How to Apply & Financial Aid Guidelines
Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?
Every student who applies for admission to The Governor’s Academy may also apply for need-based financial aid (meaning the difference between the cost of tuition and a family’s expected contribution). For the academic year 2017-2018, Governor's awarded nearly $4.8 million in financial aid grants ranging from $2,000-$60,000.
Financial aid is primarily intended for students from the United States though limited funds may be available for international students. Often, more families qualify for financial aid than we are able to fund and, as a result, there may be some families who qualify for aid to whom we are unable to make an award.
Guidelines for Applying for Financial Aid - New and Returning Students
Families intending to apply for financial aid must complete the Parents Financial Statement (PFS) online at http://sss.nais.org/. By creating an account at http://sss.nais.org/, families will be able to track the status of their financial aid application.
In addition to completing the PFS, parents must also upload signed copies of their 2016 1040 Federal Tax Return including all schedules, copies of all W-2 and/or 1099 forms and, if applicable, the SSS Business/Farm Statement to SSS by NAIS by January 15. The same 2017 information must be submitted to SSS. All copies of W-2 and/or 1099 forms should be submitted by February 15. Copies of the completed 2017 1040 Federal Tax Return should be submitted upon completion which could be after February 15 in some cases.
Please check your responses for accuracy, and make sure that you have followed all instructions. Be sure you have explained all circled items and unusual circumstances. You will jeopardize your chances for aid if you make errors, omit information, or have discrepancies between your Parents Financial Statement and your income tax return.
Any questions regarding family contribution computations may be directed to SSS by calling their help line at 866.387.2601. However, families should call the Director of Financial Aid at 978.499.3158 with any questions regarding The Governor’s Academy financial aid decisions, policy or payment options.
What constitutes a completed Financial Aid Application?
- The Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) which is published by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). If parents are divorced, separated or have never been married, each parent must complete a PFS.
- The SSS Business/Farm Statement (if applicable).
- A signed copy of the parent’s 2016 1040 Federal Tax Return and all schedules including K-1 forms and/or corporate returns if applicable
- A signed copy of the parent’s 2017 1040 Federal Tax Return and all schedules including K-1 forms and/or corporate returns if applicable
- Copies of all 2016 W-2 and/or 1099 forms for both parents
- Copies of all 2017 W-2 and/or 1099 forms for both parents
- Signed, but not dated, Form 4506-T, which can be downloaded from www.irs.gov
Financial Need Computation and Award Determination
When calculating a family's financial need, the Financial Aid Committee reviews all relevant tax returns and schedules as well as the Parents' Financial Statement filed with the SSS.
Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of education and the expected family contribution, which is determined by taking into account income, assets, family size, indebtedness, parents' age, and necessary expenses. Allowances for taxes, medical expenses and allowable unusual expenses such as parents' educational expenses are subtracted from income to derive effective income.
The amount of families applying for aid consistently outnumber the grants available. Because our funds are limited, students who are applicants for financial aid are in a more competitive situation for admission. In some cases, we may place a student on our Waiting List for Admission if we are unable to meet a family's demonstrated need.
Returning Students Receiving Financial Aid
All returning students who have received financial aid in the current year will be considered for the same level of financial aid (as a percentage of total tuition) in the next year, as long as the same level of financial need is demonstrated. Financial need will be reviewed each year and financial aid awards may be altered if a family’s expected contribution increases or decreases significantly. If, after the review process, the Financial Aid Committee determines that the family's ability to contribute to the student's educational expense has increased, the level of aid awarded will be decreased accordingly. Conversely, if, after completion of the re-evaluation process, the family's ability to contribute is deemed to have decreased, The Governor's Academy will strive to raise the level of aid awarded.
Returning Students Not Already Receiving Aid or Requesting Aid for the First Time
The Financial Aid Committee accepts financial aid applications from returning families who have not received financial aid from The Governor's Academy in the past. We cannot guarantee, however, that the Academy will be able to meet the financial needs of these families. It is our expectation that families who begin at The Governor's Academy paying full tuition will continue to do so, unless unforeseen circumstances make that impossible. When we are unable to meet fully the family's financial need, we may offer less than the family qualifies for, we may place the student's name on a waiting list for financial aid that may become available at any time during the year or we may not be able to offer any financial assistance.
Families that do not receive financial aid one year may apply for aid in subsequent years. If there is a significant change in a family’s financial circumstances, The Governor’s Academy will do everything in its power to retain students who may face the possibility of being unable to re-enroll for financial reasons.
Separated and Divorced Parents
The Governor's Academy believes that a family’s contribution towards education is a reflection of the ability to pay, not the willingness to pay. It is the position of the Academy that divorced or separated parents retain the obligation to contribute to the education of their children whether or not there is legal agreement between them to do so. Many divorce settlements stipulate the exact amount each parent must contribute toward educational costs, or which parent is responsible for costs and for how long. We do not abide by such guidelines and instead require each parent to contribute as much as SSS calculations show they can afford. In some instances this amount may be less than the court's decision; in others, more.
The Financial Aid Committee will consider the financial resources of both natural parents, if living, before making an award. Therefore, both natural parents must provide the financial information that is required to process a financial aid application. If either natural parent remarries, we will take into consideration the obligations of the parent to his or her new family. We will include in the calculations the resources of the step-parent, keeping in mind that the primary responsibility to contribute to the cost of education rests with the natural parents.
The Governor's Academy requires that each parent submit a Parents Financial Statement. If the custodial parent has remarried, the Academy will also consider the assets of a step-parent, bearing in mind the step-parent's obligations to his or her own natural children. The Governor's Academy cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed responsibility for educational costs. The Financial Aid Committee’s decision may be affected if one parent chooses not to submit the necessary financial documentation. Parents are welcome to inquire by telephone or explain in writing with an additional letter any unusual circumstances relating to separation or divorce.
Parents who own or who are part owners of a business or farm, if it is the primary source of income or not, must complete the SSS Business/Farm statement. Information regarding income, assets and liabilities will be taken into account when determining financial need.
Financial Aid After February 1
The Academy will continue to process late financial aid applications once it has received all necessary information. Available funds are generally depleted after February 1, and the likelihood of a financial aid award after the deadline decreases as time passes.
All financial aid information is confidential. The Governor's Academy financial aid committee retains any information we have on file until the candidate graduates or decides not to enroll. Soon after this point, records are destroyed.
Appealing Financial Aid Decisions
In some cases, families may request that the Financial Aid Committee review their aid application. In order to appeal financial aid decisions, families must submit relevant information and/or letters of explanation that they feel provides new information in helping the Financial Aid Committee better understand their circumstances. Requests for review and the submission of information may be done through the Director of Financial Aid.