Many private and independent schools offer financial assistance to qualifying families. Here are a few tips to help guide your family through the process:
- Check with each school to inquire about financial aid, the application requirements, and important deadlines. Megan Meyer, Director of Admission at La Pietra – Hawaii School for Girls, shares that the priority financial aid deadline for new and returning students at La Pietra is February 28, 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year. While families may inquire about financial aid after this deadline, priority will be given to those families who submit the required information by this date.
- Familiarize yourself with the required software application used to process your financial information. Many independent schools use the School and Student Service by NAIS (SSS) to analyze need and a family's ability to contribute to educational expenses and tuition costs. Many factors are considered in determining need, including assets, debt, income, family size, the number of children attending tuition-charging schools, etc. Most schools encourage families to apply for financial aid if they believe they cannot afford the cost of tuition. Meyer continues, "La Pietra supports an extensive financial aid program by providing need based aid to qualified students who could not otherwise afford to attend the school. La Pietra is committed to creating an inclusive student body by enrolling students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds."
- Be sure to have your completed tax returns and W-2's readily available. Most schools will request copies of a family's completed tax returns from the previous year. Meyer encourages families to file their tax returns early so that they are able to meet the February financial aid application deadline.
Families sometimes are concerned that applying for financial aid can negatively impact their child's admission decision. Meyer reassures families that at La Pietra and other private schools the admissions and financial aid processes and decisions are completely separate.
Some schools may offer additional sources of support, like merit scholarships, in addition to financial aid. For example, La Pietra offers a merit scholarship for new students. According to Meyer, the deadline to apply for La Pietra's merit scholarship is February 28 and applicants may apply for both the merit scholarship and financial aid. Families are encouraged to contact the admissions office at each school to inquire further.
To learn more about financial aid and merit scholarships at La Pietra, please visit www.LaPietra.edu or contact Megan Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.