Who needs to complete the financial aid application?
Belmont Day expects both of the child’s parents to contribute to educational costs, regardless of a parent’s willingness to pay. The custodial parent (and spouse) and the non-custodial parent (and spouse) must both submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) and all tax forms as stated in the School and Student Services (SSS) instructions. If the whereabouts of the non-custodial parent are unknown, contact the director of financial aid for further instructions on completing your application.
You require 2016 tax forms to be uploaded to SSS by February 10. What if I have not yet filed?
In order to ensure a fair, equitable and consistent financial aid decision-making process, we follow SSS best practices and require the most recent year’s tax forms to be uploaded by the stated deadline. It is the responsibility of families applying for aid to make sure that they gather the necessary documents and file for 2016 before mid-February, at which point W2 forms should have been made available to you. We recognize that this does require significant planning and extra effort, so we encourage families to begin the tax filing process in the early weeks of 2017. Applications that meet our deadline will be given first priority.
How are financial aid awards calculated?
Belmont Day uses School and Student Services (SSS) to process our financial aid applications. SSS is a service of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and is used by most independent schools to calculate need. Based on the financial information you provide through the Parent Financial Statement, SSS provides an estimated amount your family can contribute to educational expenses. Among other things, SSS takes into account:
- Income of both parents (and any additional spouses)
- Family assets
- Age of both parents
- Number of dependents
- Number of children in tuition charging schools
Belmont Day uses this estimated family contribution as a starting point and then makes additional adjustments based on a family’s specific circumstances. All financial aid decisions are made by a committee to ensure consistency and equity of awards.
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes, financial aid awards are recalculated each year. Families must complete the Parent Financial Statement and submit required tax forms every February to establish need for the next academic year.
Will my financial aid award remain the same as long as my child attends Belmont Day?
Families complete a new financial aid application each February to establish need for the following academic year. Assuming that you have not had significant changes to your income, assets, family size, family structure, or number of children attending tuition charging schools, your award will likely remain consistent each year. We award aid to our returning families before our prospective families, so it is critical that your application and most recent tax documents are submitted by the deadline so that we can continue to prioritize your family’s award. We encourage current Belmont Day families to communicate with the director of financial aid throughout the year to make sure questions, concerns, and deadlines are addressed.
Do you provide assistance with after school fees?
Yes, families that are granted a financial aid award are also eligible to receive assistance with after school care fees. We expect that this benefit is only used by families in which the custodial parent(s) is/are working beyond the school’s regular dismissal hours. We apply the same percentage discount to after school fees as that applied to tuition.
Once granted financial aid for my first child, can I assume that my younger child will be offered financial aid upon applying for admission in the future?
Assuming that your family income has not changed significantly from the current year that your first child is enrolled at Belmont Day, and that your younger child qualifies for admission, yes.
Can I apply for financial aid after my child has been granted admission?
We allocate funds from our financial aid budget first to families who qualify for aid and whose children have been granted admission. Waiting to apply for aid after an offer of admission is not encouraged since funds will have been allocated by then and our budget will not be able to accommodate late requests. Priority is given to families who meet our financial aid application deadline.
Will we be considered for financial aid if my spouse stays home to care for our younger child?
Belmont Day recognizes the challenges of raising young children, so in calculating our financial aid awards, we do allow for one parent to remain home until the youngest child is of preschool age. When all children in a family are of school age, it is our expectation that both parents be working full-time in order to be considered for financial aid. Should one parent choose to stay home at that point, we will impute a default salary for that parent when doing our financial aid calculations.