Tuition & Financial Aid
Financial Aid

Financial Aid FAQ

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • + What is financial aid?

    Financial aid is a grant that bridges the gap between a family's demonstrated financial need and the total cost of enrolling at Shady Hill School.
  • + What does a financial aid award cover?

    Tuition is inclusive of all school fees, including books, classroom supplies, field trips, etc. Additional expenses include Afterschool, Extended Day, tutoring and bus transportation. Students receiving financial aid who participate in individual tutoring through our Learning Resources Department, who ride the school bus, or attend Extended Day or Afterschool are billed at a reduced rate.
  • + Who can apply for financial aid?

    Any prospective family can apply for financial aid.  If a family enrolls at Shady Hill School without a financial aid grant, they are not eligible for aid in future years unless there is a significant shift in the family's financial picture. Shady Hill School uses the School and Student Services (SSS) in collaboration with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to assess families’ financial need. School and Student Services helps us assess financial need by determining how much a family can contribute to the cost of tuition.  For more information about School and Student Services and to apply for financial aid, please visit the SSS website.  

    We aim to provide financial aid to as many students as possible and are only able to provide financial aid awards to families who qualify for them through SSS. 

    Financial aid grants vary widely and every family’s financial circumstances are different. If a family anticipates that full tuition is or will be a stretch, we encourage the family to apply for financial aid by February 1. 

    If a family enrolls at Shady Hill School without a financial aid grant, they are not eligible for aid in future years unless there is a significant shift in the family's financial picture.
  • + How are financial aid awards determined?

    All awards are granted on the basis of demonstrated need. Shady Hill School uses the School and Student Service (SSS) for financial aid. Many schools in our area use this same service, so families who are applying to several schools need only complete the SSS form one time for all schools.

    An applicant family must submit the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) online to SSS. The PFS includes information about income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. The PFS goes directly to SSS who computes the information and determines an estimate of what a family can be expected to contribute toward an independent school education. The difference between this amount and a student's anticipated total tuition is the amount of demonstrated need. 

    The Family Guide to Financial Aid, provides a thorough examination of financial aid at independent schools. Questions about eligibility and the application process are addressed, as well as guiding principles.
  • + Will applying for financial aid affect my child's chances of admission?

    Our admission committees are need-blind; student files are read and evaluated without regard for a family's ability to pay tuition. Financial aid materials are reviewed only after a candidate has been endorsed by the admission committee. At that point, we consider our available financial aid funds relative to the needs of the applicant pool. 
  • + Do we need to re-apply for financial aid every year?

    Financial aid grants are awarded annually and applications must be re-submitted each year. This allows us to review any shift in circumstance and be sure that we are continuing to meet each family's needs. Financial aid will be adjusted if a family’s financial circumstances change significantly.
  • + How much can we expect to pay in tuition?

    After the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) has been received and processed by School and Student Services (SSS), parents can view their Family Report in the Family Portal. The Family Report shows how SSS estimates the amount a family can contribute to educational expenses (the "Estimated Family Contribution"). Reviewing the Family report can help families understand the information that schools have to work with as they make financial aid decisions.  

    To locate the Family Report after the PFS has been processed, go to the Family Portal. Login, then click on "View Family Report." Even if a paper PFS form was submitted, a free account can be created on the Family Portal to view the Family Report.
  • + Does Shady Hill offer merit scholarships?

    No. All financial aid is offered on the basis of demonstrated need.
  • + If we don't receive financial aid at first, can we receive financial aid in future years?

    Financial aid grants will only be given if there is a significant shift in a family’s financial circumstances that can be demonstrated to the School. These shifts are usually unexpected job losses, medical events, etc. - in which case, the School will do its best to meet the family's needs.
  • + What if I am applying as a single parent/guardian or I am the primary person responsible for paying tuition?

    We require complete financial aid applications from custodial, non-custodial, and step parents. This information helps us to determine the ability of each parent to financially support their child's education. 

    If the whereabouts of a non-custodial parent are unknown or if that parent is not in contact with the child, we will request a letter from a third party (such as the current school, a member of the clergy, etc.) verifying the situation. Most schools in our area adhere to this practice and it will strengthen a families’ application if a non-custodial parent submits materials by the deadline.
  • + What factors are considered when determining financial need?

    There are many factors to be considered. These include taxable and nontaxable income of the parent(s), family assets, the number of dependents, the number of children in tuition charging schools, etc. For more information about how School and Student Services makes its calculations please visit their website - their webinars and other resources may also be helpful.
  • + My child has savings set aside for college education. Is this money protected?

    Trust funds and other savings plans are considered one piece of what a family can be expected to contribute. However, we do consider a family’s long term educational obligations when making financial aid grants.
617.520.5260      178 Coolidge Hill  Cambridge MA 02138           Association of Independent Schools in New England