Frequently Asked Questions
- What is FAST?
- How is my family's need determined?
- How do I explain a special circumstance that influences my financial situation?
- After I submit a financial aid application, what are the possible outcomes?
- If I qualify for aid and receive an award, will I receive a similar amount for each year my child is offered re-enrollment at GFS?
- What are the qualifications for aid at GFS?
FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) is a need based financial aid analysis service provided by Independent School Management, which helps to ensure that our review to establish financial need adheres to national standards. FAST is designed to be responsive to families. It is flexible in terms of the information it accommodates and allows families to represent their own particular circumstances accurately. To ease the online application process, FAST provides 24/7 help desk support.
FAST processes aid applications and suggests to GFS a recommended financial aid amount based on a calculation of a family’s income, assets, debts and obligations, size of family, tuitions paid elsewhere, and any other financial information shown on the applicant’s federal and state tax returns, W-2s and accompanying schedules, as well as final paychecks from employers. The GFS Financial Aid Committee will use the suggested award calculation from FAST as a guideline in its consideration of a family’s demonstrated financial need.
The GFS Financial Aid Committee will meet in mid-January to review all aid applications for families who are currently enrolled and new families who have been accepted for admission. If eligible for aid, you will receive an award letter shortly after February 1, 2020. If you qualify for aid but the aid budget is insufficient for an award to be offered, you will be placed on the Financial Aid Waitlist. In this case, do not submit the non-refundable deposit or the Enrollment Contract. Offers of admission will be extended until your waitlisted status has been resolved. If you do not qualify for aid at GFS, you will receive a letter stating that you do not qualify.
Each year, families must reapply for financial aid through FAST because a family’s income and situation may vary from year to year.
If your financial situation does not change, we will make every effort to continue to provide the same amount of aid from one year to the financial aid information next, striving to offer the same percent of aid to tuition. It is generally expected that a family’s capacity to pay will increase over the years.
To have your application for aid reviewed, you must have a Reenrollment or New Enrollment Contract extended to you for your child. Current families must be current with their tuition accounts. (Reenrollment Contracts may be held for academic or financial reasons.) You must have a completed aid application on file with FAST by the deadline. Current families on “reenrollment hold”, or those who apply late for admission, are in jeopardy of not receiving aid.
- Does GFS have an income cut-off to qualify for aid?
- Are there other costs beyond tuition at GFS?
- What about divorced, separated, never married, and single parents?
- What if there is a change in my income between the time the award is given in February and April, when I file taxes?
Few families find it easy to pay for independent school tuitions. Most adjust their spending priorities, maximize earnings, and carefully manage assets to do so. All families have specific and different circumstances, and therefore quantifying a specific income level of eligibility is difficult. Award amounts range between very small awards ($1,500 range) to almost full tuition ($34,000 range). All GFS families pay something towards GFS tuition. Our financial aid program is designed to allow greater access to a GFS education, so we encourage families to apply for financial aid if they feel they need it.
Yes. Tuition and activity fees cover the cost of tuition and most grade-wide activities, but do not cover the costs of lunch, non-grade-wide field trips, books and reading materials, sports uniforms, and some other small program fees that are particular to certain classes. Extended Day programming and transportation costs (optional) are also not included. (See “Extra Expenses” section of brochure.)
Families already enrolled and experiencing hardship with non-tuition program or activity costs are encouraged to contact Chris Breña, Director of Financial Aid, email@example.com for assistance.