Our Biblical Philosophy Regarding Tuition Assistance
Sioux Falls Lutheran School 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 assistance in affording tuition.
When SFLS awards tuition assistance 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 $150,000 in needs-based tuition assistance to qualifying families each year.
If your family would benefit from tuition assistance, our administrative staff will talk you through the online TADS application process during your Educational Success Consultation. Assistance applications are required on an annual basis, and the tuition assistance deadline is May 15th each year (generally after each year’s income tax reports are completed). Any tuition assistance awarded to families will be communicated to families prior to the beginning of the school year. Because tuition assistance awards are based on need, families who qualify for and are awarded tuition assistance are not eligible for any other discounts (e.g. multi-child, semester/full-year payment, etc.).
In addition to being as generous as possible with families who are eligible for tuition assistance, 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 tuition assistance. There are other avenues for modest tuition assistance that may be more suitable for some of our school families, such as the SCRIP program.
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 assistance through both SFLS and SDPE by requesting that their TADS application be sent to both organizations. Families who receive SDPE scholarships should be aware that the needs-based assistance funds awarded by SFLS serve 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 tuition assistance 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 assistance from our $150,000 tuition assistance fund.
Families who qualify for needs-based assistance 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.”
Additional Tuition Assistance Resources
In addition to the $150,000 we make available in tuition assistance each year, you can use the following resources to help fund your child’s Christian education:
In order to help families who don’t qualify for needs-based assistance, Sioux Falls Lutheran School offers a School Tuition Reduction Incentive Program. Participating families purchase gift cards at face value through our school 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. Check out the 2018 SCRIP Informational Brochure for a list of participating businesses.
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.
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
Our admissions process begins with an Educational Success Consultation. The complimentary visit with our administrator, Mrs. Tia Esser, 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. It also provides opportunities to meet our teachers and tour our facility.
To schedule your Educational Success Consultation, contact our admissions director, Mrs. Megan Baedke, at 605-335-1923. We look forward to meeting you!
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.
What families are saying:
“I trust that our kids are safe and cared for at SFLS. I know they are learning at a rapid rate in each school subject, and most importantly–they are learning about how to be a Christian.”
–Brian, SFLS Parent
“I often marvel at the ways that Sioux Falls Lutheran School is impacting my life, even today. Early on, ADHD provided a serious obstacle to my education. I can only imagine where I would be if I had not received the support and attention of the staff and teachers at SFLS. Beyond that, I can’t stress how important it is to receive an education where faith and school are joined hand in hand. The knowledge and values that I started to cultivate at SFLS have been vital in defending and grounding my faith throughout my life thus far.”
–Paul, SFLS Class of 2010
“I appreciate the diverse education (i.e. violin and chapel in addition to core curricula), the family-oriented atmosphere, and learning experiences tailored to the needs of the individual student.”
–Dave, SFLS Parent
“The Spanish education that I received from SFLS tremendously impacted my experience with the language in high school. Those 9 years of learning the fundamentals and laying down the basics programmed my brain to pick up the high school material faster. Also, SFLS allowed me to take the Spanish I course for high school credit, which in turn enables me to take AP Spanish senior year.”
–Anna, SFLS Class of 2015
“Each of my children attended kindergarten at a wonderful Christian school, but I can truly say that SFLS offers the most well-rounded kindergarten experience. The academics are excellent and the co-curricular components—such as art, music, religion/faith formation, and PE—are the perfect compliment. SFLS offers a challenging, yet nurturing, well-rounded approach to education and the growth of the entire child. We love the holistic approach it takes.”
–Rebecca, SFLS Parent
“Sioux Falls Lutheran School set me up with a great education that carried over into high school and will soon serve me well in college. SFLS is the reason why I have the passion for music I do right now. But more importantly, it has a great, welcoming, Christ-centered atmosphere, which is why SFLS will always be such a family to me.”
–Kadie, SFLS Class of 2013