In order to allocate financial assistance resources wisely and fairly we have enlisted the help of the Independent School Management (ISM) FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) program. ISM’s FAST does not decide whether financial assistance will be given or how much to give; rather FAST provides a need-based financial aid analysis service. FAST provides the school with a report, which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential. Applications are reviewed by the confidential Financial Aid Committee and the committee recommends to the Leadership Team an allocation of financial aid resources for the next year. Upon approval by the Leadership Team, financial aid offers are sent to families.
A request for financial aid for new students is a separate process from the admission process and does not affect one’s application for admission to the School. Financial aid grants are awarded annually and are need-based, with preference given to returning students. Parents/guardians are required to fill out a confidential financial statement each year. In a case of divorced or separated parents/guardians, the School considers the assets of both natural parents/guardians, if living, before making any award. Therefore, both sets of parents/guardians must submit all financial aid forms. The School cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent/guardian has disclaimed responsibility for educational expenses. If either the custodial or the non-custodial parent/guardian has remarried, we consider also the assets of the stepparent, always bearing in mind the obligation of that stepparent to his or her own natural children.
While no financial aid procedure can be entirely equitable—there are simply too many individual factors and extenuating circumstances—the process that has been established to serves both the needs of the school and its families in as equitable manner as possible. Availability of school resources, the number of qualified applicants and overall budgetary constraints influence financial assistance decisions. Encinitas Country Day School is committed to making grants available to as many eligible applicants as possible. In an effort to make the process fair to all, the Financial Aid Committee considers the following when making award decisions:
primary responsibility for financing a student’s education rests with the family
when a parent chooses not to work, the school may impute an annual income for a non-working parent
the school may impute elective expenses, for example, secondary home ownership, club memberships, and expensive car leases/purchases, to annual income for a family requesting financial aid.