Affording an Independent School

Alexis Ortega, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, shares information about affording an independent school.  

  • Financial Aid
  • Independent Schools
  • UPrep
Alexis Ortega, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

As a teenager, I had a life changing independent school experience made possible by financial aid. When I became a mother, my experience made me confident I could pursue independent school options for my own children when our local public schools weren’t the right fit. I knew independent schools could be accessible to my family, thanks to the schools’ financial aid programs. Through this blog, I hope to share information about affording an independent school as families consider if University Prep is the right school for their students.

I always want caregivers to think about the “right fit” before they ponder educational costs. That’s because a right fit school changed my life and I know it changes the lives of students at UPrep. Through both my own, and my children’s, independent school experiences, I know students thrive when they attend schools that meet their unique needs and foster their individual interests.

But what about the cost? As part of UPrep’s mission, we seek to create a diverse student community. We recognize that for some students who would be a great fit at our school, affording the full cost of attendance is not possible. For this reason, financial aid is an essential element of our mission, allowing us to welcome students from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

For the 2019-20 academic year, UPrep awarded $3.2M in need-based financial aid to 16 percent of our enrolled students. This financial aid comes in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid. This year, these grant awards ranged from $10,000 to $36,000, supporting families with annual incomes ranging from less than $10,000 to more than $250,000. To learn more, please check out the financial aid profiles of different families who receive financial aid at UPrep.

At UPrep, we value student life beyond the classroom, too. That’s why our financial aid program covers not just tuition, but also all other fees associated with the UPrep experience. Students receiving financial aid also receive funds to assist with textbooks, lunch, transportation, technology, field trips and retreats, global experiences like a Global Link trip to Colombia, dances, and other co-curricular activities such as Ski Bus.

I think it is also important to know that the UPrep financial aid program is confidential. This means a very small number of administrators at the school are aware of which students are using financial aid to attend. Teachers, advisors, and coaches are not privy to this information, ensuring that all students are treated the same regardless of socioeconomic status.


To learn more about financial aid at UPrep, please join us at Discover UPrep, on Wednesday, January 8, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please RSVP to I also invite you to check out our website, which includes frequently asked questions and a step-by-step guide on how to apply for financial aid.


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