The Germantown Friends School Financial Aid Committee determines financial aid grants for current and newly accepted families who have applied for financial aid. Financial aid grants are determined equitably and consistently according to demonstrated need. There are no merit-based scholarships at GFS. Our use of the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) program by Independent School Management (ISM) provides a need-based financial analysis and gives the Committee a recommended award amount that informs the Committee’s review. All information received from FAST is kept confidential.
Award decisions are based on family income, all family assets, including residence(s), retirement savings, other real estate holdings, stocks, bonds, equities, children’s savings, 529s, etc., and family liabilities. Home equity and retirement savings are considered as assets, and capital gains are considered as income. Child support is considered an expense to the payer and income to the payee. If able, all parents of school-aged children are expected to work towards the cost of tuition. An income of $25,000 will be imputed to a non-working, fully able adult with school-aged children. Education costs for adults or adult children are not allowed expenses, and we do not support a parent’s voluntary reduction of income with financial aid. We do not offer a work-study program for students to offset tuition costs, nor do we barter or trade services offered by parents in lieu of tuition. Tuition costs increase at an average of four percent each year, and the school assumes that a family’s ability to pay will increase as their children move through the school. If a family’s income does not change significantly from one year to the next, we attempt to maintain grant amounts for students as they move through the school.
GFS proudly offers over $4 million of aid each year to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. However, we still are unable to meet the need of all of our qualified applicants. Therefore, we offer aid to current families first, and then review the applications of newly accepted families. We wish we could meet all applicants’ demonstrated needs. However, because the demand for aid exceeds available aid funds, we prioritize offers of aid to students in the higher grades; children of alumni, faculty, and staff; students who are Quaker; and/or students who bring diversity to our community.
Please note, offers of aid to students in grades 1-5 are very limited.
Because our aid budget cannot meet all of the demands for aid, it is possible that some aid requests will be put into a Financial Aid Waitlist. In this case, do not submit the non-refundable deposit and Enrollment Contract. Offers of admission will be extended until your waitlisted status has been resolved. This could occur as late as the spring or early summer, when a current aid recipient declines an aid award or decides to withdraw from GFS, thus freeing those aid dollars for reallocation to someone on the Financial Aid Waitlist. We do not rank the Waitlist for aid, as reallocation of declined aid funds is dependent upon the specific grades where space is available for enrollment and the specific amount of aid needed by those on the Financial Aid Waitlist.
- Financial aid award letters for new and current families are mailed shortly after February 1, 2019.
- Acceptance of the award is indicated by completion and return of the signed Reenrollment and/or Enrollment Contract(s), submission of non-refundable deposit(s) by February 8, 2019, for current families (including those with a newly-accepted sibling); and by March 1, 2019, for new families.
The non-refundable enrollment deposit(s) are credited to the upcoming year’s tuition balance.
- Reconsiderations of aid awards are available, but only if all tax documents have been submitted to FAST and you have new financial information that was not part of the committee’s first review. To be considered, write a “Letter of Reconsideration” that details new financial information and address it to the GFS Financial Aid Committee.
Please send a hard copy by U.S. mail to: Germantown Friends School
Chris Breña, Director of Financial Aid
31 West Coulter Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144