What is Discovery Academy’s financial aid policy?

Discovery has a need-based financial aid policy. For a school our size, we strive to award a substantial amount of financial aid each year. Our admission decisions are made need-blind, without regard to a family’s financial situation. We believe no qualified student should be denied enrollment because his or her family cannot afford tuition. It is also important to remember that an independent school education is a choice for families. Both the school and the families make significant financial sacrifices to support this choice. Our Financial Aid committee together with SSS (School and Student Services) will consider each application for financial aid by the same guidelines and evaluate individual family needs relative to others in our school. The Financial Aid application and the accompanying documentation should be submitted after the Admissions Application has been reviewed and the student has been offered admission to Discovery.

Please go to https://sssbynais.force.com/familyportal/familylogin to complete an application for financial aid.

What are the expectations of students and families awarded financial aid?

There are no specific criteria for financial aid recipients; however, they are expected to be responsible members of the school community and make significant contributions to the school, as well as benefit from our educational program.

Who is awarded aid?

We strive to support as many families as possible with need-based financial aid. All financial aid awards are kept confidential, and all application materials are kept in strict confidence by the Financial Aid committee and SSS (School and Student Services).

Please note that a family’s assets are considered when awarding financial aid. Consequently, it is possible for a family with a modest income to qualify for little or no aid if they have significant savings, investments or home equity. Conversely, a family with few assets may qualify for more aid than a family with a similar (or lesser) income who has more assets. The number of children in tuition-charging schools is also considered. The school allocates awards based on each family’s demonstrated need.

Do parents apply for financial aid just once?

Parents are required to apply for aid annually because tuition increases and changes in family resources may affect the amount of the awards. To be considered, returning families must submit all forms and documentation by April 15th for the following school year. New families apply for financial aid as soon as possible after applicant has been been accepted into Discovery. Financial assistance is not guaranteed to admitted students.

Please go to https://sssbynais.force.com/familyportal/familylogin to complete an application for financial aid.

How is a family's need determined?

Discovery utilizes SSS (School and Student Services) to confidentially review all financials and make a recommendation to the Financial Aid committee. Families submit the complete set of required documents online at https://sssbynais.force.com/familyportal/familylogin  along with $45.00 processing fee and the materials are forwarded on for review.

What about separated or divorced parents?

Discovery endorses a policy stating that parents have the obligation to pay for the educational expenses of their children to the extent they are able, and that obligation takes precedence over the school’s responsibility to provide financial assistance. We believe the primary responsibility for a child’s education rests with both natural parents. We cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed responsibility for educational expenses. Financial aid is based on ability to pay, not willingness to pay. Therefore, we expect both parents to complete all steps in the application process. The income and assets of stepparents or domestic partners will also be included in calculations, always bearing in mind the obligation of that partner to his or her own natural children. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to request additional forms for the non-custodial parent if they have not been mailed with the financial aid packet. We will waive the requirement for the non-custodial parent to complete the forms if the location of the non-custodial parent is unknown or we have documented information that the non-custodial parent provides no support and is not in contact with the child. If extenuating circumstances might warrant waiving this requirement, written requests should be sent to the Assistant Director to be forwarded to the Financial Aid Committee.

Must both parents be employed to receive financial aid?

In general, both parents must be employed if all children in the family are beyond preschool age. For many of our families (those who receive aid and those who do not), both parents are employed so that they can provide an independent school education for their children. We also realize that in some families circumstances may make this impossible. Explaining the circumstances in your financial aid application and describing the non-working partner’s plans for eventual employment are important. In order to prevent penalizing dual-income families, we may impute a salary amount for non-working parents as an equalizer, unless extenuating circumstances prohibit a parent from working.

How much does it cost to apply for aid?

The processing fee to apply is $45 to SSS (School and Student Services).  Discovery begins considering applications on or after the day a student has been offered admission to the school. Financial aid is not guaranteed and families should complete paperwork as soon as possible after their child’s admission to the school.

Should our family apply for financial aid?

Few families find it easy to pay independent school tuition. Most families adjust their spending priorities, maximize both parents’ earnings, and carefully manage assets to do so. We would like to provide firm guidelines to help you decide whether to apply for aid, but we have found that each family’s combination of circumstances is unique. The most helpful guideline comes from your own knowledge of your family’s finances. A good rule of thumb, if in doubt, is to apply. The cost is minimal, and there is no specific income level at which a family no longer qualifies for financial aid. Every situation is unique. If you feel you cannot pay the financial aid application fee, there are limited fee waivers available through the Assistant Director’s office.

What are the deadlines for the school year?

Please notify the Assistant Director as soon as possible if you plan to apply for financial aid and complete the SSS (School and Student Services) application online at https://sssbynais.force.com/familyportal/familylogin

REQUIRED FORMS: IN ADDITION TO THE FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION
  • Copy of two most recent paystubs from each parent, stepparent, guardian or domestic partner.
  • 1040
  • W-2s
  • 1099s
  • 4506 (if requested)
  • 4868 (if tax return incomplete)
  • Copy of most recent investment account statements.
  • Most recent rental agreement showing amount or mortgage amount

IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS OR FARM:

  • Schedule C (1040) 1120, if incorporated
  • 1120SH, if Subchapter S
  • CorpK-1, if partner/sharehold
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