Planning Your Private School Financial Aid Application: Hear from a Director!

Planning Your Private School Financial Aid ApplicationWe’ve written much about boarding school financial aid over the years. The crux of all our pieces being: financial aid is process, not a recipe.

Hence we offer maps and suggestions about planning and working through a process. Here’s an example from our e-book “Mastering the Private School Admission Process:”

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. Completing the FA 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 reality- be prepared to receive more aid from a school where you might be a stronger applicant and less aid where you might be in the middle of the pack.

Our colleague, Brendan Schneider, Sewickley Academy’s admission and financial aid director takes a fine toothed comb to preparing for your financial aid application in a post titled “5 Things To Do Before You Apply for Financial Aid.”

Brendan’s advice doesn’t remove variables from the financial aid process, but he does offer some very sound, focused steps as you gather your information and prepare your financial aid application.

Some of Brendan’s steps overlap with ours (know your deadlines). But, I like a couple that we don’t touch-on quite so thoroughly:

Introduce Yourself to the Financial Aid Director
…If you haven’t done so already, make sure to introduce yourself to the financial aid director. The introduction could be in-person but an email will also be fine.

Complete Your Tax Return
If you intend on applying for financial aid, you should get used to completing your tax return early every year. Schedule an early appointment with your tax preparer or complete your taxes as soon as you receive your supporting documents.”(SA)

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  • coed boarding schools

    Financial aid can be tricky sometimes and it is a good thing to ask advisers and other experienced people at school for help. People who know and have been through the process before will help you get every bit of money to help you through your education.


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