Frequently Asked Questions
Are all applicants eligible for assistance?
Applicants in grades 1 – 12 are eligible to apply for assistance.
What is the range of aid that is given?
Financial aid awards can range from $1,000 to almost full tuition based on need.
We make financial aid awards to families in different economic circumstances, from those who need partial assistance to those who require substantial aid. All families are expected to contribute financially to their child’s education.
How is financial aid determined?
Financial aid awards are based solely on need. Such need is defined, most simply, as the difference between Brownell-Talbot’s tuition and the family’s discretionary income. To determine the fairest and most equitable family contribution, Brownell-Talbot and most independent schools use the general principles and needs analysis system of the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), based in Washington, D.C. More about SSS can be found at the NAIS Web site.
Each family must submit a financial statement to SSS for processing. Results are then forwarded to Brownell-Talbot. A a copy of the most recent federal income tax form (Form 1040 or its equivalent) and all attachments are required and must reach Brownell-Talbot by our deadline. Using this data, the Financial Aid Committee will determine the amount of aid to be offered. Need cannot be determined and awards cannot be made unless these forms are received. The formula used to determine a family’s need takes into account many factors. However, the most important factor is the family’s gross income.
Can Brownell-Talbot award grants to all those who need them?
In a typical year, the number of qualified candidates for financial aid exceeds the dollars we have available. Unfortunately, our resources are finite, and as a result some students who are admitted to Brownell-Talbot may not receive financial aid. The Admissions Office and Financial Aid Committee work together to determine aid recipients if there are not enough funds available to cover every accepted applicant’s need.
What is the financial aid waiting list?
Those who are accepted but who do not receive aid are placed in a financial aid wait pool pending the availability of funds. If Brownell-Talbot is unable to provide the financial assistance a family needs, the School will release them from their signed enrollment contract. If funding becomes available, many factors are assessed including the amount of aid available compared to each wait-listed family’s need, openings in the various grades, and each candidate’s academic and personal strengths. Once the school’s enrollment process is complete, generally in mid-April, the likelihood of financial aid being available declines considerably.
If our family does not qualify for financial aid or receives partial aid but feels that additional assistance is necessary for our child to attend Brownell-Talbot, what options are available for us?
Several outside organizations offer financing for independent school tuition. Eligibility is based on creditworthiness. Repayment, with no prepayment penalty, typically begins immediately, continuing over eight years. Please contact the Director of Admissions at Brownell-Talbot to receive brochures about these programs, or visit the National Association of Independent Schools’ Web site at www.nais.org/financialaid/parents/loanPrograms.cfm.
What affect does a financial aid application have on an admission decision?
Absolutely none. The School handles the award and request for aid in a most confidential manner. Eligible students are only awarded aid after they have been accepted.
Does Brownell-Talbot offer merit or athletic scholarships?
No. All awards are based on the family’s demonstrated need. Families who do not show financial need are not offered financial aid, regardless of their child’s qualifications.
Can all my children receive financial aid from Brownell-Talbot?
Keeping families together is a priority at Brownell-Talbot. However, siblings are not guaranteed admission or financial aid.
Do I need to apply for aid each year?
Yes. Each family’s need is reassessed annually. Parents are, therefore, required to submit a Parents’ Financial Statement and 1040 form each year. Unless there is a significant change in demonstrated financial need, a family can expect that grants will be renewed at the original level of funding. Any increase in tuition costs will typically be shared by the family and Brownell-Talbot. A family can expect the financial aid will be continued throughout the student’s enrollment, provided that the financial aid need is demonstrated annually. Financial aid, however, will not be awarded to families who have delinquent accounts with the school.
If my family chooses to send our child to Brownell-Talbot, we will have to use resources that we have saved for college expenses. How can I justify such sacrifices for secondary education?
Many educators feel the impact and value of a private education for a child goes beyond the exceptional academics to include developing strong character and transferable skills like time management. Our expectation is that our students will emerge from Brownell-Talbot having more options to attend better colleges, as well as the maturity and motivation to take full advantage of what college has to offer. Colleges attended by Brownell-Talbot graduates typically offer extraordinary financial aid and scholarship programs to assist families in financing their children’s education. Our director of college counseling works with students and families to assist in the college search, application, and financial aid process.
I am divorced, and neither my current spouse nor my ex-spouse plan to help pay for tuition. Does this affect my chance to receive financial aid?
It may. Brownell-Talbot’s policy is that the primary responsibility to pay for tuition rests with the applicant’s family. To this end, the Financial Aid Committee considers the income and assets of both natural parents, regardless of divorce settlements. If either parent has remarried, we will take into account the income and assets of stepparents, while keeping in mind their obligation to their own children. Frequently, complex issues are involved, and the Financial Aid Committee considers each case carefully and confidentially. However, an applicant’s file is not complete unless there is a financial statement form from each involved family.
Does the School set priorities when determining financial aid rewards?
First consideration of budgeted dollars is given to renewing students whose files are complete at the deadline. Second, new applications for aid from current students and from students newly accepted by the Admissions Office are considered, if completed on time. Finally, new and renewal applications completed after the deadlines are considered for any funds that may remain or become available at a later date.