Affording An Independent School Education

We work hard to help you map out how to afford a Worcester Academy education and we have collaborated with a number of other schools to help demystify the financial aid process. Visit the NAIS online parent information page to get a look into how the financial aid process works at independent schools and what steps you must take to apply. You will find tips on completing the application accurately and on time, as well as learn how schools determine your eligibility and consider your special circumstances.

To be considered for tuition assistance, all families (new and returning) must complete the SSS application each year. You may start the financial aid application using estimated data as early as November. A completed application with all required documentation is due no later than February 1st for new families, and January 15th for returning families.
Worcester Academy adheres to a longstanding policy of admitting students of any race, color, religious belief, gender, protected sexual orientation, nationality or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Worcester Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious belief, gender, protected sexual orientation, nationality or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs and other school program.

Financial Aid Philosophy

Worcester Academy is committed to enrolling a student body diverse in interests, talents, race, ethnicity and economic background. While we firmly adhere to the principle that the primary responsibility for funding a student’s education lies with the family, we understand financial asssitance will be necessary to enable some students to attend the Academy. The goal of our financial assistance program is to help bridge the gap between what a family can reasonably be expected to contribute and the full costs associated with attending Worcester Academy. Financial assistance decisions are made independent of admission decisions.

It is important to note that in the middle school, we do not offer financial assistance in excess of half of the tuition cost. This means that all families in the middle school are expected to pay at least 50% of the tuition, even if they qualify for more.

The Academy endeavors to treat all families fairly, equitably and consistently in its consideration of requests for, and distribution of, financial assistance. In order to determine a family’s eligibility to receive financial assistance, Worcester Academy subscribes to the School and Student Service for Financial Aid program by National Association of Independent Schools (SSS by NAIS), which calculates a family’s need and the expected family contribution (EFC) using a methodology that takes into consideration many items, including, but not limited to: income, assets, liabilities, age of parents, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools. Worcester Academy requires all financial assistance applicants to apply for financial aid each year of matriculation. Financial assistance is determined and renewed annually on the basis of current demonstrated financial need. Worcester Academy reserves the right to amend awards if new information comes to light after an award is granted.

Financial Aid FAQs

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: How does a family start the financial aid application process?

    To be eligible for consideration of financial aid at Worcester Academy, the SSS Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) must be completed and submitted to SSS by the deadlines below. Late applications from new or returning students may be considered for any funds remaining after April 1st.

    New Students: PFS and all Federal Tax Forms (1040s, schedules and W2 forms) for the prior calendar year are due February 1st. Current Federal Tax Forms (1040s, schedules, and W2 forms) must be submitted to SSS no later than April 15th.

    Returning Students: PFS and all Federal Tax Forms (1040s, schedules and W2 forms) for the prior calendar year are due January 15th. Current year Federal Tax Forms (1040s, schedules, and W2 forms) must be submitted to SSS no later than April 15th.

    1. Go to http://sssbynais.org/ to begin your Parents' Financial Statement (PFS). Create only one PFS, even if you have more than one child applying for financial aid at Worcester Academy. Separated or divorced parents file separate PFS forms and submit individual tax documents.
    2. You will be given a password that will allow you to return to your PFS as needed.
    3. Your required documents should be uploaded directly to SSS. For information regarding SSS’s document security, please go to their website: http://sssbynais.org/.
    4. If applicable, mail required documents to: SSS by NAIS, Application Processing Center, P.O. Box 449, Randolph, MA 02368-0449. For overnight mail, please use this alternate address: SSS by NAIS, Application Processing Center, 437 Turnpike Street, Canton, MA 02021.
    Call SSS at 800-344-8328 for assistance with any questions regarding the completion of the PFS or document collection. (Mon - Fri: 9am - 8pm, Sat: 9am - 4pm EST)
  • Q: What is the cost of attendance?

    Total cost of attendance refers to the total cost of one academic year including tuition and required school fees. Athletics, day student lunches and boarding student meals and housing are included in tuition and fees. Books, school supplies, transportation, spirit wear, and compliance with the Worcester Academy dress code are not included. These costs are typically met by students and families.
  • Q: Will failure to meet deadlines affect the possibility of receiving financial assistance?

    Yes. To be considered for tuition assistance, families with students currently enrolled and families with students who wish to apply to the Academy must complete the SSS application.  You may start the financial aid application using estimated data as early as November. A complete and final application with all required documentation is due no later than February 1st.

    Financial assistance is allocated to those families who meet the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) deadlines (January 15 for returning families and February 1 for new families). If a re-enrolling or new family has not met Worcester Academy’s published guidelines regarding financial aid or enrollment, they will not be considered for financial assistance until after April 15th. At that time, it is very unlikely that funds will be available. Please note that if a family does not apply for financial aid or does not qualify for financial aid upon initial enrollment, it is unlikely the family will receive financial assistance in subsequent years, unless they can demonstrate a change in the family’s financial circumstances that was not foreseeable upon initial enrollment.
  • Q: How much can my family expect to contribute?

    Worcester Academy expects every family to do all it reasonably can to meet educational expenses. Financial assistance, where possible, makes up the difference.
  • Q: Does Worcester Academy award merit scholarships?

    No; all assistance is based on a family’s demonstrated financial need. Worcester Academy does not offer academic, athletic or merit awards.
  • Q: How is financial assistance calculated?

    SSS by NAIS, a third-party, financial aid service, provides an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) report based on factors such as household income and expenses, number of children in tuition-charging schools and colleges, and assets and debts. The financial aid committee makes adjustments to this report given case-by-case family information and Worcester Academy-specific policies. It is not unusual for Worcester Academy to require a family to contribute more than the SSS calculation suggests.

    To be considered for tuition assistance, families with students currently enrolled and families with students who wish to apply to the Academy must complete the SSS application.  You may start the financial aid application using estimated data as early as November. A complete and final application with all required documentation is due no later than February 1st for new students and January 15th for returning students.
  • Q: Will my family’s financial assistance change from year to year? What if my finances change?

    Families must reapply for financial assistance every year. All current awards are reviewed using current financial information. If there is little change in a family’s financial situation, you can expect your financial assistance to be renewed at a similar level. Tuition increases, however, are generally shared between the family and Worcester Academy. Should a family’s need change dramatically (whether up or down), Worcester Academy will endeavor to meet that need as appropriate.
  • Q: Is financial assistance available for international student applicants?

    There is limited assistance available for international students. The process is highly selective. Worcester Academy requires as much income and asset verification as families can provide, including tax schedules, proof of salary, bank statements, property assessments, etc.
  • Q: Will my application for financial assistance affect my child’s application for admission?

    Decisions on admission and financial assistance are separate. Worcester Academy has a limited financial aid budget and we receive far more requests than we can meet. It is, therefore, possible that we may not be able to meet any part of a family’s demonstrated need. In that case, the student will be placed on a financial assistance wait list and the possibility of granting financial assistance will be reviewed should additional funds become available.
  • Q: Is my financial information confidential?

    Yes. The Financial Aid Committee holds all submitted information in support of aid applications in strict confidence. Financial assistance is a confidential agreement between the recipient family and the school. Worcester Academy does not share a family’s financial information with any other party; equally, families granted financial assistance are expected to keep confidential all details pertaining to a granted financial aid award. Worcester Academy reserves the right to amend awards in the event a breach of this confidentiality clause takes place.
  • Q: What is your policy regarding divorced/separated or non-traditional families?

    We expect that, where appropriate, two adult members of the family will contribute to the cost of attending Worcester Academy. This expectation is in effect regardless of any legal agreements between family members, such as alimony agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, custody or similar agreements. In the case of co-habitation, we will consider the entire household income, whatever the legal status of the family may be. For parents who are separated, divorced or have never been married, we require that a complete financial aid application be provided by each parent/family. All parents, guardians, domestic partners and/or step-parents are expected to play an appropriate role in funding a student’s education.
  • Q: Will not having completed our current year taxes by the deadlines delay our application for financial assistance?

    No. Please complete the financial aid application using estimated tax information. We require two years of tax returns to review (the current year and previous year). Please check the “estimated tax” box on the Parent Financial Statement and submit your prior year tax returns as well as your W-2s for the current year. Once you have completed your current year taxes (no later than April 15th), forward an official copy to the SSS by NAIS, Application Processing Center, and PO BOX 449, RANDOLPH, MA 02368. No financial assistance is official until all tax forms are submitted and reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.
  • Q: What if I have more than one child in tuition-charging schools?

    If more than one child in a family attends a tuition-charging school, Worcester Academy requires families to apply for financial assistance at each of the institutions their children attend. Worcester Academy cannot subsidize tuition for other tuition-charging schools of any type. It is important to note that SSS computes the total funds available for education and then divides that amount by the number of children attending tuition-charging schools. Parents may be requested to provide Worcester Academy with copies of financial assistance granted by other institutions.
  • Q: What if a parent does not work?

    Worcester Academy expects parents, guardians, domestic partners and stepparents to play an appropriate role in financing their child’s education. When a parent chooses not to work and there are no pre-school children at home, the Financial Aid Committee will add income equal to the student’s anticipated Worcester Academy tuition. Exceptions may be made if a parent is caring for a disabled or critically ill child, parent, or grandparent. Consideration may also be given to a parent who is home-schooling other siblings. Parents electing to return to school or change jobs should note that if such a choice results in a decrease in family income, then the difference will not be underwritten by financial assistance provided by Worcester Academy.
  • Q: What if I own a business or farm?

    Parents who own a business and/or farm are required to furnish a copy of their current business tax return and the SSS Business/Farm Statement Form (available at http://sssbynais.org/). They may also be asked to furnish cash flow statements, balance sheets and any other information relevant to the business. Losses due to property and/or equipment depreciation are not considered when calculating financial need. Parents who have formed limited partnerships must submit copies of the partnership return, as well as K-1s. We reserve the right to request additional financial information in cases where such action is deemed necessary to determine a family’s financial status.
  • Q: What if my child lives with other relatives?

    Regardless of where a child resides, if parents are living and claim the child as a dependent, the parents must complete financial aid forms. Should other family members have legal custody of the child, forms will be required from the child’s custodians and their financial information will be factored into financial assistance calculations. In such cases, proof of legal custody will be required.

Financial Aid Deadlines

List of 8 items.

  • JANUARY 15: RETURNING Families Must Submit All Documentation to SSS

    Beginning in early November, you can complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) for the upcoming school year online at http://sssbynais.org/. Contact NAIS customer service 1-800-344-8328 if you have questions about completing the PFS.  The SSS Family Guide to Financial Aid brochure is available online.
     
    By January 15th for returning families and February 1st for new families, the following must be sent directly to SSS:
    • Signed copies of your family’s 2015 federal tax return (1040), including all supporting schedules and forms.  Returning families may already have 2015 tax materials filed with SSS.
    • 2015 W-2s and/or 1099s (if applicable).
    • Non-US residents: Submit official Income/Asset Verification Forms for 2015 such as foreign tax returns and/or wage statements.
    • Business/Farm statement. Complete one for each business you own.  Consolidate for PFS reporting.
    • The non-custodial parent must also submit a PFS form and 2015 IRS returns, including all schedules and copies of W-2s and 1099s.
    • IRS Form 4506-T Every family applying for financial aid must submit a signed IRS Form 4506-T. This allows us to verify income with the IRS. Complete only items 1 - 4 and sign. Do not include a check; Worcester Academy will pay the fee.
  • FEBRUARY 1: NEW Families Must Submit All Documentation to SSS

    Beginning in early November, you can complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) for the upcoming school year online at http://sssbynais.org/. Contact NAIS customer service 1-800-344-8328 if you have questions about completing the PFS.  The SSS Family Guide to Financial Aid brochure is available online.

    By February 1st for new families
    , the following must be sent directly to SSS:
    • Signed copies of your family’s 2015 federal tax return (1040), including all supporting schedules and forms.  Returning families may already have 2015 tax materials filed with SSS.
    • 2015 W-2s and/or 1099s (if applicable).
    • Non-US residents: Submit official Income/Asset Verification Forms for 2015 such as foreign tax returns and/or wage statements.
    • Business/Farm statement. Complete one for each business you own.  Consolidate for PFS reporting.
    • The non-custodial parent must also submit a PFS form and 2015 IRS returns, including all schedules and copies of W-2s and 1099s.
    • IRS Form 4506-T Every family applying for financial aid must submit a signed IRS Form 4506-T. This allows us to verify income with the IRS. Complete only items 1 - 4 and sign. Do not include a check; Worcester Academy will pay the fee.
  • FEBRUARY 1: Financial Aid Awards to Returning Families

    Returning families will receive financial aid awards. These awards remain tentative until your 2016 tax forms, completed and signed, are received by SSS and available to Worcester Academy.
  • FEBRUARY 22: Acceptance of Financial Aid Awards by Returning Families

    Deadline for acceptance of financial aid awards by returning families. The enrollment contract and deposit are required by this date for all returning students. If you have not indicated your intention to attend Worcester Academy and accepted your financial aid award by this date, funds may be allocated to other qualifying students.
  • MARCH 10: Financial Aid Decisions to Families of Admitted Students

    Financial aid decisions are made available to families of admitted students.
  • APRIL 10: Acceptance of Financial Aid Awards by New Families

    Deadline for acceptance of financial aid awards by new families. The enrollment contract and deposit are required by this date for all students, new and returning. If you have not indicated your intention to attend Worcester Academy and accepted your financial aid award by this date, funds may be allocated to other qualifying students.
  • APRIL 15: Completed and Signed 2016 Tax Forms Received by SSS

    By this date, SSS must receive completed and signed 2016 IRS returns, including all personal and corporate, partnership and trust schedules, and copies of W-2s and 1099s. No official award can be finalized until your 2016 tax forms, completed and signed, are received by SSS and available to Worcester Academy.
  • AFTER APRIL 15: New Applications for Financial Aid

    Worcester Academy can only consider new applications for financial aid from families that enrolled initially without financial aid after the new student and returning student enrollment process has been completed. Awards are unlikely at this point, depending upon the number of applicants and the remaining resources.

Contact

If you have questions about financial aid at Worcester Academy, please contact: 

Meghan Bennett
Director of Admission and Financial Aid
508-459-5838
meghan.bennett@worcesteracademy.org
WORCESTER ACADEMY® is a co-ed day and boarding school for grades 6 to 12 and postgraduates. Our urban setting, diverse community, and innovative curriculum provide each student with unique opportunities for self-discovery, academic achievement, and personal empowerment.

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