What is Flexible Tuition?
Flexible Tuition is a program that reflects Mirman’s commitment to economic access for all families of gifted children at all income levels. It is a need-based program similar to those used by most independent schools.
This program allows families to apply for reduced tuition based on their family’s individual financial circumstances. Instead of “receiving financial aid,” families pay a tuition amount based on their demonstrated need. At no time will this amount of reduced tuition need to be repaid to Mirman.
How do I know if my family is eligible for the program?
A wide range of families qualify for Flexible Tuition, from those who can afford only minimal tuition to those who can afford almost the full tuition. Flexible Tuition is offered to students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade and the grant calculations take a wide variety of factors into consideration.
We recognize that every family’s situation is different and that even a small amount of reduced tuition can make a critical difference for many families. Mirman encourages all families who believe they will qualify to apply for Flexible Tuition.
How is Flexible Tuition determined? What factors are considered?
Flexible Tuition applications are evaluated based on the FAST submission. FAST is an independent third party system that is used by most independent schools to calculate a recommendation for an award based on your unique financial information.
Mirman’s Flexible Tuition Committee is comprised of a small number of Administrative personnel. This Committee reviews each FAST application and primarily relies on the recommendation from FAST to inform decisions about awards.
Mirman considers the following factors to determine a family's financial strength and, therefore, a Flexible Tuition grant.
Family assets may include: taxable wages, if self-employed, income drawn as salary but not included as business profit, taxable dividend and/or interest income, alimony received, pensions, annuities, rent, royalties, estates or trusts, household expenses paid by separated or divorced spouse in lieu of alimony, unemployment compensation, capital gains, taxable IRA distributions, Keogh plan payments, profits from a business, child support received, Social Security benefits, real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investments and student income/assets.
Expenses & Debt
Typical expenses and debts: educational expenses, encumbrances against home, medical/dental expenses, debts for investments, prolonged illness, unemployment, past business debts, uninsured natural disasters, past funeral expenses, legal fees, nursing home/assisted living care, closing costs for home purchases/refinancing, child support, costs for a child with special needs, and child care.
One key assumption in the FAST calculation is that all parents/guardians are employed. If one adult does not work, a full-time income is imputed to that parent/guardian at the current minimum wage ($15.50/hour or $32,240 annually).
Who needs to complete the FAST form?
All parents or guardians who have a legal right to make decisions on a child’s education need to complete a FAST application.
For families with multiple households, each parent/guardian household must submit a separate Flexible Tuition application along with all required documents and forms to be considered for Flexible Tuition. All financial information is kept strictly confidential and at no time will one household have access to anyone else’s information.
If a parent is no longer involved in the life of the child in any way, please speak with our Business Office. Mirman awards a single Flexible Tuition award to the student and it is the responsibility of the parents to determine how to structure the payment schedule.
Does everyone who applies and is eligible receive an award?
Mirman may not be able to provide Flexible Tuition for all families who qualify. Each year, the Board of Trustees approves a Flexible Tuition Budget that the School must adhere to, and in any given year requests for Flexible Tuition may exceed the funds available.
Any family who is denied Flexible Tuition has a right to appeal to the Flexible Tuition Committee. Information on the appeals processes will be shared with the Flexible Tuition decision.
Does applying for Flexible Tuition affect our admission application?
At Mirman, the Flexible Tuition and admission processes are completely separate. Our Admission Committee is not aware of (and does not make decisions based on) the amount of tuition a student’s family may or may not pay. Their sole focus is looking for the best fit for the student.
Is my Flexible Tuition information confidential?
Yes, all information provided to FAST is highly secured. Those on the Mirman Flexible Tuition Committee are the only individuals reviewing the files, and we keep all information confidential.
Do I have to reapply for Flexible Tuition each year?
Yes, every family is required to submit their current financial data in FAST annually by the required deadline.
In general, if a family receives a Flexible Tuition award, they can expect to receive a similar award for their student’s time at Mirman as long as there are no significant changes in a family’s financial situation.
In some cases, a time-limited year award may be granted due to a significant, limited circumstance (i.e., job loss, severe medical circumstances, etc.). Such an award will be clearly denoted in your Flexible Tuition notification.