Wed, April 10, 2024

Financial Aid for Private School: Common Questions Answered

1. What is Financial Aid?

Most private and independent schools give need-based awards or grants. A small number of schools offer merit scholarships, but this is not as common. Grants and awards provide a reduction in the amount of tuition families pay. This is not a loan, it’s a reduction in tuition obligation.

2. Will applying for financial aid affect my chances of getting in?

For most schools, financial aid comes into the decision-making process. Many families apply for and receive financial aid. Each school is independent and as such, they create their own rubrics in determination of aid awards. Therefore, there is no uniformity between the schools in amounts granted or in the amount of aid they have available to each division.

3. When should I apply for financial aid?

It varies, but most schools ask you to fill out the admissions application first. Then the school will make the financial aid application available to you after submission. Financial aid application deadlines will be on the admissions application or the school’s website. Pay attention to each school’s deadline. Deadlines can be as early as October or as late as February.

4. What is the financial aid application like?

Most schools use a third-party service like TADS, SSS, or Clarity. At minimum, you will be asked to provide your tax returns and W-2s. You may also be asked to provide other documentation like student loan statements and a list of your dependents. You may also have the opportunity to discuss or document any special financial circumstances.

5. What if I have more questions?

Schools have designated financial aid officers or administrators whose job is to be a resource for you. They are happy to answer your questions. Parents League Advisors can help to guide you through the process and also help you to cultivate a broad school list. Attend a Parents League financial aid workshop or panel, scheduled periodically throughout the year.

Become a Parents League member today! Learn more here.

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