GFA is committed to need-based financial aid for students enrolled in Grades K-12. Please note financial aid is not available for PreKindergarten. In 2016 - 2017, GFA awarded $2.8 million in aid to 14% of the student body. We understand that financing an independent school education is a major commitment and not every family is able to make this investment without assistance. We are happy to work with you to explore the best way to finance a GFA education. In addition to financial aid, GFA encourages families to explore other options to fund tuition such as payment plans (www.Smarttuition.com), private loans (e.g. from family), and institutional loans (www.yourtuitionsolution.com).
Greens Farms Academy uses the services of School and Student Services by NAIS (SSS) to process financial aid applications. Based on the financial information you provide in the Parents’ Financial Statement, SSS determines an estimated amount your family can contribute to educational expenses ("Family Contribution"). This estimate is a starting point to help us make fair and objective financial aid decisions. To begin your financial aid application for the 2017-18 school year, please follow the steps below. (You only have to complete one Parents’ Financial Statement, even if you have several children applying.) The PFS Workbook for Families is a detailed guide to completing the application.
Financial aid is available for students in Grades K-12. To be eligible for consideration for financial aid, you must complete your Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) by January 13, 2017. We will communicate decisions about financial aid by mid-March.
GFA uses School and Student Services (SSS) to process financial aid applications. Based on the financial information you provide in the Parents’ Financial Statement, SSS determines an estimated amount your family can contribute to educational expenses ("Family Contribution"). This estimate is a starting point to help us make fair and objective financial aid decisions. To begin your financial aid application for the 2017-18 school year, please follow the steps below. (You only have to complete one Parents’ Financial Statement, even if you have several children applying.)
GFA has a fund to assist students receiving significant financial aid with additional expenses they may face during the year. The program is designed to allow students to participate in a broad range of activities without unreasonable hardship.
1. After Nov. 1, 2016 go to sssbynais.org/parents.
2. Click on the “Complete Your PFS” button.
3. Set up a PFS Online account using your e-mail address and creating your own password. Returning parents: If you completed an online PFS application last year, use your e-mail address and existing password. If you have forgotten your password, click on “Forgot my password.”
4. Submit and pay for the PFS ($42). This fee is nonrefundable.
We require that you also submit to SSS by mail or online the following documents: two years of federal income tax returns with all supporting schedules (including W2s, 1099s, K-1s, etc.) and a signed IRS 4506T Request for Transcript of Tax Return. We must receive the 2015 documents, including the IRS 4506T, by January 13, 2017. W2s and 1099s for 2016 are due January 31, 2017 and the 2016 federal income tax return is due April 15, 2017. If you file for an extension for your 2016 tax return, send supporting documentation to SSS.
To submit these documents online, go to the "Manage Documents" tab in the PFS Online. There you can upload documents from your computer. Save each document separately in one of the following formats: Adobe Acrobat pdf, Microsoft Word, .jpg, or .tif. On the Manage Documents page, click on “Browse,” locate the document, then click on “Upload.” Files can be up to 1.5 megabytes (MB). Larger files must be broken up into smaller sizes for uploading.
To submit these documents by mail, send one copy (not the original) of each document with a Required Documents Cover Sheet (downloaded from SSS) to: SSS By NAIS, P.O. Box 449, Randolph, MA 02368-0449 USA. (For overnight mail: SSS By NAIS, Processing Center, 437 Turnpike Street, Canton, MA 02021.) Call SSS Customer Service at (800) 344-8328 with any questions (M-F: 9am-8pm EST. Sat: 9am-4pm EST)
GFA understands and appreciates the financial commitment families undertake in sending their children to an independent school. The goal of the GFA financial aid program is to fill the gap between the school's tuition and what a family can afford.
GFA recognizes that staying at home with school age children is an important choice. However, for the purposes of calculating financial aid, GFA imputes a minimum wage income for any non-working parent of a school age child. If there are any special circumstances to be considered, please make a note in the Comment Section of the Application (Section F).
GFA's policy is that both parents of divorced and/or separated families contribute to the cost of a GFA education according to their ability. If you were never married or are divorced or legally separated from your child’s other parent, both parents are required to complete a PFS and submit the appropriate supporting information before the application will be considered. Please note that, regardless of marital status and/or custody agreements, all parents that have the benefit of having their child(ren) in their lives are required to complete a PFS and provide appropriate documentation. Parents that have sole custody can apply for a waiver through the financial aid office.
Items #19-21 (Section E) are of critical importance. Do not leave these sections blank. In considering how much you can afford toward your child’s tuition next year, we expect you to make a reasonable and serious effort to meet as much of the tuition as possible through whatever resources are available to your family.
Items #22 and 24 and Section F: unusual circumstances or expenses. As you go through the application, please pay special attention to the entries that require additional explanation, particularly items #22 and #24. Space is available in Section F to explain all unusual circumstances or expenses.
Treatment of HSA medical plans in the SSS Financial Aid Model
The intent of this policy is that families who have chosen an HSA health care plan do not get penalized by the form of insurance vs. a “standard” co-pay type plan. To the extent that companies make contributions into an HSA in lieu of contributing towards a regular insurance premium that amount should not be counted as income to the employee.
Contributions and Payments should be reflected in the application as follows:
Line 8c – Other nontaxable income
The amount contributed by the employee should be reflected in the “Nontaxable Income Worksheet” on the line for “Pretax contributions or employer-provided untaxed income from fringe benefit plans (cafeteria or 125 plans). This should ONLY reflect employee contributions and not those (if any) of the employer towards the premium or into the employee's HSA account.
Line 22 – Total Non-reimbursed Medical and Dental Expenses
This should reflect actual payments out of the employee's HSA towards the medical deductible and/or co-pays and non-reimbursed dental expenses up to an amount not exceeding the employee contribution to the HSA reported in line 8c.
Line 23 - Total paid for Medical/Dental Insurance
This should reflect the annual employee rate contribution for medical and/or dental insurance. This should not include any contributions by the employee to his/her HSA account.