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True Financial Aid Stories!

Most independent schools offer some form of need based financial aid. The financial aid process is typically managed by someone in the business office or the admission office. Most schools have a committee that makes final award decisions. Most schools also use a 3rd party processor which provides guidance on the amount a family is able to ‘contribute’ towards their child’s education. If your school offers need based financial aid, it generally is ‘mission driven’ – aligned with the school’s mission and values.

Mission Driven Financial Aid:

  1. Allows (forces) the school’s leadership to set priorities and goals for enrollment.
  2. Helps the school think about financial aid as a tool to reach these goals.
  3. Allows the school to focus on the long-term goals.
  4. Provides the basis for talking with the community about the role financial aid plays.

Here are a couple of real stories from independent schools across the country. You may want to think about these in terms of how you allocate financial aid.

  • Mom went to Italy on vacation, posted pictures and stories about the trip on Facebook, then had a ‘fit’ because she considered the amount of financial aid offered insufficient and withdrew her child.
  • A family was denied financial aid and wrote a letter of appeal. The family was informed when to expect a response – the family asked the school to wait until after August 15th as their son was being Bar Mitzvah in Israel, and the entire family was going and then going on a cruise in the Greek Isles.

These are two short case studies – examples of the types of case studies that I will be presenting with Lisa Moreira, Horace Mann School at the upcoming AISAP Annual Admission Institute. Thanks to Lisa for the Mission Driven Financial Aid thoughts. I am sure you have similar stories. Please post them here or send them to me at

From → MISBO

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