Affording an Independent School Education

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Most independent schools are committed to helping families find creative, manageable ways to pay for their child’s education.

Among the options parents can explore the following financial buffers:

How schools determine eligibility for need‑based financial aid

To determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid, families must submit an application form and financial statements. Financial aid officers will then use this information to determine how much the family can reasonably afford to spend on tuition. There is no income limit that automatically makes a family ineligible for financial aid. Financial aid officers take into account income, assets, and expenses, including educational costs for other children. The amount of financial aid each school can offer is based on its financial aid philosophy, budget, and the number of families with demonstrated need who attend the school.

When to apply

Every school has its own financial aid schedule, and the deadlines are different for schools with rolling admissions. In general, most financial aid applications are due in January or February. Families learn about financial aid decisions shortly after the child is admitted to a particular school.
The bottom line: For families who feel they cannot afford the full cost of an independent school education, it’s worth the effort to talk to the school’s financial aid director.

© 2017, National Association of Independent Schools. Reprinted with permission.

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