How do I apply for financial aid?
You can apply online here.
Does my income have to fall under a certain level for my family to qualify for financial aid?
No. Since many other factors including number of children, assets, and liabilities go into the financial aid process, there is no one specific income level that can clearly represent a cut-off for every family.
How is my level of need determined?
Each year, the Financial Aid Committee makes its decisions after careful review of the Parent’s Financial Statement (PFS), current IRS forms, supporting schedules, and other pertinent information. To determine each family’s degree of need, the Financial Aid Committee uses the forms and procedures established by School and Student Services (SSS). Income, assets, expenses, number of dependents, and other special circumstances are taken into account in the process. In the case of divorce or separation, the school requests financial information from both parents. While a family may demonstrate a given level of need, the school does not promise to meet 100% of that need, therefore a financial aid grant represents what AC can offer, not necessarily what a family may ask for or qualify for. Strict confidence is expected on the part of all families and a breach of confidentiality can jeopardize financial aid offers in the future.
Will I have to pay a deposit?
Yes. We ask parents to return a financial aid agreement with the re-enrollment contract and a small deposit indicating a plan to return the following fall. In keeping with the National Association of Independent Schools Principles of Good Practice for financial aid administration, Allendale Columbia School does not require a full financial commitment until a family has had the opportunity to review our financial aid offer. A “fully informed enrollment decision” sets our standard for fairness to all families.
Will a financial aid application affect the admissions process?
No. The need for financial aid in no way affects the admission process or decision. Financial aid decisions are made with the Financial Aid Committee. Admission decisions are made with a faculty-driven Admissions Committee. The processes are separate. However, financial aid decisions are not formally rendered until an applicant has been deemed admissible.
What is the purpose of the financial aid program?
Allendale Columbia School is proud of its tradition of providing an outstanding education that prepares students for life’s important next steps. A strong financial aid program helps make our independent educational experience affordable and accessible to families seeking such an education for their children.
Will I be eligible in my income bracket?
The only way to answer this question is to complete the confidential financial aid application process. Since many other factors including number of children, assets, and debts go into the financial aid process, there is no one specific income level that can clearly represent a cut-off for every family.
What are the factors other than income that are considered?
Other factors included in the determination of financial need include number of dependents, underemployed spouses, divorce and child support agreements, investments, student loans, business ownership statements, housing equity, and discretionary spending choices.
Will I have to apply for financial aid each year?
Yes. Every family that wishes to be considered for financial aid must reapply every year by the deadline. Funds often run out and preference is given to those parents who complete their application by the deadline and submit the necessary tax paperwork by the deadline. Applications received after the deadline may not be offered financial aid for the upcoming year. Accounts must remain in good standing to be considered for financial aid.
Can I expect to pay the same amount each year once I enroll?
No. We re-evaluate each family’s situation every year and there are a variety of circumstances that affect the allocation of financial aid. Financial aid funds are not guaranteed. We try to work with returning families to help ensure continuity of experience for the student(s) as long as parents stay current with their payments. We believe long term financial planning is as important as long term educational planning and we look forward to working with every family.
Are there costs in addition to the tuition that I will have to pay?
Yes, there are a few additional costs that may come up, but they usually include things like AP test registration, SAT registration, and perhaps rare or specific field trips. This year books and lunch are included in the tuition as are many other parts of school life.
Does everyone pay something toward tuition?
Yes. All families pay some part of their tuition.