affording da

We believe that a Durham Academy education should be accessible to students of all backgrounds — regardless of their families' financial means — and the school commits more than $2 million each year to that end.

The purpose of DA's financial aid program is twofold: to assist families whose only barrier to an independent school education is the cost of tuition, and to enhance the entire student body through socioeconomic, cultural and geographic diversity.  

In 2018–2019, about 11 percent of students received some form of aid. The average award was $15,384, ranging from $1,000 to nearly a full year's tuition. Financial aid awards do not have to be repaid. 

DA offers financial aid to families from a wide range of income levels, and we encourage families to apply for financial aid if they believe they need any level of support.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Eligibility requires submitting a financial need assessment to Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS), which takes into account a family's income, savings, assets and liabilities, as well as any special circumstances.  

Please follow the steps below to apply (refer to application deadlines below):

1. Complete financial aid application form at; click "Financial Aid Assessment."

Apply for Financial Aid

2. Use a credit card to pay $35 processing fee.

3. Send supplemental forms to TADS to complete the financial aid application: 

    • Most recent W2 forms for all jobs 

    • Most recent paycheck stubs for all jobs 

    • Most recent federal tax form 

    • Any corporate, partnership and tax forms (only applicable if any member of the 
household owns 20 percent or more in a corporation, partnership or trust) 

    • Documentation for all other sources of income (Social Security, welfare, SNAP nutrition benefits, unemployment, child support, workers' compensation, etc.) 

Additional notes:

    • When parents are divorced or separated, we require information from both custodial and non-custodial parents, guardians and step-parents. Each household may need to complete the TADS application separately. 

    • Parents who own a business, trust, or receive rental income may be required to submit additional documentation to TADS. Contact TADS for more information. 

Parents or guardians can contact Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS) via:

  • Mailing Address: 110 N. 5th Street, Second Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55403
  • Parent/Guardian Help Line: 800-477-8237
Fax: 612-548-3326
  • TADS Email:

Financial Aid Application Deadlines & Notification Dates

Financial Aid Application Deadlines:

  • All current DA families: Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten applicants: Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
  • Grades 1 through 12 applicants: Monday, Jan. 7, 2019

Admission & Financial Aid Notification Dates:

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten: Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
  • Grades 1 through 12: Friday, March 8, 2019

Determining Need for Financial Aid

DA uses an independent third party, Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS), to help determine the ability of the applicant’s family to pay tuition. The results of the TADS formula are considered by DA's Financial Aid Committee, which then determines whether aid is to be granted and how much aid to grant. All information is confidential.

Financial aid need is calculated by TADS without regard to race, gender, ability, ethnicity or religion. 

DA is proud to annually commit to a generous financial aid budget, and every effort is made to meet financial need — although requests for financial aid exceed the funds available each year. The following categories will be considered in allocating awards:

  • Returning financial aid recipients qualifying for a comparable award 

  • Returning students new to financial aid 

  • New students, with preference given by grade applying from oldest to youngest

  • Current and new families who apply after the financial aid deadline

In addition to each of these categories, the following factors will also be considered: 

  • Grade level enrollment goals 

  • Relative merit of the individual student 

  • Socioeconomic, racial, religious and cultural diversity 

  • Size of the award and projected long-term need 

  • Adherence to school policies (payment history, past due balances, on-time financial aid application) 

Financial Aid FAQs

Q: If my family qualifies for tuition aid, are there resources to help with other school-related expenses?
A: For those receiving tuition aid, Durham Academy offers limited financial assistance for expenses beyond tuition — such as textbooks, after-school care, Upper School travel and other extra-curricular activities. If school-related expenses are burdensome for your family, please contact the Office of Enrollment Management at or 919-493-5787. 

Q: Will applying for financial aid hurt our chances of admission?
A: No. We make our admission decisions prior to evaluating families' financial need. DA is committed to enrolling the most dynamic student body possible, regardless of families' ability to pay the full tuition.

Q: If we receive a financial aid award, will we have to pay it back?
A: No. All tuition assistance at DA is in the form of grants that do not have to be repaid.

Q: Must all parents in the household be employed to qualify for financial aid?
A:  We expect that all parents in a household be employed before seeking financial aid. The exception is for parents caring for preschool-aged children, living with a disability, or facing other circumstances preventing employment. Please submit to TADS an explanation regarding any unemployed parents in the household. Parents who are currently enrolled in school should submit a letter to TADS explaining their program, progress toward a degree and expected date of graduation. 

Q: What happens if my family is not receiving financial aid, but then encounters financial difficulties?
A: Families not currently on financial aid who have experienced unexpected financial difficulties may apply for financial assistance. DA may respond to these families depending on the circumstances and the availability of financial aid.

Deposit and Tuition Refund Plan

DA has a policy requiring all families to pay a 10 percent tuition deposit in order to enroll. They are also required to participate in the Tuition Refund Plan when receiving financial aid.

All inquiries and applications for financial aid are held in the strictest confidence. I
f you have any questions about DA's financial aid program or need additional instructions, please contact the Office of Enrollment Management at or 919-493-5787. 

2019–2020 Tuition & Fees

Grade Levels


Activity Fee






(Longer academic day 
for 2019–2020 — 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.)


Grades 1-4 

Grades 5-8


$600 (grades 5 & 6)
$650 (grades 7 & 8) 

Grades 9-12


$825 (grades 9 & 10)
$975 (grade 11)
$1,025 (grade 12) 

Additional Fees:

  • Student Capital Fee of $3,000 for new students (one-time fee)
  • Textbook costs average $500–$750 per year for grades 5–12
  • The Tuition Refund Plan is required of all financial aid recipients, with annual premiums between $108–$188.

Financial Aid Information Night

Please join us on Monday, Nov. 19, to learn about Durham Academy's financial aid program. The information session will begin at 7 p.m.

Payment Plans

Tuition and fees are due at the end of July and November. For information about monthly payment plans and tuition refund insurance, please contact:

Durham Academy Business Office
Ellen Tvrdy
Student Billing
919-489-6569 (x6131)

Admissions Staff

Victoria Muradi
Director of Enrollment Management
919-489-3400 (x2111)


Lori Reade
Associate Director of Enrollment Management
919-489-9118 (x4103)


Kemi Nonez
Associate Director of Enrollment Management
919-489-6569 (x6111)


Lali Pshyk
Assistant Director of Enrollment Management 
919-489-3400 (x2110) 


Christine Lee
Enrollment Management Administrative Assistant
919-489-3400 (x2101)


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An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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