If you’ve ever thought about private school but weren’t sure you could afford it, you might be surprised to learn that private school budgets are designed to make it affordable for qualified students to attend. If private school is what your child needs to succeed, follow these 3 simple steps to apply for financial aid.
Step 1: Apply to the School
You can’t apply for financial aid without applying to the school itself, so make sure you complete the private school application. Most schools require this be done online, and it includes portions for both students and parents to complete, as well as forms for the school, teachers, and the principal or counselor to fill out. There is typically an admission test that also needs to be taken and parents and/or students will need to engage in an interview with someone from the admission team. Learn more about applying to private school here.
Step 2: Complete the Parent Financial Statement (PFS)
You’ll have to fill out the Parent Financial Statement (PFS), which is available on the School and Student Services (SSS) website. SSS is a part of the National Association of Independent Schools. This form allows you to complete the application once and it will be sent to every private school you request. It uses information about your family’s financial situation to determine how much your family can contribute towards tuition, and the form itself provides simple step by step instructions, with options to get assistance throughout. This includes uploading supplementary documentation including your current and past year tax forms. The PFS will have a “My Documents” section that tells you what should be uploaded.
Step 3: Follow Up with the Schools
Once you’ve completed the forms, wait about a week (be aware of important deadlines so you aren’t late) and then follow up to make sure the school has everything they need from you for your application. Now, you just need to wait for your admission and aid decisions.
Once the decisions have been sent out, you still have more work to do: accept, appeal, or decline the offer.
- Accept: If you received the perfect financial aid package, congratulations! Be sure to accept both the school’s offer of admission and the financial aid award and work out any remaining details like payment plans for any balance of tuition that is left.
- Appeal: If your package is not enough or you were denied aid, then you might consider appealing for more aid. Most schools, including Milken, allow families to appeal decisions, so you haven’t necessarily hit a dead end if your package is lower than you expected. Find out what the appeal process is, and begin it right away. Again, being among the first to appeal can be an advantage.
- Decline: If you were given aid but are not going to accept the offer, let the school know right away. Your financial aid award will then be put back into the overall aid budget and will be reallocated to another family hoping to receive assistance to attend the school.
If you have more questions about your application for aid, contact the admission office for details. They'll be happy to help!