Financial Aid for Private School: Common Questions Answered

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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, but don't hesitate to apply...Because independent schools are expensive, many families apply for financial aid. Ask the school what their policy is and how they consider financial aid when making admissions decisions.

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 FACTS. 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 want to answer your questions. Parents League can also help! Our advisors will work with you individually to develop your list of schools and understand the admissions process.

Become a Parents League member today! Learn more here.