Financial Aid

Paying for private school can be expensive and financial aid can be a huge help. Here we'll cover the financial aid options, how eligibility is determined and how it can affect the admissions process.
View the most popular articles in Financial Aid:
Updated   May 11, 2017 |
How To Improve Your SSAT Quantitative Score
The experts at Noodle Pros offer on improving quantitative scores on the commonly used private school standardized admissions test, the SSAT.

I asked the experts at Noodle Pros for suggestions as to how to improve quantitative scores on the commonly used private school standardized admissions test, the SSAT. Their answers follow. ...Rob

Four Noodle Pros give advice on how to improve your SSAT quantitative score: 

1. Be thorough.

Write out your math as thoroughly and as clearly as you can. Even when you can do much of the calculation in your head, it helps a lot to have your step-by-step thinking on paper in front of you. Many times when you get lost or stuck, you can look at what you have written and find your way out of a jam. You can also find and fix the errors in your thinking or your calculation more quickly and more accurately when you can see the work in front of you. Don't do all your math in your head! - Brendan Mernin, 27 Years Tutoring

2. Be confident.

Students do their best when they feel confident. The challenge in maintaining good morale is that the difficulty of the exam can cause students anxiety. Remember that, according to the SSAT website, the SSAT writers design the questions so that only 50 to 60 percent of the test-takers get the question right. Help your child maintain a realistic view of what is expected, and take on preparation in reasonable “chunks.” Start by mastering the questions on content your child already knows, gradually pursue new content or new applications of content, and remind your child

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Updated   May 26, 2016 |
Making the Financial Aid Process Work for You
Do you need financial aid? Not sure? Confused by how financial aid works? Here are some answers.
Finding the right private school for your child is a major process in and of itself. It is time-consuming with lots of steps, deadlines and forms to fill out and submit. Then, of course, you have to deal with the issue of how to pay for that private school education once you have identified the right school. Against this backdrop let's you and I figure out how to make the financial aid process work for us.
 
Start early
 
The key to success with any major project is to begin early. Taming the financial aid part of getting your child into private school begins with knowing how much you can afford to pay. Have that number worked out and clear in your mind. The most effective way at figuring out what you can pay is to review your income and expenses. Determine what you can afford to pay monthly for your child's tuition. Project that also as an annual amount. Now bear in mind that this is a rough cut because what you are going to be doing very soon is completing the online documentation known as the Parents' Financial Statement or PFS provided by the School and Student Service (SSS) organization operated by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The PFS will require accurate financial information about your income, expenses and assets as well as information about any other children who are in tuition-charging schools, i.e., private school. Having that rough idea of how much financial aid you
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Updated   May 26, 2016 |
Financial Aid 101
Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education. Here's how it works.
What is financial aid? Financial aid is money given by individual private schools to help families pay for a private school education. Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education.
 
What is the purpose of financial aid? Financial aid is one tool private schools can use to make their school more diverse. Yes, many years ago, private schools had a less than positive reputation for being elitist. But thankfully, times have changed. Being able to pay for a private school education is no longer the only thing that matters. If your child has the qualifications which the school is looking for but you cannot afford to send her, then financial aid is certainly an option which you need to explore.
 
Read what one of the most prestigious private schools in the United States of America has to say about diversity:
 
"Andover's broad socio-economic diversity is a hallmark of the Academy as displayed in the inclusive distribution of financial aid grants to low-, middle- and upper- middle income families." 
Phillips Andover, like a great many private schools, has a Need Blind Admission policy in place. What that means is that the school does not look at your financial circumstances as part of its admissions criteria. Ask whether the school to which you are applying has a Need Blind Admissions policy in place and find out more about how it works.
 
Financial aid programs are unique.
 
Because schools expect their fees to
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Updated   February 08, 2017 |
The Parents' Financial Statement (PFS)
The Parents' Financial Statement allows schools to determine the amount you will have to pay for your child's tuition and fees.

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.

Here is how The Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania describes its financial aid program:

"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

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Updated   June 11, 2016 |
5 Things You Didn't Know About Financial Aid
Financial aid can be complicated, even confusing, for most of us. But don't be intimidated by it. Here's how it works.
Financial aid can be very confusing for many parents. You wonder whether you make too much to be eligible. Is there a specific time when you apply? Here are five facts most of us didn't know about private school financial aid.
 
1. You have to apply for it.
 
Applying for financial aid at most private schools is a separate process from applying for admission to the school. You also need to make sure that you apply early. This is particularly important if the school has no specific admissions deadline or rolling admissions.
 
2. You may be eligible for free tuition if your family income is below a certain amount.
 
Exeter, Andover, Groton, St. Paul's and Deerfield all have financial aid programs which offer a tuition free education to admitted students whose income is below a certain threshold. The threshold varies but is in the $60-75k range.
 
3. There is a common application form.
 
Many private schools use a common financial aid form. This vastly simplifies the process of applying to several schools. You will have to fill out the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) online at www.nais.org/financialaid/sss. You can also complete a paper version of this application. This will be available from school admissions offices.
 
4. Most schools have a sliding scale of aid.
 
You may think that you are ineligible for financial aid because your family income is $150,000. The truth is that you may indeed be eligible for some aid. It will depend on factors such as how many children you have at the
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