Valuing an MCDS Education

The life-long benefits of a strong work ethic, self-confidence, creative thinking, and a love of learning are difficult to quantify. While MCDS tuition remains well below the average tuition cost for US independent schools, we recognize the significant commitment each family must make to join the MCDS community. MCDS works individually and confidentially to offer various payment plans, tuition assistance, and/or merit scholarships to bring an MCDS education within financial reach.

GradeEnrollment DepositTuitionBalance
Pre-K (a.m. only)$1,000$10,186$9,186
Pre-K (full-day)$1,000$13,792$12,792
Kindergarten$1,000$14,850$13,850
Grades 1—4 (Lower School)$1,000$16,490$15,490
Grades 5—8 (Middle School)$1,000$16,990$15,990
Grades 9—12 (High School)$1,000$17,800$16,800

Additional variable fees are assessed depending on grade level.  Please see breakdown below.

Payment Plans

For your convenience, MCDS offers families the following school-administered tuition payment plans through our Smart Tuition service:

  • One payment—Full tuition is due in August.
  • Two payments—Billed in August and December. (A service charge is applied)
  • Eleven payments—Billed in August through June. (A service charge is applied)

Check, electronic funds transfers, or credit card payments are accepted.

Wisconsin Tuition Tax Deduction

Parents may deduct up to $4,000 of tuition per student in grades Kindergarten through eight, and up to $10,000 of tuition per high school student. Use the identifying number (FEIN) 39-1832986 for the Schedule PS Private School Tuition form.

Transportation Reimbursement

Reimbursement for your transportation expenses may be available depending on your home school district. Qualifying districts in Dane County include:

  • Madison Metropolitan
  • Middleton-Cross Plains
  • Waunakee
  • Deforest

Commutes need to be further than two miles and other restrictions may apply.  Please check with your district.

Tuition Assistance

A generous tuition assistance financial aid program supports our efforts to enroll qualified students regardless of financial status. Our robust need-based program is available to students in Kindergarten through grade 12 and is awarded annually.  Since eligibility for tuition assistance is need-based, rather than income-based, we can take into consideration all of the demands on a family budget. These may include multiple children at an independent school, caring for elderly parents, changes in job status, and more. Nearly 40% of MCDS families receive tuition assistance.


Grants, not loans

MCDS tuition assistance comes in the form of grants based on the financial need of the applying family. These grants are not loans and require no repayment. For each applying candidate, we use an outside company, FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) to formulate a grant amount that covers the difference between the cost of tuition and what the family can afford to pay. The goal with our financial aid process is to provide a program that is simple, streamlined, and completely confidential.


How to Apply

  1. Check “yes” for financial aid on the Parent Questionnaire portion of the online application.
  2. Complete your application at the FAST website and pay the $43 application fee.  Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are available now. Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are available at FAST beginning in January 2018.
  3. Submit copies of your most recent tax documents. All tax information must be uploaded to the FAST website. Please do not send any income tax forms directly to MCDS.

Please note, tuition assistance is not available for pre-kindergarten and international students.

Prairie Hawk Merit Scholarships

New applicants to fifth through ninth grade can apply for The Prairie Hawk Merit Scholarship, awarded to students demonstrating academic excellence, personal responsibility, integrity, and citizenship. Learn more about this program here.

  • Eligible scholars: New students applying for Fifth through Ninth Grade
  • Merit scholarship award: Up to five full-tuition scholarships
  • Renewability: Up to $7,000 each year through graduation from MCDS High School
  • Submission deadline: March for the following academic year

Additional variable expenses by grade

Required:

  • Uniforms (not required for Pre-K). Our MCDS used uniform sales provide many discounted options.
  • School supplies
  • Building Use Fee: The Building Use Fee is a standard fee that is found in many independent schools separating tuition (serving to cover educational expenses) from funds earmarked for the ongoing maintenance of facilities. The Building Use Fee of $500/year is charged to each family, and can be offset through participation in the Scrip program.
  • Piano book (grades 1 through 4)
  • Riggs phonogram cards (Kindergarten only)

Optional:

  • Bus transportation
  • Lunch
  • Milk
  • School portraits/yearbook
  • Extended Day program
  • Extracurricular activities, theatre productions, and athletics
  • ABRSM music fees
  • Summer Discovery program (June through August)
  • Annual Fund donation

Required:

  • Uniforms (Our MCDS used uniform sales provide many discounted options).
  • School supplies (including school-issued organizer)
  • Building Use Fee: The Building Use Fee is a standard fee that is found in many independent schools separating tuition (serving to cover educational expenses) from funds earmarked for the ongoing maintenance of facilities. The Building Use Fee of $500/year is charged to each family, and can be offset through participation in the Scrip program.
  • Technology Fee: MCDS will provide students in grades five through eight with a Chromebook including pre-loaded applications and licenses. MCDS will also take on the burden of performing minor repairs, while students will take the device to and from school and keep the device after the eighth grade year. This Chromebook program necessitates a one-time $250 technology fee per middle school student.
  • Instrument instruction books

Optional:

  • Bus transportation
  • Lunch
  • Milk
  • School portraits/yearbook
  • Extended Day program
  • Extracurricular activities, theatre productions, and athletics
  • Socials
  • Eighth grade class trip to Washington, DC (student fundraising can offset this expense)
  • Various music program expenses (instrument rental, ensemble shirts, ABRSM/WSMA competition fees, etc.)
  • Summer Discovery program (June through August)
  • Annual Fund donation

Required:

  • Uniforms (Our MCDS used uniform sales provide some discounted options).
  • School supplies
  • Building Use Fee: The Building Use Fee is a standard fee that is found in many independent schools separating tuition (serving to cover educational expenses) from funds earmarked for the ongoing maintenance of facilities. The Building Use Fee of $500/year is charged to each family, and can be offset through participation in the Scrip program.
  • Laptop or Chromebook
  • Graduation fee (grade 12 only)
  • International student fee (International students only):  In order to cover the additional resources involved with supporting international students, there is an international student tuition fee of $2,500 for the first year and $1,000 per year for each year after.

Optional:

  • Bus transportation
  • Lunch
  • Milk
  • School portraits/yearbook
  • Extracurricular activities, theatre productions, and sports
  • Various music program expenses (instrument rental, ensemble shirts, ABRSM/WSMA competition fees, etc.)
  • Dances/Socials (Prom, Homecoming, etc.)
  • Exchange programs with Ecuador, Spain or Japan  (student fundraising can offset this expense)
  • IB Diploma testing fees (required for IB Diploma candidate students only)
  • Student parking permit
  • Annual Fund donation

Questions?

For more information regarding tuition, tuition assistance, and the Prairie Hawk Merit Scholarship, please contact Amy Maier or Caitlin Wedekind in our enrollment office at enrollment@madisoncountryday.org.

We were concerned about the affordability of educating both of our children at MCDS. The personal interaction and partnership with the school helped alleviate these fears. We are very grateful.

—Lower School Parent

Included in Tuition

World-proven curriculum and teaching methods that deliver superior results, exceeding local and national test levels.

An independent, non-profit school; a self-governing body free from politics and bureaucracy.

An 8:1 student/teacher ratio and smaller class sizes.

A character education program, embracing values such as respect, honesty, responsibility, and community service.

Semi-private musical instrument lessons, beginning with piano in First Grade.

A comprehensive college advising program, beginning in Ninth Grade including Naviance and College Match materials.

Accessible and dedicated faculty, providing continuous communication of individual progress.

A full day of school, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with convenient after-school activities, athletics, library, and child care options.

A motivated and inclusive peer group which enjoys and values learning.

A mindset of limitless possibilities, where no boundaries are set on what your child can achieve.

A community where each student is truly known and valued for their individuality.

Work ethic, self-confidence, leadership, and teamwork skills that flourish from great expectations.

Important subjects often missing from other programs: Science, Spanish, Music, Art, PE—all with specialized teachers beginning in Lower School.

A well-kept, secure facility with modern science labs, an expansive gymnasium, inspiring classrooms and a prairie-filled 45-acre campus.

Textbooks, workbooks, classroom materials, lab and art supplies, field trips, outings, retreats. 
(Variable expenses not included are listed separately by grade.)