Applying for Financial Aid

November 1: Financial Aid Application Process Opens

December 7: Applying for Financial Aid Webinar (Register through Ravenna)

February 1: Financial Aid Application Due (New Applicants)

February 13: Financial Aid Application Due (Returning Applicants)

February 15: 2022 Tax Forms uploaded to SSS

March 10: Admission and Financial Aid Decisions Released

April 10: New Families Return Contract and Deposit

At Park, we partner with School and Student Services (SSS) to process applications for financial aid. SSS has developed a tool for parents to apply to many independent schools with one application. The tool, the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), collects information about a family's income, assets, expenses, and debts. Both the applicant family and Park receive the resulting Report of Financial Contribution (RFC) which, along with copies of W-2 forms and completed 1040 tax forms, becomes the basis for Park's decision on each grant. Their application process opens on November 1, and you can access it here.

In March, the Financial Aid Committee reviews all applications, both for current families submitting new or renewed applications, and for newly admitted families requesting aid. The School holds places for these families until they can respond to the committee's decisions. Because funds are limited, it is crucial that families meet all financial aid application deadlines.

New Families: We keep the admission process separate from the financial aid process. Applicants should note their interest in financial assistance on the application, and Park will send the necessary information in early January.

Current Families: Financial aid application forms must be submitted each year. Families can expect the same level of assistance throughout each child's years at Park if their demonstrated need remains the same. The financial aid grant is likely to change if the family situation changes significantly.

If a family does not qualify for aid upon admission, it is unlikely they will qualify in subsequent years unless there is a significant change in family finances. Current families with a new need for aid are asked to be in touch with Matt Kessler as soon as possible to notify the School about their request.

Evaluating Need

Many aspects of a family's financial situation are considered, including:

  • the incomes of both parents (taxable and non-taxable)
  • the assets held by the family as a unit
  • the number of dependents
  • the age of both parents
  • the number of children attending tuition-charging schools

We make allowances for living expenses, retirement, taxes, medical costs, and unusual expenses and debts. Our assessment formula allows for maintaining all household members at a modest standard of living. If a family’s income increases beyond this level, we consider that money available for discretionary purposes —including education. Parents are expected to support the applicant financially to the extent that they can.

Separated or Divorced Parents

The Park School expects parents to pay the educational costs for their children to the full extent they are able. This applies to all parents, even those who are separated or divorced. Park is not bound by and will not honor any decree, agreement, or legal document excusing a parent from financial responsibility for a child’s education. We expect both parents to file all the necessary forms and comply fully with all of the requirements of the aid process. All parents must submit tax returns and forms; both the custodial and non-custodial parents must fill out the PFS. Remarriage creates a new family unit with new relationships, but since the parents still have a parental obligation, the income and assets of the entire family unit (including new family units and stepparents) are viewed as relevant for the purposes of calculating a family’s level of need. Park considers the obligations of parents to their new family situations in determining awards.

Non-Working Parents

Because we expect families to do their utmost to provide for a Park education, when one parent chooses not to work when children are in school full-time, the Financial Aid Committee will recalculate need using an imputed minimum income for the non-working parent based on education and previous work. 

Note that this policy does not require the parent to work; it only attempts to adjust the level of need by accounting for the minimum the parent could earn if he or she chose to work. If a parent can document that he or she is disabled or otherwise unable to work (caring for an aged parent, for example), this policy would not apply.

Trust and / or “College Funds” 

Trust funds and / or funds or accounts earmarked for education are considered student assets and are treated accordingly. While it may not be possible for a family to tap the principal of such funds, their existence means that more of the family’s current income is available for tuition.

Financial Aid Appeals 

Any family who is disappointed with the amount of their grant may request an appeal or review of the award. Additional data may be requested from parents in support of the appeal. The Financial Aid Committee will review and decide appeals.

Sources of Park's Financial Assistance

The School’s financial aid budget is funded through tuition, endowment funds, and other sources of revenue. Over 90 percent of Park families make contributions to the Annual Fund, which supports all aspects of the operating budget, including financial assistance. In this way, each Park family makes a commitment to the importance of economic diversity in the School community.

Financial Aid Resources

Guiding Principles for Families
This page delineates families’ responsibilities as partners in the financial aid process.

How to Apply for Financial Aid
Park partners with School and Student Services (SSS) for processing financial aid applications. To begin your application, please complete SSS’s Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS).

The Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) Workbook 
This instruction booklet walks you through completing your Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) as part of your application for financial aid for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Tax Primer for Parents for Completing the PFS
Use this primer to get an understanding of which few tax forms will be most helpful to you as you complete your PFS.

First page of the PDF file: FinancialAidFunds-updated2023