Applying for Financial Aid
January 15: Financial Aid Application Due (Returning Applicants)
February 1: Financial Aid Application Due (New Applicants)
March 9: Admission and Financial Aid Decisions Released
April 10: New Families Return Contract and Deposit
We use the Clarity Application to determine a family’s level of financial need based on the information that families share in the application which includes assets, income, expenses, and debts.
To get started, please go to the Clarity Application and create an account. The application typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete. The Clarity Application is also mobile-friendly so you can complete it from anywhere. You are also able to save your progress and return at any time. At the end of the application, there is a $60 fee to submit, and you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity Application for no additional charge.
New Families: We keep the admission decision process separate from the financial aid application process; however, because interest in financial aid is often greater than our available budget, we may place an applicant in our wait pool until sufficient need-based funding is available.
Current Families: Families must re-apply for financial aid each year and 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.
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.
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.