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Thoughts on the Opening of the Boarding School Financial Aid Season

The boarding school financial process officially kicked off this past Saturday (11/15) with the opening of the 2009-2010 PFS or Personal Financial Statement completion window. The PFS- the information or form gathered and processed by School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS)- is used to report family financial information to member schools. The processing and number crunching results in each family's Report of Family Contribution- the amount of annual tuition SSS calculates a family can afford pay. Member schools award their need based financial aid using the Report of Family Contribution.

SSS offers a list of frequently asked questions about the PFS on their web site. I recommend giving them a read.

Important notes about the FA process:
Applying for financial aid is time consuming. Read through all information available from each school and from SSS. Do your homework. Gather documents and start early. Be transparent open, honest, and candid- in all your data and in your communication with admission and financial aid officers. Keep the FA officers at your schools informed; let them know what you're doing; ask them questions. In turn, they will keep you informed.

Remember, seeking financial is a process, not a recipe. The completion of the process will not produce a specific result. Schools award their own aid based on the competition for that aid. The amount of aid you might receive varies from school to school based on how much aid the school has available and the quality of competition for each available dollar.

The long and short- be prepared to receive more aid from a school where you might be stronger applicant and less aid where you would be in the middle of the pack.


Brian, good advice, especially in these challenging economic times.

I echo your recommendation to be "transparent open, honest, and candid" with school FA offices. An open dialogue is an important part of the process.

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AdmissionsQuest's blog dedicated to boarding school admission & schools.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brian Fisher published on November 18, 2008 2:14 PM.

Prep School Football Gains International Flavor was the previous entry in this blog.

The Boarding School Mom's Daughter Provides Admission Tips is the next entry in this blog.

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