Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Asheville School, like many other private American schools, 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 in one place relevant information about your family size, income, and expenses. Asheville School’s Financial Aid Committee then use the results as a starting point to calculate your financial need and determine 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 best award for you and your family, but know that you can always save your information and go back to the application another day.

You can find more detailed instructions here.

You can find the most detailed instructions here.

How is my financial aid award calculated?

SSS uses all of your submitted financial information to calculate your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), or in other words the amount you as a family pay per year towards tuition. Once you have submitted your application, SSS will generate your EFC, which you and the school(s) you tagged will be able to see.

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 assistance 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 such information as:

  • 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 much more, is collected on the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) and shared with all the schools you want to receive it. 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 also ask you for additional documentation.

Can I estimate what my award might be?

Yes! Once you create an account on the SSS website, you can use the “EFC Simulator” tab to see what a rough estimate of your Estimated Family Contribution might be.

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. However, unless there is a significant change in family circumstance, a family can expect that awards will remain constant.

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

The application deadline is February 1, and your tax returns MUST be uploaded (or sent via mail) to SSS by February 15. Please note: if your 2018 returns are not completed by Feb 15, please upload your completed 2017 returns as placeholders until your 2018 forms are completed.

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 questions?

Derry Roberson, Associate Director of Admission & Financial Aid
828.254.6345 x4020
robersond@ashevilleschool.org

The SSS customer service center is also very helpful:
800-344-8328
sss@solutionsbysss.com