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Financial Aid FAQ

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is a decrease of tuition costs, formulated on the basis of need. Although financial aid is often referred to as a “grant” or “scholarship,” SSM does not award “merit scholarships” (i.e. a monetary award based on either academic or extracurricular merit). All students who receive financial aid must have a demonstrated need as determine through the application submitted to School and Student Services (SSS).

Who can apply for financial aid?

Anyone may apply for financial aid. There is no income ceiling or minimum. For the 2016-17 academic year, SSM awarded $5 million in financial aid to 48 percent of our students. All awards were based on demonstrated need.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Fill out the financial aid application and submit the requested materials by the deadlines indicated below.

If your child is an applicant for admission:

  • January 16, 2017 - Complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). In separated/divorced cases, both parents must submit a PFS. The PFS can be filled out and submitted online at the School and Student Services website (www.sssbynais.org/parents) after November 2, 2016. Be sure to fill out all items fully and frankly and provide clear explanations when called for.
  • January 16, 2017 - Upload to SSS your complete 2015 federal tax return with all schedules, 2015 W-2 forms, and a signed, dated IRS Form 4506 t-ez (available at the following website: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf).
  • April 30, 2017 – Upload to SSS your complete 2016 federal tax return with all schedules.

If your child is a current student:

Current families applying for financial aid for the first time should call the SSM Financial Aid Office (507-333-1571) for information about the application process.

  • January 12, 2017 - Complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). In separated/divorced cases, both parents must submit a PFS. The PFS can be filled out and submitted online at the School and Student Services (SSS) website (www.sssbynais.org/parents) after November 2, 2016. Be sure to fill out all items fully and frankly and provide clear explanations when called for.
  • January 12, 2017 - Upload to SSS a signed, dated IRS Form 4506 T-EZ (available at the following website: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf). 
  • By April 30, 2017 - Upload to SSS your 2016 Federal Income Tax Return with W-2 forms and all the attached schedules. A copy of your previous years’ taxes should be on file.

Will applying for financial aid affect my child’s chances for admission?

We encourage all families who feel they need financial aid to apply. While the admission and financial aid processes are separate, there are times when budget constraints lead to “need aware” admission decisions.

How are financial aid decisions made?

Financial aid is awarded based on a family’s demonstrated need, as determined by a collaboration between the School and Student Service for Financial Aid, (see link in sidebar at right) and SSM’s Financial Aid Committee. Calculations are based primarily on:

  • the incomes of both parents
  • the family’s assets
  • the number of dependents in the family
  • the number of children in tuition-charging schools (SSM does not include graduate school tuition for family members in our computation).
  • The information from the SSS is supplemented by information gleaned from each family’s federal income tax return as well as the explanations provided on the PFS by each family. Because financial aid decisions are reviewed each year, families receiving aid must, each year, submit a PFS and the 1040 establishing need for the next academic year. We use the SSS analysis of a family’s need as the basis for our decision but are able to take into consideration extenuating circumstances. We do make every effort, subject to the availability of financial aid funds, to provide for the demonstrated need of our students.

If my child is admitted but does not receive financial aid, might we receive financial aid the following year?

It is very unlikely. We aid as many students as we feel we can continue to support through their years at SSM. Our first obligation is to our currently enrolled students. There is little chance that a student enrolling without aid would be awarded aid in any subsequent year, without significant changes in that family’s financial circumstances.

If we receive financial aid and decide to enroll, can we expect to receive approximately the same level of aid for the following years?

Yes, provided your financial situation does not change. Because financial aid decisions are reviewed each year, families receiving aid must, each year, submit a PFS and 1040 to establish need for the next academic year.

Must we re-apply for financial aid each year our child is in attendance?

Yes. You will need to submit your Parents’ Financial Statement and income tax return.

What if I am a single parent?

SSM requires complete financial information from both the custodial and non-custodial parents, including the Parents’ Financial Statement form and tax forms. This information is collected in an attempt to determine the ability, not the willingness, of each parent to financially support their child’s education. If the whereabouts of the non-custodial parent is unknown, a good-faith effort must be made to locate him or her. In most cases, a letter from a third party (such as a lawyer, social worker or minister) will be required to verify that the non-custodial parent has no contact with the applicant.

What if I am self-employed?

Parents who are self-employed, or who own a business or farm should complete the Business and Farm Statement section of the PFS to SSS and include their business taxes with their income tax.

What if I have more than one child? Is there a discount for more than one child?

One set of forms is sufficient, even if your children are applying to different grades in the School. There is no sibling discount.

Does the financial aid cover the Center of Excellence fee?

No, the financial aid grant does not cover the cost of joining a Center of Excellence.

What is the Tuition Refund Plan?

While it is not common, there are occasions that will prompt a student’s withdrawal from SSM. Regardless of the reason for the withdrawal, the School offers a financial tool to families to recoup a portion of paid but unused tuition. This tool is the Tuition Refund Plan (TRP). It is optional to families choosing to pay tuition in full in July and required for families choosing the 10-month payment plan. The annual cost for the TRP is $2,000 for boarding students and $1,350 for day students. 

The TRP allows for a refund of 60% of the unused net tuition amount. It does not reimburse program fees, which are required to be paid in full regardless of withdrawal date.