A Prairie education is a long-term investment. When you consider the wide-ranging impact it will have on your child’s life, choosing this school could be one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
The cost of private education represents a significant commitment for families. We strive to assist as many families as possible who cannot afford full tuition, but who are determined to stretch their own financial resources to make a Prairie education a top priority for their children. The school typically awards over $2 million of financial aid annually to more than one-third of the student body.
The Bottom Line
Since many factors guide financial aid decisions, we encourage families not to make assumptions about whether they are eligible, but to have a confidential discussion with our Admission and Financial Aid staff. Through financial aid and payment plans, we strive to make Prairie affordable for all families whose children have been admitted.
529 Education Savings Program: Did You Know
As of 2018, the state of Wisconsin allows families to use 529 savings account funds to help finance their K-12 private school education.
“529 Plans offer tax-advantaged investments to encourage saving for future education expenses of a designated beneficiary (commonly one’s child or grandchild). States offer and administer these plans, named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
It is The Prairie School’s expectation that all families with a 529 will utilize the plan to help pay tuition at Prairie.
Note: The Prairie School does have a selective admission process. The school does not participate in the voucher program.
2019/20 Tuition Rates and Fees
Upon acceptance of the contract, parent(s) or guardian(s) are responsible for the full tuition indicated on the contract, per the terms of the contract.
Inclusive Student Fee
This annual fee is paid in nine monthly installments unless the family elects to pay the below amount in full.
Included in fee: The annual Inclusive Student Fee includes textbooks, field trips, classroom consumables, art fees, iPads, iPad insurance, apps and other educational content for iPads, Primary School snacks, gr. 5-12 class trips/camps (Manito-wish, Washington D.C., Cincinnati/Indianapolis/
Not included: lunch fees, specially arranged individual diagnostic or psychological testing, externally administered testing programs (SAT, ACT), ELL fees, speech therapy, AP exams, Stay & Play, Interim trips, Model UN, Kenosha and/or Franklin Bus, shoes for athletics or performing arts, personal or custom items, lost school-provided materials, per-payment tuition processing fee, etc
Prairie offers a monthly payment plan through FACTS Management Inc. Details regarding this payment option may be obtained from Prairie’s Admissions office.
Prairie also offers a semester payment plan through FACTS Management Inc. Details regarding this payment option may be obtained from Prairie’s Admission office.
- Semester payments are due July 15 and January 1.
FACTS manages all bill payment transactions online. This includes billing for tuition, the lunch program, field trip fees, ticketing for events, yearbooks and more. The online tool allows families to view and pay bills through a secure account. All Prairie families (new and current) will be required to enroll in this system. Families are still given the option to mail payments directly to the Business Office. To access and create a FACTS account, click the icon below.
Please contact Tara Nelson (262-752-2507) in the Business Office with questions.
Need-based assistance (grants) are available to those students in grades 1-12 who are accepted to Prairie and demonstrate financial need. A family’s need is dependent upon many factors, including overall family income, comparing asset/debt ratio, number of children, any extenuating circumstances that the family is experiencing, etc. The majority of Prairie’s financial assistance is offered to students in grades 6-12, and the typical award ranges from $5,000-$6,000 per child.
Given that financial circumstances may vary from year-to-year, all families must reapply for tuition assistance annually. Each family may assume that a student’s financial aid award will remain consistent, if the family’s financial situation has not significantly changed.
Prairie School’s Financial Aid Committee holds, in strictest confidence, all financial aid information submitted to the School. If interested in applying for need-based assistance, please contact the Admission Office at 262.752.2525.
How to Apply for Need-Based Assistance
Any student applying for financial assistance must be currently enrolled or an application for admission must be on file with the Admission Office.
To ensure that the awarding of financial assistance is determined in an equitable manner, Prairie School uses the services of School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Families must complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), which can be accessed via sss.nais.org or can be mailed to you directly from The Prairie School. Prairie’s school code is 5896. These forms are available in January.
In conjunction with the application, the following items must be submitted to Prairie before a final award can be determined:
- copy of Federal tax forms, schedules, W-2’s
- copy of Business taxes (if applicable)
Prairie School also offers families the opportunity to complete the Preliminary Financial Aid Form, prior to completing the admission process, to determine if a Prairie education is a feasible option.
To receive more information on Prairie’s financial aid program, or to obtain the Preliminary Financial Aid Form, please contact the Admission Office at 262.752.2525.
Prairie School offers merit scholarships to prospective students in grades 6-12. Candidates are selected, by invitation only, based upon the strength of their academic record, test scores and demonstrated financial need. If given the opportunity to compete for a scholarship, the student will be required to submit letters of recommendation, a portfolio of recent accomplishments, and will be scheduled for on-campus interviews with key faculty or administration.
Funded by the School’s endowment and gifts from individual friends, this program awards multi-year scholarships in varying amounts to new and continuing Prairie students for the years they remain at the School.
The Hilpert Memorial Scholarship Program is an annual, competitive, merit-based, tuition scholarship program for motivated young people who exhibit academic and creative excellence, strong leadership skills, a concern for the well-being of others and demonstrate financial need.
Established in May of 1997 through the generosity of the School’s founders, the Imogene Powers Johnson Leadership Fellows Program attracts the brightest, most-talented Upper School students. Ideally, these Fellows will emerge as strong, competent, cooperative, and magnetic leaders, who are models for the School’s ideals, setting a standard for others to emulate.
This program provides four $7,000 fellowships to students entering 9th grade who demonstrate financial need. Fellowships are renewable annually based on each fellow’s performance and typically follow a student through graduation.
In spring of 2011, Prairie School was selected by The Malone Family Foundation to receive a $2 million endowment award to establish The Malone Scholars Program. The program was started by John Malone of Colorado to provide “an outstanding education to every top-level student who displays the keen desire and motivation to learn, yet lacks the resources to finance such an education.”
Prairie School is the first school in Wisconsin to receive this endowment and one of 48 schools nationwide to be selected by The Malone Family Foundation.
Financial support for each Malone Scholar may range from 30% of tuition to a full scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to students entering grades 7-10 and are renewable through graduation.