Frequently asked questions about applying for financial aid at independent schools

Are you intimidated by the idea of ​​paying for your child’s education in an independent school? Most schools are aware that some families would need financial support to send their children to private schools. So you offer financial support to such families. However, you may have many questions and concerns about the financial assistance application process. Let’s address some of the important questions here.

1. How do we start the financial aid application process?

The whole process begins every year in the month of November. You must complete the Parent Financial Statement or PFS form. You can use the required paper form or submit it online at the National Association of Independent Schools website.

2. What documents do we need to submit?

You must provide signed copies of the previous year’s and current year’s 1040s with all schedules and W-2 forms.

3. If I am divorced or separated from my partner, my partner must also submit their financial report

As long as both parents are involved in their child’s life, both would need to provide their independent financial records. If stepparents look after the child, they must also submit their documents. It is imperative that each individual responsible for the child provides their financial records during the application process.

4. How is the allocation of our funding decided?

Financial aid is always needs-based. After receiving your application, the Schul- und Studentenwerk (SSS) will examine your documents to determine how much you could contribute to your child’s private schooling.

This information is then passed on to the private school, which then determines the amount they would allocate for your help. Your family income, savings, home equity, wealth, and many other factors will be considered when determining your assistance package. Each school is allocated a specific aid budget each year.

5. Does the amount of financial support stay the same or vary each year?

Parents must apply for financial assistance each year. The awards are reviewed annually. Because the grant is means-tested, your contribution percentage would be pretty much the same as long as the family’s financial situation doesn’t change significantly. However, an increase in the tuition fee, an increase in the parents’ income and fluctuations in the school’s funding reserves can affect the amount of the funding.

6. When will we be notified that our funding has been granted?

Upon completion of the admissions process, families would receive notification of their admission to a school. Along with this notification would also be attached a letter of financial assistance stating the amount of assistance the school would offer and the amount the family is expected to contribute to their child’s education.

7. What if the financial support offered is still insufficient to cover the training costs?

You can contact the school’s financial aid office and speak to a financial aid representative. They would be able to explore other possible options for your specific needs. They can also recommend loan options and payment plans that can help meet your financial needs.

8. Is there a possibility that our child will be admitted without financial support?

Yes, there is such a possibility. Approval and granting are two separate, independent processes. A school provides financial support according to its possibilities and the available funds. In addition, schools believe that it is primarily the family’s responsibility to finance their children’s education. So you can offer admission but not provide financial support under certain circumstances.

Review the answers to these questions to be well-prepared for the financial assistance application process. Follow these guidelines to be better informed about the process of receiving financial aid for your child’s private schooling.