At Bernard Zell our mission is to engage students in a program of rigorous studies through a variety of classroom and real world learning opportunities, to educate students to be active and informed citizens in our pluralistic community, to inspire them to develop Jewish literacy and to guide them as they embrace their chosen Jewish practice and beliefs.
We are proud to offer a robust Tuition Assistance program, of all families that apply, the average award is 40% of tuition and fees. Details on our Tuition Assistance Program can be found below. Outside of Bernard Zell, there are other financial assistance opportunities which includes the Tuition Accessibility Partnership (TAP) Fund, and the JUF Right Start program. Details and links to those programs can be found below.
The school's need-based tuition assistance program, available to families with students in nursery through eighth grade, enables the school to enroll students who might not otherwise have access to an independent and Jewish education.
A Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School education is now accessible to more families than ever thanks to a significant pledge our school received from the Zell Family Foundation. This generous gift established the Zell Family Fund for Jewish Education in order to help Jewish families in Chicago who are committed to providing their children with an outstanding education shaped by Jewish values regardless of economic circumstance.
A neutral third-party organization, Blackbaud Financial Aid Management, assists the school's tuition assistance award process by providing recommendations regarding a family's need. Blackbaud Financial Aid Management analyzes families' applications and establishes a base that enables the school to measure each family's need equitably. Assistance is given based on the availability of funds.
The grid below is designed to provide families with a general idea of qualification levels for tuition assistance based solely on household income. Actual tuition assistance awards are based on income, assets and resources. Since each family's situation is unique, the Committee gives careful attention to each family application individually.
*For general reference only. The tuition assistance application has a more comprehensive approach of assessing need based on income, assets and debt.
**Total number of full-time students under the age of 26, including those not attending Bernard Zell
The tuition assistance application process is a separate and independent part of the application for admission. An application for tuition assistance does not influence the decision to admit a student to the school.
Tuition Assistance Checklist
All families requesting tuition assistance must submit an application through Blackbaud Financial Aid Management (previously known as SMARTaid) Please review the checklist below and be mindful of the deadline. Returning families should be sure to select the correct application year when submitting their form.
Complete all parts of the application through Blackbaud Financial Aid Management. Before completing the form, carefully read all instructions. Any omission on the application will result in a delay in awarding tuition assistance.
Enter a valid email address and a password of your choice.
Once you are confirmed with a username and password, you will be logged in and can start the application process.
When prompted, please use the following school ID code: 12495.
For assistance in filling out the application or retrieving login information you can contact Smart either by phone at 1-800-360-8027 or by e-mail at email@example.com. No paper applications will be available. All documentation should be submitted directly through Blackbaud Financial Aid Management.
Tuition assistance is available to families with children of all ages. Awards are determined based on recommendations from an independent, third-party organization. A variety of factors are considered.
Tuition assistance is a strictly confidential matter and the admissions process is need-blind. Neither the admissions committee nor Bernard Zell faculty, staff or community members have knowledge of tuition assistance applications and/or awards.
All parents/legal guardians must complete an online application via Blackbaud Financial Aid Management, our independent, third-party financial aid company, and submit the requested tax returns. The tuition assistance committee takes into consideration the ability of both parents and their spouses, if any, to contribute to the child’s education.
Introducing a new way for families to access Jewish education at Bernard Zell!
The Tuition Accessibility Partnership (TAP) Fund is an alternative tuition model for families interested in enrolling their children in Jewish day schools in Chicago. The TAP Fund caps tuition at 12% of a family’s annual adjusted gross income (AGI).
TAP was created for families with an AGI between $200,000 and $350,000 per year. Families who fall within this range receive a capped tuition total, regardless of the number of children they have enrolled in K-8 Jewish day schools.
JUF Right Start, the first program of its kind, was created to increase awareness and access to Jewish early childhood programs for Chicago-area families. JUF Right Start provides a financial voucher for BZ families enrolling their children during the academic year in any of our Early Childhood programs who never previously attended a Jewish early childhood program.
If a child is the first in a family to attend a Jewish early childhood program, that child is eligible for the JUF Right Start Signature Voucher:
$2,000 if the child plans on attending 4 or 5 days/week
To be eligible for the JUF Right Start Signature Voucher at Bernard Zell, a child must be:
Enrolling in a Jewish early childhood program for the first time.
The first child in the family to attend a Jewish early childhood program.
A member of a family where at least one parent identifies as Jewish.
The deadline for submitting a JUF Right Start application is three months after the child’s start date **