Part of the mission of the _____ School is to demonstrate that intelligence is not rare in the universe, but rather can be cultivated if we begin to provide children with the right intellectual and emotional environments from an early age and continue to carry through into adolescence.
To fulfill this mission, it is vital that the school attracts families while their children are still very young, and convince them of the value of keeping them at our school up through graduation.
Realistically, a substantial percentage of our families may go through a period of financial stress or uncertainty, which in the past often led them to take the financial safer path of transferring their children to the public schools at the first sign of financial pressures on the horizon.
Most painful of all is the case where a family is devastated by divorce, illness, injury, or even death mid-way through the year. Only less so is the case of the family who has been loyal and enthusiastic, but finds themselves faced with financial problems that should reasonably last only a year or two. These families need a temporary bridge of assistance to give them not only the financial aid, but the emotional support, to renew their commitment to their children’s education at our school.
Many other independent schools, being much less integrated ethnically and socio-economically than we are, use financial aid to bring in a small number of less affluent new minority students every year.
The primary goal of our financial aid program is to support our present families through times of economic stress, rather than to make our school more affordable to new families. This does not mean that aid will not be awarded to prospective students, but rather that present families in a time of need will always have first priority.
B. This policy covers the awarding of three kinds of tuition assistance:
Financial aid, which is defined as a reduction in tuition granted to families who have demonstrated eligibility through an objective assessment of their financial position.
Temporary loans, in the form of extraordinary tuition payment plans, made at reasonable interest, to a family whose finances reasonably suggests that they will be able to afford the tuition over the course of the school year, but can neither pay within the school’s normal payment plans nor secure a bank loan.
Scholarships, granted as a reduction in tuition to a student on the basis of extraordinary talent that is greatly desired within the student body, without strict regard to the family’s financial position.
II. The Financial Aid Committee
A. Membership and function
The Board of Trustees shall appoint a Financial Aid Committee consisting of five members. Membership shall include one member of the Board, who will chair the committee; the Heads of the two campuses; the school’s Business Manager and Comptroller. The Headmaster will serve as an advisor the committee .
Financial aid decisions will be made by the committee working within the guidelines established by these policies, granting aid up to the amount approved by the Board of Trustees for that academic year.
The amount of financial aid available to be awarded by the committee for the upcoming academic year shall be set by the Board of Trustees no later than April 15th.
The Financial Aid Committee shall make full reports to the Board upon request. These reports shall include a summary and list of financial aid awards made in the last school year.
B. Conditions of Financial Aid
1. All financial aid or scholarships will be awarded on a one-year basis only. A student receiving financial aid or a scholarship will have no guarantee of continuation in the following school year, although the Financial Aid Committee shall strive to give said students first and careful consideration in this regard.
2. The greatest amount of financial aid or scholarship that the Financial Aid Committee can award to any student shall not exceed 50% of his or her tuition. In the event that the Committee believes that an individual case is exceptional, it may refer the question to the Board of Trustees for special consideration.
3. Financial aid awarded covers tuition only, and does not include any fees for books and materials, special activities, supervision, or transportation.
4. Any financial aid or scholarships awarded shall be credited to the student’s account. The family may elect to pay the balance according to any of the three optional payment plans which are currently available.
5. Once financial aid has been offered and accepted, the family shall be treated like any other family in the school, with no special expectations nor exemptions from policy. Families receiving financial aid are expected to pay the balance of their accounts on time according to the payment plan selected.
6. Financial aid will not be renewed in any case where a family receiving aid fails to keep the balance of their account up-to-date.
C. The Financial Aid Committee will prepare and distribute upon request a published explanation of the school’s financial aid policies and process.
1. All applications for financial aid submitted by returning students should be received by April 15th to be considered for the following school year. Late applications will be considered after all initial applications have been processed if funds are still available. It is the obligation of the family to ensure that all appropriate applications and documentation are submitted by April 15th.
2. Applications for financial aid shall include:
a. A personal financial disclosure made directly to the School Scholarship Service in Princeton, New Jersey, with instructions to send a copy of the report to the school’s Financial Aid Office
b. A letter submitted directly to the school’s Financial Aid Office stating the family’s need for financial aid, along with any information that they feel will assist the committee in considering their application.
c. A copy of the family’s tax returns for the last two years.
d. Letters of recommendation from the child’s teachers regarding his or her academic progress, social and emotional development, and contribution to the class, along with an informal assessment of the families support and cooperation with the school.
e. A report from the business office regarding the financial history of the family’s accounts with the school.
D. Priorities in considering applications for financial aid or scholarships
1. Faculty children
2. Families who already have two or more children enrolled in the school, who can demonstrate financial need.
3. Families of present students enrolled at the Middle and Upper School levels who can demonstrate financial need.
4. Families of present students enrolled at the Primary and Lower School levels who can demonstrate financial need.
5. New Middle or Upper School students who we want to bring into the school who have a special talent (such as exceptional academic or athletic skills) that we have identified as important to our future development, and who can demonstrate financial need.
6. Scholarships awarded to new Middle or Upper School students who we want to bring into the school because of some special talent (such as exceptional academic or athletic skills) that we have identified as important to our future development.
7. New Primary and Lower School students who we want to bring into the school, and who can demonstrate financial need.
In all cases, careful consideration will be given according to the number of years the family has been with the school and any special contributions the student or family has made to the life of the school.