Admissions FAQ


We strongly believe that a family's financial commitment should be in proportion to its financial resources. Tuition for each student is based on a sliding scale and is determined after a family is accepted to Harlem Academy.

No family is ever turned away because of financial reasons.

Below are frequently asked questions related to tuition affordability and the admissions process in general.

How is a family's tuition commitment determined?

Following acceptance to Harlem Academy, families must resubmit a Tuition Worksheet and supporting financial documents. The financial documents include, but are not limited to, a copy of state and federal tax returns from the previous year and other forms verifying income.

Tuition for each family is then determined on a sliding scale and ensures affordability by considering the family’s income and expenses, based on a percentage of the family’s income.

Does the school really serve families of all economic backgrounds?

Yes, we focus on educational opportunity for low-income families and build each class with economic diversity.

How does tuition change for a family from year to year? Or if a second child is admitted to the school?

Since tuition is recalculated each year, there could be increases or decreases based on changes to a family’s financial situation. We will always work to make tuition affordable for all attending families.  Additionally, a family with more than one child enrolled at the school will have the cost of the first attending student's tuition factored into the charges for other children who are enrolled, so there may be discounts available. 

What is the tuition payment plan?

Upon enrollment a non-refundable deposit is due. The tuition balance can be paid in one, two, four, or 10 installments over the course of the year.

When will we be notified as to our actual tuition fee?

The finance director works closely with accepted families to review financial documents and determine the family’s tuition commitment. Additional financial documents are not requested until a family has been accepted.

How do I estimate my tuition?

Ultimately each family’s tuition is determined in collaboration between the applying family with the Finance Department. A family can anticipate that tuition will be 2 – 5% of gross income.

Is Harlem Academy the only school that uses this model?

Harlem Academy learned about this model from Manhattan Country School, another independent school that is one of several in the country using this model. We have made modifications to best serve our mission and families.  And, we are always willing to share what we have learned about this and our other best practices.

What is the application deadline?

We practice rolling admissions, so we accept applications year-round.

How is Harlem Academy affordable to all families?

Tuition is set on a sliding scale with families paying as little as $20 a month. We intentionally reserve a significant number of spaces for families who have lower incomes.

What grades do you serve?

Currently, we serve grades one through eight. 

Do all Harlem Academy families live in Harlem?

While the majority of our students come from Harlem, the Bronx, and Washington Heights, we also have students from Queens, Brooklyn, and the tri-state area. 

Does Harlem Academy have any merit scholarships?

No. All tuition decisions are made solely on the basis of demonstrated need. No adjustments are made based on academic, artistic, or athletic merit.