We firmly believe that diversity is a vital component of excellence; thus, every child at Hamlin benefits from living and learning in a diverse environment. Ultimately, what we are seeking to do is attract and support a beautifully balanced range of families at Hamlin and cultivate a sense of belonging and authenticity for all.
We know for certain that Covid-19 has led to job losses, reductions from full-time to part-time employment, food insecurity, and necessary increased spending for many members of our current community. Now more than ever, we have an unwavering and mission-driven commitment to moderating tuition increases and providing financial assistance for those who qualify for the program. What is vitally important to us at Hamlin is that we lean into courageous conversations about differences in financial resources and that we recognize and discuss the ways in which people can be privileged or less so. We are ever mindful of what it means to build and maintain a cohesive school community, and we never want a family to feel like a “grateful guest” while others feel like “comfortable hosts.” At Hamlin, we all belong here.
To support a socio-economically diverse and inclusive community, the School provides financial assistance awards ranging from $500 to $43,050. Our goal is to make a Hamlin education accessible and affordable to mission-appropriate students whose families understand and embrace the core values of the school. Financial assistance can be granted for tuition, extended day or summer programs, and educational support as needed. Currently, 23% of our families receive financial assistance awards from Hamlin. An additional 20-25% of our families receive financial support for tuition from sources outside of the School, such as their extended family. Although our financial assistance program is based on a required national algorithm, the numbers are adjusted locally for the Bay Area. Hamlin encourages families to apply for financial assistance, even if only a modest grant would make a difference. An annual grant to a family has the power to relieve some of the financial burden on the household budget and may provide the flexibility needed to tend to other responsibilities.
Investing in an independent school education requires a significant commitment to financial planning and prioritizing. We recognize fully that the cost of an independent school education has become increasingly challenging. Therefore, whether a family receives financial assistance from Hamlin or not, we work in close partnership with individual families to develop a sound financial plan. For some families, a creative payment plan may be the solution. For other families, the plan for paying tuition* will require a combination of school and family resources. For others, the school may bear most of the financial load. Our school is filled with families from all walks of life, most of whom feel the impact of any tuition increase and all of whom care deeply about their children’s success in school and in life. We are partners in this sacred effort. (*Hamlin’s tuition is inclusive of lunch and snack as well as all book, materials, and technology fees. All school activities, field trips, and outdoor education programs during the school year are also included.)