Myth: Only wealthy families can afford an independent school education.
Fact: Tuition can be expensive. But most schools offer financial aid to help the students they’ve admitted enroll, regardless of the families’ financial status.
Financial Aid at Independent Schools
Based on six independent boarding schools and 1,167 independent day schools.
Source: NAIS, 2015-16 Statistical Tables, "Table 700 Need Based Financial Aid - Industry," DASL
Myth: If we tell the school our family needs financial aid, it will hurt our child’s chances of being admitted.
Fact: Most schools will not reject a qualified student just because of financial need. However, admission does not guarantee that you will receive financial aid. That depends on your eligibility and the funds the school has available.
Myth: All the schools our child applies to will offer the same financial aid package.
Fact: Financial aid packages vary significantly from school to school, depending on the school’s endowment, tuition costs, and aid philosophy.
Myth: The deadlines for admission and financial aid are the same.
Fact: Often these deadlines are not the same. Check with each school, and be sure to keep track of what you must do when. Also, do not wait to begin the financial aid process until after you receive an admission decision.
Myth: The financial aid application process is complicated.
Fact: You do have to provide a lot of information, but financial aid offices are working hard to make it easier. Many schools use SSS by NAIS, so you may only have to fill out one form to apply for aid at several schools.
Myth: It’s too intimidating to talk to the school about our private financial matters.
Fact: You have to be willing to discuss your situation in order for the school to determine your financial need. Financial aid officers want to help you afford an independent school education for your child. Let them do their job.