Mission Statement

Catlin Gabel is committed to making its education affordable and encourages families to apply for admission regardless of financial circumstances. 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.


Financial assistance is distributed by Catlin Gabel as grants which do not have to be repaid and are based on a family's demonstrated need as calculated by School and Student Services (SSS). Parents complete the online Parent Financial Statement (PFS). Then SSS produces a Report of Family Contribution (RFC), estimating the amount a family can contribute toward 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, number of dependents, age of both parents, and the number of children attending tuition-charging schools. Allowances are made for living expenses, retirement, taxes, medical costs, unusual expenses, debts, and a modest standard of living.

Catlin Gabel 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 and allocate grants as the difference between the total tuition amount and the EFC. Our financial assistance budget 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 that applies for assistance and that awards 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 or equity and inclusion.

Award calculation example:

Tuition $31,400
Less SSS EFC -$15,000 (per child)
Demonstrated need $16,400(per child)
Grant $14,760 (90% of $16,400 need)
Family contribution $16,640 (tuition - grant) payment plans available, see FAQ

Allocation of Grants

The financial assistance committee appointed by the head of school decides and finalizes all financial assistance application decisions. This committee prioritizes the allocation of grants as follows:

  1. First to students currently enrolled with financial assistance. This is to provide families in the program assurance that funds will be available for them each year 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 grants from year-to-year.
  2. If funds remain, the committee then reviews current students who have newly applied for assistance due to hardship or qualifying change in circumstances (see examples below).
  3. Finally new incoming families are given consideration for financial assistance. New students entering ninth grade who qualify may also apply for the Palma Scholars Program, which is administered separately and is merit-based. A student is eligible to receive both need-based 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 can be reevaluated annually by the financial assistance committee. This allows our limited funds to be allocated where the need is the greatest. The committee endeavors to keep each family's level of assistance as consistent as possible and notify families of pending changes so they may plan accordingly.

Families are expected to continue paying the same 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.

Financial assistance grants 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. 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. 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 individually.

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 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