdraws after paying tuition?

  • If a student withdraws more than 30 days before the semester start date, Conserve School will grant a 50% tuition refund.
  • If a student withdraws less than 30 days before the semester start date, there will be no refund.

Q: What if a student is not a U.S. citizen?

Conserve School will consider financial information provided by international families on a case-by-case basis to determine if a scholarship is warranted.