What is need-based financial aid?
Gill St. Bernard's School defines "need" as the difference between the total cost of attendance (tuition and expected fees) and a family's ability to pay that cost, which is calculated through the family's financial aid application. Financial aid is a discount in tuition costs, determined on the basis of calculated need. We do not offer academic, athletic or artistic scholarships; all of our awards are need-based grants that do not require repayment.
Should I apply for financial aid or not?
First, consider the true cost of an independent school education. If you cannot cover expenses out of income and judicious use of assets, consider other options. If you are counting on gifts from relatives, it is important that you discuss with them whether or not they can maintain the same level of help over the course of your child's time at Gill St. Bernard's School.
Who sees my financial information?
The Director of Admission and Financial Aid reviews your tax information as well as your application for financial aid that you must submit online to TADS. All information is considered confidential and is used solely for the purpose of determining a family's financial need.
If we have other children applying to or already attending tuition charging institutions, must we apply for financial aid at those school as well?
Yes, we assume that a family applying for financial aid from Gill St. Bernard's School will also apply for aid from all tuition-charging schools their other children may be attending (including undergraduate or graduate school). If another school doesn't have a financial aid program, please note that as part of your TADS application. Please also know that we will require verification of the financial aid packages of other schools in which your children are enrolled.
Will applying for financial aid affect the decision of the Admission Committee?
The admission and financial aid processes are separate. However, there are times when "need aware" admission decisions must be made, as the Admission Committees' decisions are weighed against available financial aid funds.
What percentage of the student body receives financial aid?
17% of our students receive financial aid.
For which grades is financial aid available?
Financial Aid is available in grades 1-12. The School does not offer aid at the Primary and Kindergarten levels.
Does financial aid cover the cost of other fees such as books, transportation, field trips, etc.?
No, these additional fees are the responsibility of the student's family. Lunch is included as part of our tuition in grades 1-12. In some cases families with significant need may receive a transportation subsidy as part of their financial aid award. However, the school does provide some supplemental programs for students receiving financial aid. The Student Support Fund, Silverman Family Unit Scholarship, Used Book Program and Athletic Trip Financial Aid Program are available for students who qualify.
What is the typical dollar amount awarded?
Every situation is unique and we do not have a typical financial aid award. Awards range from 5% to 99% of the cost of a Gill St. Bernard's School education. We make every effort to meet demonstrated need whenever possible.
How does Gill St. Bernard's School fund financial aid?
Our sources for financial aid include income from the school's general endowment, a number of annual grants as well as named and endowed funds established to support financial aid. A portion of the school's annual operating budget is also earmarked for financial aid.
How is financial aid eligibility at Gill St. Bernard's School determined?
Every family's financial situation is unique. There is no preset income level that qualifies a family for financial aid, nor one that disqualifies. All of our decisions are based on the Financial Aid Committee's individual review of the family's completed application.
What financial sacrifices does Gill St. Bernard's School expect families to make when evaluating how much we can afford for tuition and school related expenses?
Gill St. Bernard's School believes that the primary responsibility for financing a child's education rests with a child's family. Our Financial Aid Committee's goal is to effectively evaluate each family’s financial situation thoroughly and in such a manner that the family realizes some financial sacrifice for a Gill St. Bernard's School education.
In evaluating applications for financial aid, the Committee differentiates between necessary expenses and money spent for lifestyle choices. With respect to the latter, beyond a certain point, we will not provide aid to off-set "lifestyle" expenditures that could have been directed to education. The parental contribution calculated by the school might differ from the TADS calculation. The Committee will, for example, consider potential for income to be earned by a non-working parent who does not have small children at home.
Do I need to re-apply for aid each year?
Yes. We will ask you to file a new financial aid application and submit your tax returns each year. The school will continue to award financial aid appropriate to your level of demonstrated financial need until your child graduates.
If our child is admitted to Gill St. Bernard's School with a financial aid grant in one year, may we expect to receive a similar grant in subsequent years?
Yes. Families are required to re-apply for financial aid every year. Gill St. Bernard's School performs a full analysis each year to determine eligibility for continued assistance. If your family’s financial picture remains relatively the same from year to year, you may expect to receive similar financial aid for tuition and related fees each year.
My spouse is not currently employed. Will Gill St. Bernard's School consider his/her earning capability when analyzing our financial situation?
Gill St. Bernard's School will typically consider the earning power of a non-working spouse if there are no legitimate, documented reasons for the spouse to be unemployed. When a parent/guardian whose youngest child is in school full-time chooses not to work, the Financial Aid Committee will re-calculate the family's contribution to education using imputed income. This policy does not require the parent to work - it only attempts to adjust the level of need by accounting for the minimum income that the parent could earn if he or she chose to work. If there are specific circumstances surrounding non-employment that a family wishes the Financial Aid Committee to consider, a written statement of special circumstances must be submitted with the rest of the family's supporting documentation.
What if the parents of a student are divorced, separated or never married?
Gill St. Bernard's School believes that both parents have an obligation to contribute, to the extent that they are able, to their children's educational expenses. We take into account the assets and income of both parents. We cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed legally or otherwise any responsibility or educational expenses. If either parent is re-married, we consider the income of the step-parent, keeping in mind the obligation of that step-parent to his or her own children. If either parent lives in the household of another adult, we may consider the assets and income of that person, depending on the circumstances. In view of this, both parents and their current spouses must complete a separate financial aid application.
Are there exceptions to the above policy?
Requests to consider extenuating circumstances (such as a missing parent, one who has not provided support and has not been in contact with the family for a lengthy period of time) should be explained in a letter to the Financial Aid Committee.
Does Gill St. Bernard's School offer financial aid to international families?
Only United States citizens who are able to provide U.S. tax returns will be considered for financial aid.
What are the financial aid deadlines?
Please refer to "Applying for Financial Aid." The deadline for submitting an application and all supporting documentation is February 15.
When will we be notified about our award?
Admission decisions will be transmitted in the beginning of March. Financial aid decisions for newly admitted students will be included with an offer of admission.
Are there payment plans available?
The school has a plan that allows financial aid families to spread the cost over ten payments throughout the year - see gsbschool.afford.com
Is giving to the Gill St. Bernard's School annual fund an expectation of financial aid recipients?
All Gill St. Bernard's families, regardless of their financial circumstances, are asked to make a contribution of any amount each year to the annual fund to demonstrate their participation in and support of Gill St. Bernard’s School. The level of participation in the annual fund is just as important as the dollars raised. Therefore, we hope all families will consider giving at a level that is comfortable for them and does not place a financial strain on the family.