I was born in 1968, the same year that NAIS gained ownership of the School Scholarship Service (as SSS was known at the time). Flash forward nearly fifty years (yes, I’m that old) and NAIS has reached another milestone in financial aid history. We’re excited to announce that the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has entered into a strategic alliance with Education Brands to take the management of SSS to the next level of success for schools and families.
With this innovative collaboration, NAIS will continue its role as a thought leader in financial aid management by maintaining stewardship of the SSS methodology, enhancing services around access and affordability, and delivering relevant professional development that helps schools effectively address issues of pricing, access, affordability, and financial aid management. In turn, Education Brands will take control of the SSS product suite, enabling SSS to offer schools the best tools and service going forward, thus ensuring that SSS remains a market leader among financial aid software solutions. Education Brands will collaborate with NAIS to support annual methodology updates and its efforts to keep the methodology current and relevant.
While we believe this change is exciting and positive, I can imagine a few questions I might ask if I were working at a school:
Do I have new people to contact if I need customer support?
Schools that use SSS will continue to have access to the same tools, support team, and customer service they have today. You can still use “Cases” and “Ideas” in School Portal to submit ideas for improvements or report glitches to fix. And you can still call the Client Success Team or Business Development staff for any help you need, as you currently do.
Will the fees and pricing change for schools or families?
The fees previously announced for the upcoming academic year will not change for schools or parents. The agreement between NAIS and Education Brands even ensures that the PFS fee waiver program and the ongoing support of access organizations will continue to help keep the most-needy, low-income families in the application pipeline.
Will there be any downtime in the School Portal or the Parents’ Financial Statement during the transition period?
Schools using the SSS School Portal and families completing the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) will experience no disruption to their day-to-day processes as a result of this alliance.
The professional development team is still intact and working to deliver the events as planned and described on the SSS website’s Events page. You should expect no disruption to these learning opportunities as a result of this collaboration.
Understanding you may have questions and concerns about this change, we strongly believe that this unique alliance combines the strengths of NAIS with the strengths of Education Brands to expand the value of SSS to schools and to NAIS members. It also allows NAIS to drive wider adoption of our trusted aid methodology and to reinforce our position as the thought leader in financial aid and access issues for schools and families.
We’re confident this new chapter in the SSS story will bring continued success to the schools that look to SSS to help them achieve their enrollment goals, and we look forward to working together with you, and with Education Brands, as SSS evolves through the next 50 years and beyond.