K-12 Tuition + Assistance

What Families Are Saying:

There’s no way that we could afford the sticker price to send four kids to Sioux Falls Lutheran, but because of the generous donors that this school has that really believe in its mission, it makes it possible for even a family like ours. There are so many mornings where my wife and I get back from dropping our kids off at school, and we just say, ‘Doesn’t it just feel like such a gift that we get to take our kids here, where we know they’ll receive so much good?’ And it really does, every day. We feel a huge debt of gratitude to all of the generous donors here at Sioux Falls Lutheran, because you’ve made it possible for a family like ours to receive that gift, so thank you!”

– Dave, SFLS Parent

Affording A Sioux Falls Lutheran School Education

SFLS recognizes that financial considerations play an important role in your family’s educational decisions. It is our fervent prayer that the cost of tuition would not be an obstacle for any family when choosing to pursue a Christ-centered education at SFLS. Our desire is to lovingly serve you and your children in all areas, including affording tuition.

In order to achieve that goal, we offer Needs-Based Variable Tuition–a sliding scale tuition model that is designed to meet each family’s unique financial situation. Instead of expecting families to pay a one-size-fits-all tuition rate, families can apply for Needs-Based Variable Tuition to pay what they can afford. 

How is Needs-Based Variable Tuition different from tuition assistance?

Needs-Based Variable Tuition is a different approach to tuition assistance. We recognize that many families who might not expect to be eligible for traditional tuition assistance may still qualify for a modest tuition discount. Rather than focusing on a tuition scholarship or aid, we focus on helping you answer one simple question: What level of tuition can my family afford to pay? Our goal with Needs-Based Variable Tuition is to make an SFLS education affordable to all families–including those for whom a traditional tuition assistance structure might not be helpful.

How is Needs-Based Variable Tuition calculated?

Our school board sets maximum tuition rates on an annual basis at a rate that is lower than the actual cost of educating a child at SFLS. We ask families who wish to participate at a level below the maximum tuition rate to complete an application for Needs-Based Variable Tuition through TADS, a confidential third party service that allows you to submit information about your income and expenses to determine a reasonable contribution to tuition.

Needs-Based Variable Tuition Scale for the 2024-25 School Year:
K-5 Community Tuition$4,990 – $8,310
K-5 Association Tuition$3,550 – $5,910
6-8 Community Tuition$5,460 – $9,100
6-8 Association Tuition$4,020 – $6,700
9-12 Tuition$5,930 – $9,880
(To qualify for our association tuition rate, families must have membership at one of our association churches. A list of association churches can be found here. Association congregations contribute 20% to high school tuition.)

*The top range of tuition reflects the amount that parents who don’t qualify for or choose not to apply for Needs-Based Variable Tuition will pay.
Please see our preschool page for preschool tuition rates.

Enrollment Fee: $400
(half of this fee applies as a deposit toward your 2024-25 tuition)

To help accommodate potential changes in your financial status, families complete a new application for Needs-Based Variable Tuition each year by May 15 (generally after each year’s income tax reports are completed). Needs-Based Variable Tuition awards are communicated to families via letter prior to the beginning of the school year. Families who qualify for and are awarded Needs-Based Variable Tuition are not eligible for any other discounts (e.g. multi-child, semester/full-year payment, etc.). 

What kind of economic situation qualifies a family for the Needs-Based Variable Tuition Program?

Every family situation is unique; therefore, we encourage any family interested in Needs-Based Variable Tuition to apply. Factors such as family size, income, expenses, assets, number of students enrolled, and other tuition obligations are considered during the application process. There is also an opportunity to share any extenuating circumstances that SFLS should be aware of. The availability of Needs-Based Variable Tuition funds may vary based on the entering grade level, space in a grade, number of applicants, and budgeted funds.

Our Biblical Philosophy Regarding Needs-Based Variable Tuition

When SFLS awards Needs-Based Variable Tuition to families, our goal is to strike a balance between generosity and good stewardship. God instructs His people to be generous when he says, “…but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (Deuteronomy 15:8). To that end, SFLS provides up to $400,000 in Needs-Based Variable Tuition funds to qualifying families each year. 

In addition to being as generous as possible with families who qualify for Needs-Based Variable Tuition, SFLS also strives to be good stewards of the gifts God has given. St. Peter teaches us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another; as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” (1 Peter 4:10). In our efforts to be generous and good stewards of God’s gifts, we ask that families with sufficient financial resources not apply for Needs-Based Variable Tuition. There are other avenues for modest tuition assistance that may be more suitable for some of our school families, such as the RaiseRight program (formerly known as SCRIP). Applications for Needs-Based Variable Tuition are reviewed on a rolling basis for the upcoming school year, so we ask families who are in need of financial assistance to apply as soon as possible.

If your family would benefit from Needs-Based Variable Tuition

our administrative staff will talk you through the online TADS application process during your campus visit. Call 605-335-1923 to schedule your visit today!

Additional Tuition Assistance Resources

South Dakota Partners in Education (SDPE)

Sioux Falls Lutheran School also participates in the South Dakota Partners in Education (SDPE) tax-credit scholarship program, which provides tuition assistance scholarships to income eligible families. We encourage all eligible families to apply for Needs-Based Variable Tuition through SFLS and tuition assistance through SDPE by requesting that their TADS application be sent to both organizations. Families who qualify for SDPE scholarships should be aware that the Needs-Based Variable Tuition awarded by SFLS serves as a placeholder for SDPE scholarships. In other words, a scholarship from SDPE does not result in additional tuition assistance. Instead, the SDPE scholarship replaces a portion, or in some cases all, of the Needs-Based Variable Tuition package awarded by SFLS. This policy helps SFLS maintain its balance between generosity and good stewardship by allowing us to provide even more families with Needs-Based Variable Tuition from our $400,000 fund. 

Families who qualify for Needs-Based Variable Tuition will receive a letter from SFLS outlining their tuition responsibility before the school year begins. Families who qualify for SDPE scholarships will also receive a letter from SDPE indicating their award and are required to sign a check from SDPE in order to receive the funds. Families who fail to pay their tuition balance may lose their SDPE scholarship(s). The South Dakota Partners in Education Parent Manual states:

“In some cases, private schools may decide to provide scholarship students with supplemental financial assistance to cover the additional cost. You must talk with the school your child will be attending to see if there are local funds available. In most cases, parents will be required to pay the difference between the scholarship and the full tuition and fees. Every family must pay the difference between the school’s tuition and fees and the amount provided by a SD Partners in Education Scholarship and financial assistance the school may provide. There are no exceptions to this rule. Students may lose the SD Partners in Education scholarship for failure to pay what is owed to the school.”

RaiseRight

In addition to Needs-Based Variable Tuition and SDPE scholarships, SFLS also offers participation-based tuition assistance through RaiseRight (formerly known as SCRIP). Participating families purchase gift cards at face value through our school or online through the RaiseRight app and use them, instead of cash or other cards, to make purchases. A percentage of each gift card you buy goes directly into an account for your child and is applied toward your child’s tuition.

529 Plans

With changes to tax laws in 2018, parents can now withdraw up to $10,000 per student per year, tax-free, from a 529 plan to cover the cost of tuition at private K-12 schools.

Association Church + Private Donor Tuition Assistance Funds

Several Sioux Falls Lutheran School Association Churches have established needs-based tuition assistance funds for children of the congregation who attend SFLS. In addition, private donors who contribute to our school often have a Christian interest in providing tuition assistance to those in need.

Payment Plans

Our team of committed administrators and finance personnel are available to assist your family in putting together a reasonable tuition payment plan in order to make Christian education at SFLS a reality for your child.

Applying For Admission

Because we know that setting foot on campus plays an important role in helping you choose the right school for your child, the first step in our admissions process is to schedule a campus visit with our admissions team.

The complimentary visit is designed to help us understand your family’s needs and give you a true understanding of what it means to receive a Sioux Falls Lutheran School education. During the visit, we will focus on the goals and aspirations you have for your child. We will cover topics including educational needs, academic preparation, planning for future choices, Christian leadership and relationships, and character development. Whenever possible, we encourage both parents to attend.

To schedule your family’s campus visit, please contact our admissions team at 605-335-1923.

NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

Sioux Falls Lutheran School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admission policies, athletics, and other school administered or sponsored programs.