Most private schools offer some form of financial aid to help offset tuition. Here is how these programs work in most schools. There are exceptions, of course, because we are talking about private, independent schools. Each school determines how it will handle its financial aid program. No local, regional or national association dictates how financial aid programs will work.
First of all, you have to ask for financial aid. If you don't ask, the school will not know that you need financial assistance. Secondly, you will have to prove that you really do need financial aid by documenting your income and assets. That is where the Parents' Financial Statement comes in. Then, the last thing to consider is that most schools have a limited pool of funds from which to award financial aid. That means that you must submit your application for financial aid as early as you can in order to be considered for a financial aid award.
"The Hill School Financial Aid Program offers assistance to families based upon their financial need and the availability of funds. There are no merit-based scholarships at The Hill School. All awards offered are based on the financial/demonstrated need of the family. Accordingly, no student should be deterred from applying to The Hill due to their family not being able to afford the full tuition. Approximately 40 percent of our current student population annually receives financial
Let's look at the facts.
Conservative Investment Policies
The investment approach for private school endowments has historically been a conservative, cautious approach. Trustees and their advisors have generally been good stewards of their finances. They avoided risky investments such as derivatives and real estate despite calls from some quarters to maximize returns. The reason for the decline in their portfolio value is simple: just about every investment-grade instrument declined.
Back in the 90s, sustainability became an important principle in private school mission statements and philosophies. The National Association of Independent Schools has taken a leadership role in supporting all kinds of sustainability initiatives including financial sustainability with its 1,500 member schools.
From the Nais: "In order for independent schools to thrive in the 21st century, NAIS believes that they must be sustainable along five dimensions: financial, demographic, programmatic, environmental, and global."
As a result, schools with significant endowments (greater than $10 million) generally were well-positioned to weather the economic storm which 2009 brought on with a vengeance.
Financial Aid is a Priority