Tuition and Financial Assistance

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Invest in your child's future

Catlin Gabel is committed to making its education affordable. We encourage families to apply for admission even if they feel the cost of tuition is out of reach. More than one-quarter of the student body receives financial assistance through need-based tuition and special scholarships.

Every family is expected to contribute to the cost of their child's education, and need-based tuition may be offered to eligible families who cannot afford the full cost of our published tuition. Once enrolled, there is also assistance for books, laptops, school trips, bus service, learning center, co-curricular activities, and more.

For the 2019-20 school year, we allocated over $4.7 million in financial assistance to families with annual household incomes primarily within the range of $30,580 to $301,950. Financial assistance ranged from $6,000 to $33,950 and averaged $23,180.

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2019-20 Tuition

Beginning School (Preschool & Kindergarten) $27,190
Lower School (Grades 1-5) $29,880
Middle School (Grades 6-8) $32,790
Upper School (Grades 9-12) $34,100

Estimated Non-Tuition Expenses

2019-20 Estimated Non-Tuition Expenses

Some costs vary by a student's choice of program or a family's use of service. Miscellaneous expenses may occur from time to time in each division.

Financial assistance is available for some expenses beyond tuition. Email the enrollment office for more information.


Books, Middle School $100-$250*
Books, Upper School $100-$450*

*Prices are based on new books. Occasionally, used books are available through the student book store.


Laptop, Upper School $1,200-$2,000
Technology Fees, Upper School $250-$260

Optional Programs

After School Program $0-$3,300
Bus Service $0-$920
Foreign & Domestic Trips By destination
Lunchroom, Lower School $0-$900
Lunchroom, Middle & Upper School $0-$1,500
Outdoor Education Trips By destination
Robotics $100-$700**
School Events $5-$40 per event
Student Clubs $10-$500
Yearbook $0-$10

**Does not include optional trips for competitions.

Baseball $20-$150
Basketball $0-$150
Golf $75-$180
Rock Climbing $160-$260
Ski Team $430-$630
Soccer $30-$180
Swim Team $60
Track/Cross Country $10-$75
Volleyball $30-$180

Athletics charges include fees and accessories. Some optional sports apparel may be purchased separately from vendor.

Payment Plans

Tuition Payment Plans

The payment plans described below are available to all Catlin Gabel families regardless of tuition level. The amount of the enrollment deposit reflects approximately 10% of the net tuition for each student. Deposits are due by the date listed on your enrollment agreement.

  • Option 1: 10% non-refundable deposit plus remaining 90% of tuition billed in June preceding the school year. A 0.5% discount will be applied to the 90% tuition amount due.
  • Option 2: 10% non-refundable deposit plus 30% of tuition billed in June, September, and December.
  • Option 3: 10% non-refundable deposit plus 10% billed April preceding the school year through December. A 2% service charge will be applied to the monthly tuition charge except those families who receive financial assistance.

Billing and Payments

  • Electronic statements are sent monthly for tuition and/or monthly expenses such as bus and After School Care.
  • Payments for monthly charges are due the first of each month. A finance fee of 1.5% per month is charged on the total of all past due balances. A $20 charge will be assessed for any returned checks or Automatic Clearing House (ACH) returned payments for those who set up payments directly with their bank (more below).
  • ACH is an easy payment method – automatic payments from your bank account may be set up by filling out the ACH form and returning it to the business office.
  • If using an online bill paying service, please reference your child(ren)'s first and last name(s) as the account identifier/number. One check is preferable. Remit payments to: Catlin Gabel School, PO Box 1084, Spokane, WA 99210-1084.
  • Other payment methods: mail directly to Catlin Gabel; hand deliver to the main reception desk/drop into secure mailbox outside of Toad Hall main entrance addressed "Attention Business Office," or hand deliver to the business office.
  • Please email Mary Ann Rogers in the business office with any special billing instructions or if more than one household is responsible for tuition and related expenses.

Nonpayment Policy

If Catlin Gabel initiates collection on amounts owed, parents or guardians will pay reasonable attorney's fees and collection costs even if no suit or action is filed hereon. If suit or action is filed, the court shall fix the amount of such reasonable legal fees.

Unconditional Payment Terms

  1. Student withdrawal through June 30 results in loss of deposit only.
  2. Student withdrawal after June 30, but prior to the first day of school results in an obligation to pay 40% of the total annual tuition.
  3. Student withdrawal or dismissal on or after the first day of school results in an obligation to pay 100% of the total annual tuition.

Tuition Insurance Plan

The Tuition Refund Plan is an insurance program sponsored by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. that provides families with tuition obligation coverage in the event of a student's withdrawal or dismissal from the school before the academic year is completed. The premium rate for 2019-20 is equal to 0.90% of the annual tuition. The premium is billed in June and payment is forwarded to the insurance company. Detailed information on what is covered by the plan can be found in their brochure.

Additional Expenses Beyond Tuition


Scholarship opportunities

Palma Scholars Program

The Palma Scholars Program launched in the fall of 2011 and was named to honor then head of school Lark Palma for her 20 years of leadership. This innovative program's goal is to bring a cadre of academically accomplished students with notable potential in athletics, leadership, and service to the Catlin Gabel Upper School. Students selected as Palma Scholars will receive their scholarship amount each year the student is enrolled and fulfills the expectations of the program.

Who is eligible?

New Catlin Gabel students entering 9th grade who have demonstrated or show potential in the four pillars of the program: Academics, Athletics, Leadership, and Service.

How do I apply?

Visit the Palma Scholars Program page for more details and application information

Malone Scholars Program

The Malone Scholars Program was established at Catlin Gabel in 2005 with a $2 million donation from the Malone Family Foundation. Catlin Gabel is the only school in Oregon and one of only 50 independent schools nationwide to be awarded a Malone Scholars Program endowment. We are honored to partner with the Malone Family Foundation towards achieving its mission to improve access to quality education for gifted students who lack the financial resources to best develop their talents. Students selected as Malone Scholars will receive this need-based scholarship every year the student is enrolled, is in excellent academic standing, and qualifies for financial assistance.

Who is eligible?
  • New or current Catlin Gabel students entering grades 7 through 12
  • Students must be in the top 5% of their class, be of high character, and be motivated to make the best use of this opportunity to reach his or her potential
  • Malone Scholars must be U.S. citizens
  • Families must qualify for at least 30% of tuition in need-based financial assistance
How do I apply?
  • There is no separate application. Interested candidates should follow the regular application process for admission and financial assistance. Malone Scholars will be notified by the financial assistance office. Students are not eligible to receive both the Malone and Palma scholarships.

Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship

The mission of the Institute for Educational Advancement's Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is "to identify exceptionally gifted middle school students who exhibit advanced intellectual talent and have the ability to demonstrate academic and personal excellence." Students selected as Caroline D. Bradley Scholars are then monitored through their remaining middle school years and then receive a four-year high school scholarship covering tuition at a day school or an approved alternative educational program of their choice. NOTE: Catlin Gabel does not administer this program; however, we are fortunate that all Portland-area scholars for more than seven years have choosen Catlin Gabel for their high school experience.

Who is eligible?
  • U.S. citizens that are currently students in the 7th grade and residing in the United States.
How do I apply?
  • Please see the IEA's website for detailed information on the application process. The deadline is typically in April of a student's 7th grade year.

Average Need-based Tuition

Range of Eligibility

The tables below outline average net tuition for families in Catlin Gabel's need-based financial assistance program over the last five years. These tables are based on income range and the number of children in tuition-charging schools. We hope this helps give you a sense of what your family could anticipate in financial assistance to attend our school. Please read disclaimer below*

one child in tuition charging school 2019
two children in tuition charging school
three children in tuition charging school

*Disclaimer: The average tuition amounts listed are not a promise of financial assistance. Individual financial assistance applications are reviewed and calculated by a committee, and tuition decisions are based on many additional factors. Catlin Gabel has adopted the School and Student Services (SSS) methodology which also considers, but is not limited to, the following factors:

  • Family size
  • Bank accounts and investments
  • Home equity and other assets
  • Certain kinds of debt and unusual expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Tuition paid for siblings at other schools, including 4-year colleges and universities
  • Individual family circumstances on a case-by-case basis

If you would like to discuss your specific situation, please contact Mary Yacob, Director of Financial Assistance at 503-297-1894 or

Apply for Need-based Tuition

Applications for the 2020-21 school year are now open!

Apply for Need-based Financial Assistance

The following process ensures the financial assistance committee tracks, reviews, and awards need-based assistance equitably and efficiently. The committee will consider only those applications that are completed by the stated deadlines. We urge you to fully disclose your financial situation to avoid delay in reviewing your application. Families with complicated or unusual financial situations may be asked to provide supplemental information or to meet with the financial assistance office by phone or in person.

Step 1: Complete the School and Student Services (SSS) Parent Financial Statement (PFS) online

  • Deadline for Palma Scholars Program applicants January 31, 2020
  • Deadline for all other applicants February 7, 2020
  • The PFS can be completed in multiple sessions (save & continue as needed)
  • Catlin Gabel's school code is 2230
  • The fee for submitting your PFS is $51
    Fee is automatically waived for households that qualify for free lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Please note: For two-household families, both parents are required to complete a PFS even if only one parent contributes to tuition
  • Help is available in the PFS Online Workbook or Spanish

Step 2: Submit a personal statement and/or explain changes

Use the 'comments' section at the end of the PFS to describe briefly why your family is applying for financial assistance and any other special circumstances that were not covered in other portions of the PFS. Please be specific about the issues and/or circumstances which will affect your ability to pay tuition. Use this area also to explain any changes from the prior year or expected changes coming up regarding employment, income, extraordinary medical expenses, or other life/family changes.

Step 3: [1st time applicants] Upload 2018 W2 STATEMENTS and federal taxes

  • Deadline for Palma Scholars Program applicants January 31, 2020
  • Deadline for all other applicants February 7, 2020
  • Please include W2 statements as applicable for all parents
  • Include the 1040 form with all applicable schedules showing income or losses
  • Schedule A if applicable
  • We accept electronic signatures via Turbo Tax or other software
  • Preferred submission method: Upload directly to SSS, which enables you to track the status of your application online. Instructions to upload documents can be found online under managing required documents.
  • Alternative submission methods: Drop off in Toad Hall, attn: Mary Yacob, financial assistance office or, if necessary, you may send your documents to SSS by mail. Families mailing in required tax documents should use the cover sheet found in the SSS Family Portal under the "My Documents" tab in the upper right corner. Mail your documents to the address listed on the cover sheet at least 10 days before the deadline.

Step 4: Upload your 2019 W2 STATEMENTS

  • Deadline for all applicants February 7, 2020
  • Upload to SSS (see step 3 for more information)

Step 5: Upload your 2019 federal taxes 

  • Deadline for all applicants February 28, 2020
  • IMPORTANT: Plan on filing your 2019 taxes early to meet this requirement
  • Include the 1040 form with all applicable schedules showing income or losses
  • Schedule A if applicable
  • We accept electronic signatures via Turbo Tax or other software
  • Upload to SSS (see step 3 for more information)

Financial Assistance Decisions

  • March 6, 2020: Newly admitted families receive admission and financial assistance decisions via email. NOTE: Must have all required documents submitted.


Mission Statement

Catlin Gabel believes socioeconomic diversity enriches the educational experience for all its students and is committed to offering a robust need-based financial assistance program. Although families bear the primary responsibility for financing their child's education to the extent they are able, the school provides need-based assistance to help bridge the gap between a family's resources and a child's total educational experience.


Need-based financial assistance is offered by Catlin Gabel and is based on a family's demonstrated need as calculated by our third party provider School and Student Services (SSS). Parents complete the online application or Parent Financial Statement (PFS). With the PFS information, SSS produces a Report of Family Contribution (RFC) estimating the amount a family can contribute towards the cost of their child(ren)'s tuition or the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SSS methodology considers many aspects of a family's financial situation including but not limited to: the incomes of both parents (taxable and non-taxable), assets held by the family, qualifying debts and expenses, number of dependents, age of both parents, and the number of children attending tuition-charging schools (up to and including four years of undergraduate college/university studies). Allowances are made for living expenses, retirement, taxes, medical costs, unusual expenses, debts, and a modest standard of living.

The Catlin Gabel financial assistance committee reviews the RFC and, if necessary, makes adjustments upon review of final tax documents, consideration of special circumstances, and other professional judgment guidelines designated by the school. We then calculate need-based tuition as the difference between the total published tuition amount and the family's EFC per student. Our overall financial assistance is finite, therefore our goal is to meet at least 85% to 95% of demonstrated need in order to serve as many families as possible.

Our policies ensure that we apply uniform guidelines to every family who applies for need-based assistance and that decisions are made without regard to student's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age and in compliance with existing state and federal laws or regulations in addition to the school's principles of equity and inclusion.

Need-based tuition calculation example (per child):

 Published tuition $32,790   
     less: SSS EFC 15,000  must apply online 
 Demonstrated need 17,790   
 Need-based financial assistance 16,010   90% of $17,790 
 Need-based tuition ($32,790 - 16,010) $16,780  Payment plans 

Allocation of Financial Assistance

The financial assistance committee appointed by the head of school decides and finalizes all need-based financial assistance decisions. This committee prioritizes the applicants as follows:

  1. First consideration is to returning students who are currently enrolled with financial assistance. This is to provide families with need-based tuition the assurance that resources will be available as long as they continue to qualify or until their child(ren) graduate or withdraw. Extraordinary changes in income, family status, or the number of children in tuition-charging institutions may increase or decrease need-based tuition from year-to-year.
  2. If financial assistance resources remain, the committee then reviews returning students who have newly applied for need-based assistance due to a temporary financial hardship or a qualifying change in circumstances (see examples below).
  3. Finally newly admitted families in all grades are given consideration for need-based financial assistance. New students entering ninth grade who qualify may also apply for the Palma Scholars Program, which is administered by a separate admission committee and is merit-based. Students are eligible to receive both need-based financial assistance and the Palma Scholarship.

Program Expectations

Families are expected to fully disclose all assets and income each year so that any significant increases or decreases in a family's ability to pay tuition can be reevaluated annually by the financial assistance committee. This allows our limited resources to be allocated where the need is the greatest. The committee endeavors to keep each family's level of need-based tuition as consistent as possible and notify families of pending changes in advance so they may plan accordingly.

Families are expected to continue paying the same general level of tuition for the duration of enrollment. New applications for or increases in financial assistance in subsequent years will be considered if there is a qualifying change in circumstances. Limited assistance may be available for families facing a temporary unexpected financial hardship. Families who feel they are able to afford only the first year or two of a Catlin Gabel education should review their financial situation with the Financial Assistance Office prior to enrolling.

Need-based financial assistance for students attending Catlin Gabel are contingent upon the student successfully completing each school year and the payment in full of all financial obligations set forth in the Enrollment Agreement and/or re-enrollment commitment.

Financial Assistance Funding Sources

Financial assistance is funded through a combination of resources including restricted annual giving, restricted and unrestricted endowment income, and general operating income. In accordance with our mission of working towards socio-economic diversity, the school has committed 14% of its operating budget to need-based financial assistance.

Because of these income sources, our policies and procedures ensure that the school is doing its due diligence on behalf of both our donors and tuition paying families. In addition, we reserve the right to share limited student data regarding academics and co-curricular involvement with our donors for the purposes of reporting on scholarship allocations and continued fundraising.

Catlin Gabel receives no outside funding from state or federal sources and is not supported by any religious organizations.

Special Considerations

Examples of a qualifying change of circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Enrolling additional children at Catlin Gabel or another tuition-charging school or institution. The School will consider outside daycare/school programs for a younger sibling only if it allows both parents to work. The school will also consider up to four years of undergraduate school for an older sibling.
  • Change in family size.
  • Parent becoming disabled.

Examples of a temporary financial hardship include but are not limited to:

  • Loss or reduction of employment.
  • Extraordinary medical expenses due to injury or illness.
  • Caring for sick/aging grandparents who need financial or other assistance. Family must show payments to nursing care, hospital/doctor bills, and/or reduced work capacity.

Employment Requirements

Catlin Gabel expects both parents to earn income beginning when all children in the household reach first grade to remain eligible for need-based assistance. At this point, if one parent chooses not to work or decides to return to school, an annual income based on a 40-hour work week at the current Oregon minimum wage will be applied to the application for a limited time. Exceptions are made in the case of disability, for which documentation must be provided, as well as sudden or unexpected job loss where the parent is actively seeking employment. We evaluate other unique situations on a case-by-case basis.

Divorced Parents or Separate Households

Financial need is determined based on the student's entire family's ability to pay tuition not their willingness to pay; therefore, Catlin Gabel requires both parents (custodial and non-custodial) and their spouses or domestic partners, if any, to participate in the financial assistance application process. Each household must complete a separate, confidential PFS and provide required tax documentation. Exceptions to this policy will be considered only for extraordinary circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. Neither the school nor SSS will share confidential information between households.

Additional Resources

Helpful Links


Visit the Financial Assistance section of our FAQ page for the answers to commonly asked questions.

Upcoming Events

Catlin Gabel School

Parents and guardians are invited to campus for coffee and a brief presentation about need-based financial assistance at Catlin Gabel. There will also be Q&A throughout where admission and financial assistance officers will address your questions directly.
RSVP is encouraged, but is not required. Adults only, please.

Catlin Gabel School

Parents and guardians are invited to campus for coffee and a brief presentation about need-based financial assistance at Catlin Gabel. There will also be Q&A throughout where admission and financial assistance officers will address your questions directly.
RSVP in the Admission Portal is encouraged, but is not required. Adults only, please.


Jan 31, 2020: Palma Scholars Program deadline to submit:

  • Online Parent Financial Statement (PFS)
  • 2018 W2 Statements
  • 2018 Federal tax return with Schedules A - F and 1 - 6  as applicable
  • 2019 W2 Statements

Feb 7, 2020: All other households deadline to submit:

  • Online Parent Financial Statement (PFS)
  • [New applicants:] 2018 W2 Statements
  • [New applicants:] 2018 Federal tax return with Schedules A - F and 1 - 6 as applicable
  • 2019 W2 Statements

Feb 28, 2020: All households applying for need-based tuition deadline to submit:

  • 2019 tax documents with schedules A - F and 1 - 6 as applicable
March 6, 2020: Newly admitted families receive admission and financial assistance decisions via email
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Come Visit Us

We encourage you to visit campus early in your exploration process. Registration is available via the admission portal September through early February.

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