As part of its mission, Bishop Seabury Academy is committed to socioeconomic diversity in its student body. Ten percent of gross tuition is allocated to financial aid each year. The following policy explains the procedure for applying and accepting a financial aid award.
The admissions process is separate from financial aid. All families wishing to apply for financial aid must first be accepted into the Academy. Families who qualify for financial assistance may submit a non-refundable $200.00 deposit in lieu of the $900.00 enrollment deposit to the Academy with the official contract. The deposit is applied to tuition.
Financial Assistance Application
Bishop Seabury Academy is dedicated to equality and fairness in awarding financial aid. Accordingly, the school uses a need assessment tool called FAST (Financial Aid for Student Tuition), which is administered by Independent School Management (ISM). Families complete the FAST application on line by clicking the Financial Aid Application link at the bottom of the page. ISM charges a small fee as part of the FAST application; this fee is paid by credit card online. Parents who do not have a credit card or cannot afford the fee should contact the school for an electronic voucher. The application includes information about income, assets, debt, and specific family circumstances. The school also requires that parents provide the school with a copy of their current income tax return. Once parents complete the application, ISM provides the school a report with a suggested award.
Divorced/Separated/Non married Parents
The Academy requests that both parents, whether married, separated, divorced, or non-married, and regardless of custody arrangements, be responsible for the financial obligations of tuition and fees. Divorced, separated, or non-married parents make separate FAST applications, and each submits a current tax return. Neither parent has access to the information provided by the other. An applicant's financial aid file is not considered complete if both parents have not completed the FAST application. In the event of a history of non support on the part of one parent or outright refusal to complete the FAST application, the Director of Admissions has discretion to waive the noncustodial parent requirements.
Financial Assistance Awards
After receiving the FAST report(s), tax returns and the optional family financial report, the financial aid awards committee will meet to make a financial aid award.
The committee will make a fair financial aid allocation, basing its decision on all information in the file and the financial aid budget. All family and financial information in the student’s file will remain confidential.
The Director of Admissions will mail each family two identical letters indicating their financial aid award. Should the family choose to accept the award, they must indicate their acceptance on one of the award letters and mail it back to the Academy. Note that each family that receives financial aid must complete this process every year in order to continue to receive financial aid. The Academy cannot assure that families will maintain the same award from year to year.
Families may appeal financial aid awards in writing. The appeal should clearly state why the award is inadequate to meet the family’s needs. The Academy makes no assurance for a successful appeal but will thoroughly review each request. Should the committee amend an award, the family should follow the acceptance process laid out above.
Voiding the Enrollment Contract
If Seabury’s financial aid award is less than the recommended award of FAST, the Board of Trustees will release parents from their enrollment contract upon request. All families must indicate on their enrollment contract that they intend to apply for financial aid. If a family indicates that they will not apply for financial aid then they may not apply for the coming year at a later time. The Director of Admissions and Head of School have discretion to waive this requirement upon demonstrated financial hardship.
Deadline to Apply for Financial Assistance
Current students on financial aid receive preference in allocations of financial aid for the next school year. Current students on financial aid or who want to apply for it for the next school year should submit FAST applications by the priority deadline of January 15th. Award decisions for applications received after this deadline will depend upon remaining funds available in the aid budget. The Academy requires parents to use their most recent tax information to fill out the FAST application.
New students may apply for financial assistance at any time. Families are encouraged, however, to apply early. In general, returning students do have priority in the event that need exceeds available funds.