Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial aid is awarded based on demonstrated financial need.

To be considered for aid, a student must apply for admission and be accepted. Financial need is determined using the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a national organization that does initial aid analysis for many of the nation’s top independent schools.

At Asheville School, we review the SSS analysis, along with tax records and other information in order to determine estimated need. All of our financial aid is in the form of grants that never need to be repaid and is renewable annually, adjusted for changes to the family’s financial circumstances.

The Asheville School financial aid program serves to make an excellent education available to students of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Roughly one-third of our students receive need-based financial aid, with the average aid award approaching $31,000 for boarding students and $11,000 for day students.

Altogether, we award more than $2 million each year in need-based aid.

How to Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid

1. Use the School and Student Service for  Financial Aid (SSS) and complete and submit the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) by February 1.

2. Upload copies of your 2018 W-2(s) and 2018 federal tax returns (1040s) by February 15 to SSS. They will process W-2s and 1040s as well as your PFS forms. The goal is to make it easier for you to send all the required documents to SSS instead of to multiple places. SSS will then distribute tax forms to all schools to which you have applied.

NOTE: You must submit all pages of your most recent tax return. If you submit only the first two pages, your financial aid application will NOT be complete. If your current return isn’t completed by February 1, please submit your most recent return as a place-holder. 

3. Provide additional information, if applicable.

If you feel that any other information, quantitative or qualitative, will help us gain a more thorough, balanced, and accurate insight into your economic condition and lifestyle, please include the details in a separate statement.

NOTE: Even if your tax return cannot be completed by February 1, the PFS must be received by that date to ensure full consideration. Awards will not be finalized, however, until all documentation, including tax returns, has been received. All items must be received at the appropriate destinations on time for the aid application to be considered complete and ready for evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Asheville School uses a third party called School and Student Services (SSS) to help calculate your financial aid award.

On the SSS website you will create a username and password and fill out The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), which gathers relevant information about your family size, income and net worth. Asheville School’s Financial Aid Committee then uses the results as a starting point to calculate your financial need and the actual financial aid grant we can award. We also require that you upload your tax documents directly to the SSS website (or you can mail them to SSS if you prefer). Please do NOT send them directly to Asheville School.

Please be aware that the financial aid application process is quite involved. SSS asks many detailed questions in order to calculate the most accurate assessment of your need for tuition assistance, but know that you can always save your information and go back to the application another day.

See the step-by-step guide here.

See the Parents' Financial Statement Workbook and Instruction Booklet here.

Additional resources can be found here.

How is my financial aid award calculated?

SSS uses all of your submitted financial information to calculate your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC): the amount you as a family can theoretically pay towards tuition. Once you have submitted your application, SSS will generate your EFC. You and the school(s) which you request receive the SSS report will be able to see it.

When our family applies for financial aid, what information will I be asked for?

The vast majority of financial aid is based on financial need. To determine how much financial aid you qualify for, schools use the SSS computations provided by National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to first figure out how much you can contribute. The school needs to know:

  • Family size
  • Income from all sources
  • Savings, investments, and other assets (including home equity)
  • Children's assets
  • Indebtedness
  • Medical, dental, and unusual expenses.

This information and answers to other lifestyle questions are collected on the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) and shared with all the schools you select to receive the PFS. The PFS is called a common application, or "common app," because you only need to complete one application for many schools.

Most schools will require you to submit a copy of your most recently completed federal tax return to verify that the information you used on the application is true and accurate. In certain cases — for example, if you own a farm or business — schools may ask you for additional documentation.

Will my financial aid award change from year to year?

Awards are made on a year-to-year basis. Families need to reapply annually if they are seeking continued aid. Unless there is a material change in family circumstance, a family can expect that awards will remain relatively consistent year-to-year.

When are the application deadlines, and when am I notified if I received aid?

The application deadline is February 1, and your tax return, W2 form(s) and 1099 form(s) MUST be uploaded (or sent via mail) to SSS by February 15. Please note: if your 2018 return is not completed by Feb 15, please upload your completed 2017 return as a placeholder until your 2018 return is completed. Please submit your 2018 tax return as soon as it is complete.

By March 10, students who are offered admission and who applied and qualified for need-based aid will be notified of their award via mail. Returning students receive re-enrollment contracts along with details regarding their financial awards by March 10.

Are there waivers for the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) processing fee?

SSS has a program where application fees can be waived for families most in need of financial help. They use the family size, income and asset information in the PFS to assess the family situation and automatically apply a waiver if you qualify.

Can international students apply for aid?

Yes, international students can apply for aid. However, please know that the majority of our financial aid is awarded to American students.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Derry Roberson, Associate Director of Admission & Financial Aid
828.254.6345 x4020

The SSS customer service center is also very helpful:

Merit Scholarships

Founders' Scholarships

The Founders' Scholarships honor Asheville School's founders, Charles Andrews Mitchell and Newton Mitchell Anderson. 

A limited number of Founders' Scholarships are awarded each year to new boarding applicants who have demonstrated exceptional character, academic excellence and influential contributions to their school community through extracurricular achievements. 

All Early Decision and Regular Decision boarding applicants are eligible for Founders' Scholarships. Special consideration is given to students entering grades 9 and 10, however applications are welcome for students in all grades. 

Founders Scholarship recipients may receive up to $20,000 and awards are renewed each year.  No additional forms or supplementary materials are required to apply, as all boarding applicants are considered. 

Applicants receiving an award will be notified by March 10. 

Aronian and Williams Merit Scholarships 

The school's first endowed merit scholarships, the Aronian and Williams Kehaya Merit Scholarships, were established in 2008 by Whit 1971 and Sharon Kehaya. They are awarded to an outstanding boarding student in each form. 

No additional forms or supplementary materials are required to apply. 

Financial Aid Hero