Financial Aid Application Process
The deadline for submitting financial aid applications, as well as supporting documents, is January 5, 2018.
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING STEPS
- Click on the FAST button icon to begin your application. The application process itself is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program, which allows you to partially complete an application and return to it later. Before starting the FAST application, we recommend that you review the Downloadable Worksheet and User Guide provided by FAST in order to familiarize yourself with the program. A helpline is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-877-326-FAST (3278).
- Since preliminary financial aid awards will be based on 2017 earnings along with 2016 tax information, parents will need to explain their 2017 earnings in the Letter/Agreement section of the FAST online application.
Please use this section to explain if anticipated 2018 earnings will be greater than, less than, or the same as 2017 earnings, and any other unusual circumstances in your family’s financial situation.
- To complete the online portion of your financial aid application, please pay the $43 application fee. FAST accepts Visa and MasterCard.
- Please gather final 2017 paycheck(s) and W-2s from each employer that show the total income for every financially responsible parent or guardian. Please print a copy of the FAST Documents Cover Page with barcode and send with paper copies of final 2017 paycheck(s) and W-2s* directly to FAST by January 5, 2018.
NOTE: Newly accepted families, and current families who have not yet provided 2016 tax information will need to include hard copies of all 2016 Federal and State tax returns, W-2s and accompanying schedules.
- All awards offered are contingent upon receipt of 2017 tax and income information. Please mail signed paper copies of your 2017 Federal and State tax returns, W-2s and accompanying schedules to FAST by April 1, 2018. GFS will confirm or possibly change your award, based on your 2017 final tax and income information.
All required parent tax and income documentation must be mailed with the FAST Documents Cover Page to the following address:
ISM c/o GERMANTOWN FRIENDS SCHOOL
1316 North Union Street
Wilmington, DE 19806-2594
FAST will upload the information to your aid application file, shred the hard copy and alert us that your documents have been submitted.
PLEASE NOTE: Since tuition billing for 2018-19 will begin in the spring of 2018, it is essential that you meet the April 1 deadline above in order to confirm and credit any aid awarded to your tuition bill. Our financial aid timeline and process cannot accommodate families who file their taxes with the IRS after April 15, 2018.
- Guideline of Need
- Financial Aid Grants from Non-GFS Sources
- Extra Expenses
- Withdrawal Terms
- The Joseph Rubenstone '40 Fund
All GFS families who receive aid must re-apply for financial aid and provide tax/income documentation each year to verify their financial need. All adults who play a significant parenting role in a student’s life (including parents, stepparents, guardians, and others who pay tuition) are required to provide their tax information to FAST. Financial aid applications submitted after the January 5 deadline will be considered on a rolling basis as funds allow.
Newly-accepted families: Financial aid applications for newly-accepted families are reviewed after the Admissions Committee has extended an accept decision to the child.
Current families: Current families must receive a reenrollment contract in January for the following school year in order to have their aid application reviewed. Reenrollment contracts for current families may be held for academic or financial reasons (i.e. tuition accounts must be in good standing). Because of our financial aid award timeline, families on “reenrollment hold” are in jeopardy of losing their aid for the following year.
The Financial Aid Committee uses the “Affordability Ranges” from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as a basic guideline for eligibility thresholds. Based on its data, a family of four making approximately $140,000 can afford one child in an independent school with tuition costs like GFS’s, but will need financial aid to assist with payment of two children’s tuitions. Families whose income and assets place them above our threshold of need will receive a letter stating that they do not qualify for financial aid at GFS.
Sometimes groups outside of GFS make scholarship grants on behalf of specific students. These grants, which are paid directly to GFS, are included as part of any financial aid package and are not considered additional funds. Enrolled students who meet the criteria for scholarship programs, such as the state of Pennsylvania’s EITC and OSTC, qualify the school to receive those monies, thus replenishing the total financial aid budget.
- Lower School: In general, materials for classroom use are provided by the school or are included in the activity fee. Teachers will inform parents if and when extra supplies may be needed, such as gym clothes and school supplies.
- Middle and Upper School: Students are responsible for the purchase of books, athletic equipment, non-grade-wide field trips, and optional private music lessons. Juniors and seniors have an additional fee for Senior Prom (optional). Spring Break trips are an additional cost per family; the total cost may be offset by pledges from individual families and student fundraising.
Depending upon an Upper School student’s course selection, there may be small fees associated with art classes, Japanese, chemistry and choir.
- Food Costs: GFS maintains a cafeteria service, and breakfast, lunch, and snack costs are paid by parents who choose this service through mypaymentsplus.com. Students can pay for items in the Open Door Cafe with cash, or charge to a credit card account set up in advance by each family.
Any ancillary charges beyond the yearly activity fee will be billed to parents monthly, as they occur, through the FACTS Management Company. We try as best we can to inform parents in advance of additional charges they may incur.
Any enrolled family (current and new) who enrolls and then withdraws between June 2 and July 1, 2018, must pay $5,000; between July 2 and August 1, 2018: $10,000; after August 1, 2018, a family must pay the full tuition amount due for the following school year. Notices of withdrawal must be made in writing to the Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid.
The Joseph Rubenstone ’40 Fund was established to help cover non-tuition expenses (such as books, private instrumental lesson fees, sports equipment and tutoring) for families needing financial assistance. Parents may request aid through their child’s division head or Tchet Dereic Dorman, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
All applicants' materials, records and award amounts are confidential. Financial Aid applications are reviewed only by FAST, the members of the Financial Aid Committee, the Director of Financial Aid, and the Financial Aid Coordinator. Occasionally, financial aid award information (not aid application information) is shared with the Advancement Office, which reports to the State of Pennsylvania to gain additional scholarship monies through the EITC and OSTC programs; with school division heads if additional program support is requested through the Rubenstone Fund; or with the Director of College Counseling, for college scholarship opportunities.
Families are expected to keep the amount of their aid award confidential.