a co-ed, independent, inclusion school for grades k-12+

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Standard Program Tuition
At IDEAL, the full cost of books, technology, and lunch is included in the annual tuition. IDEAL is built upon the principles of Inclusion​, Diversity​, Excellence​, Acceptance​, and Leadership​. These core values constitute the foundation of our school mission and shape our philosophy for teaching and learning. For families applying to the Standard Program who are interested in applying for financial assistance, please use the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a service of NAIS. The SSS code for The IDEAL School of Manhattan is 4255. Requests for financial aid must be received as part of your application. To apply for financial aid, visit the SSS website and submit the necessary information.

For the 2024-25 school year, the tuition for The IDEAL School’s K-12 Standard Program is $57,677.  



In addition to need-based financial aid, The IDEAL School awards two types of scholarships for students who demonstrate a unique connection to, passion for, or ability to contribute toward one or more of these core values.

The IDEAL Scholarship 
All prospective Standard Program students, Grades K-8, are eligible and considered for The IDEAL Scholarship, irrespective of need. The IDEAL Scholarship is a merit-based award that can also be combined with a financial aid award to offset tuition costs. For the 2022-23 school year, The IDEAL Scholarship will cover 75% of tuition. IDEAL Scholars are selected by IDEAL admissions personnel and the Head of School on an annual basis. We will evaluate students to identify those who go above and beyond the qualifications for admission, for a unique connection to, passion for, and/or ability to contribute toward one or more of the school’s core values. This evaluation will include the applicant’s essay answers in the written application, personal and family interviews, recommendations, school observations, and any supplemental or portfolio material submitted in support of the application. The IDEAL Scholarship renews annually until the recipient graduates from Grade 8, as long as the recipient continues to meet the school’s academic and community standards.

The IDEAL Scholarship for New Neighbors in 2024-25

  • One student entering kindergarten in the Standard Program will be eligible for 100% tuition covered for nine years. The Standard Program is for students who require no therapies or related services while in school.
  • The 100% scholarship selection will take location into consideration. The school is specifically looking for students from Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens to open its doors to its new neighbors.
  • The IDEAL Scholarship will renew annually until the recipient graduates from Grade 8, as long as the student remains in good academic and community standing.

Read the press release here

The Open Door Scholarship 
The Open Door Scholarship is a full scholarship that supports students currently enrolled in the Standard Program whose families could not otherwise sustain an IDEAL education. The Open Door Scholarship is awarded to students in Grades 2-8 who have been enrolled at IDEAL for at least three years, who have demonstrated a unique commitment to or passion for one or more of the school’s core values, and whose families have demonstrated financial need. It covers 100% of the school’s tuition for a small number of students each year.

Zenith & Dylan Programs Tuition
Though we don’t offer traditional financial aid for our Zenith, Dylan or Next Steps Programs, we do offer an Amended Tuition Payment Plan to make our programs accessible for families of any socioeconomic background. Families participating in our Zenith, Dylan or Next Steps Programs may qualify for tuition reimbursement as outlined in the options noted below. The following tuition assistance options are used by some of our current families. Note that these options are not affiliated with The IDEAL School of Manhattan, but they may assist you in affording tuition to IDEAL. While pursuing reimbursement through one of the options noted, IDEAL will work with your family to create a payment plan based on your family’s demonstrated need. 
For families applying to the Zenith, Dylan, or Next Steps Programs who would like information about affording an IDEAL tuition or the tuition reimbursement process noted below, please contact the Admission Office at 212-769-1699 ext. 10105 or admissions@theidealschool.org.

Tuition Reimbursement for Placement Made by Parents in a Private School

  1. You have the right to a free appropriate public education for your child.
  2. If you are the parent of a child who previously received special education programs and/or services through the school district and you place your child in a private school, you are responsible for the cost.
  3. However, if you can prove at an impartial hearing or State-level court appeal that the school district did not provide your child with a free appropriate public education in a timely manner prior to that enrollment in private school and that the school you choose is appropriate to meet your child’s educational needs, the school district may be required to reimburse you for the cost of the placement.
  4. Your reimbursement may be denied or reduced if you do not:
    a) Inform the school district at the most recent CSE or CSPE meeting you attend that you are rejecting the placement proposed by the school district and state your concerns and that you will be placing your child at a private school at public expense, or
    b) Provide the school district with written notice of at least ten business days prior to placing your child in the private school. Note that there are exceptions for special circumstances.
  5. If the school gave you written notice prior to your removing your child from public school that it wants to evaluate your child, you must make your child available for the evaluation. If you refuse to make your child available, any request for tuition reimbursement may be reduced or denied.
  6. If you do not inform the school district or make your child available for the evaluation, or if there are other unreasonable actions on your part, an impartial hearing officer or court may reduce or deny the reimbursement of costs of the private school for your child.

Source: The University of the State of New York
The State Education Department
Albany, NY 12234

The IDEAL School of Manhattan does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, ethnic origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial assistance, and other school-administered programs.