Tuition & Tuition Assistance

Vail Mountain School tuition is competitive with elite independent schools throughout the country that provide a top-notch college preparatory education. Tuition includes daily dining experience, books, most trips within the state of Colorado, and most other fees. Tuition may be paid in one of the following ways:
  • One payment due in mid-June.
  • Two payments due mid-June and mid-December, each equal to 50% of the net amount due. This payment includes a finance fee.
  • Nine equal payments due on the 20th of each month beginning June 20. This payment includes a finance fee.

2021-2022 Tuition

  • LOWER SCHOOL (Grades K-5): $28,800
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 6-8): $30,800
  • UPPER SCHOOL (Grades 9-12): $32,400

Tuition Assistance

Throughout our more than fifty year history, we’ve been committed to serving the local community by providing need-based tuition assistance, which currently amounts to more than $1,400,000 per year and is granted to approximately 25% of our families. Applications for tuition assistance must be submitted each year a child is enrolled at VMS. Grants are awarded on the basis of a family’s demonstrated need. To help evaluate need, the VMS Financial Aid Committee employs the nationally standardized system, FACTS Management. After reviewing a family’s application, FACTS computes a figure for the family’s expected contribution towards tuition.

Non-custodial parents are exempt from submitting a financial aid application only if documentation is provided stating that their location is unknown, or that they provide no support and have had no contact with the family for at least two years. If there are any other extenuating circumstances that might waive this requirement, written requests should be sent to the VMS Business Office.

The FACTS Application includes:
  • Completing the FACTS online application
  • Submitting a signed copy of the parents’ complete federal tax return, including W-2 forms, to FACTS Management

Click here to begin the FACTS application


Tuition & Tuition Assistance FAQ

VMS tuition is beyond our family’s means. Should we still apply?

Vail Mountain School strongly believes that the cost of tuition should not deter families from considering an independent school education for their child. We dedicate significant resources to providing need-based tuition assistance to families from all cultural, racial, and socioeconomic groups.

Will an application for tuition assistance affect an applicant’s chances of acceptance?

No. Application for admission and application for tuition assistance are independent processes and students are admitted or “accepted” based solely on their ability to meet the criteria for admission.

How is the need for financial aid determined?
The Tuition Assistance Committee reviews applications to determine a family’s potential contribution toward the cost of tuition. Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of education and a family’s expected contribution, which is determined by taking into account income, assets, family size, debt, and necessary expenses. When calculating a family’s financial need, the Tuition Assistance Committee reviews all relevant tax returns and schedules, as well as the recommendation report generated with the FACTS application. Questions regarding family contribution computations may be directed to FACTS by calling their help line at 1-866-441-4637. However, families should call the VMS Business Office with any questions regarding the school’s tuition assistance decisions.

What is the deadline to apply for tuition assistance?
All requested tuition assistance documentation should be submitted to FACTS between December 1, 2020 and  February 1, 2021 for priority consideration. We will continue to review completed tuition assistance applications after this date, and awards may be made at any time if funds remain available. The tuition assistance award will not be applied to the tuition bill until the FACTS application is complete and all payments due have been paid. 

Can the need for tuition assistance affect enrollment?

Tuition assistance is not a part of the admission process, the binary decision of whether or not an applicant meets the criteria for acceptance. This process is completely needs-blind and admission committees have no knowledge of whether or not a family applies for assistance.  

The need for tuition assistance can affect the school’s ability to enroll a student. While VMS offers more than $1,400,000 dollars of need-based tuition assistance each year, demand always exceeds resources. The Financial Aid Committee must consider many factors including the overall budget, the needs of individual grades, and the enrollment goals of the school. Tuition assistance can be used to help in achieving diversity goals as well as bridging the cost of a VMS education for families that are experiencing temporary setbacks.

What if an applicant is offered enrollment, but the school cannot offer adequate tuition assistance to meet the family’s needs?

In cases where a student is offered enrollment, but the school is unable to meet the tuition assistance needs of a family, they may join the enrollment waitpool and re-apply for tuition assistance the following year. In cases where the school is able to offer adequate tuition assistance to meet their needs during a subsequent year, or a family’s financial situation changes, an offer of enrollment may be extended, space permitting and assuming that the student remains in good academic and disciplinary standing. To remain current in the waitpool, students are required to submit their most recent school records and a current teacher recommendation.

If we receive tuition assistance for my child’s first year, will we receive the same award in subsequent years?

Families must reapply for financial aid for each year the student is enrolled at VMS. In many cases, a family’s award will remain the same with an increase to offset any rise in tuition. In some cases, a family’s financial circumstances may change over the course of the year which could be reflected in the new award.