When providing financial aid for students at private schools, administrators have the important job of organizing and managing who receives funding and deciding how to keep track of each recipient. From learning how to manage funding to choosing or planning different financial aid programs, administrators are responsible for fairly organizing their funds. These financial aid tips for school administrators can help you learn how to manage student funds for your school.
Start With Your School’s Mission
One of the first financial aid tips for administrators is to look at your school’s missions and values. Many employees in the private school industry may think of financial aid programs as a drain on their resources rather than a helpful way to include new students in your institution. Your school’s mission gives you a purpose while allowing you to be competitive in the private school market.
Once you focus on your mission to help the local community or further specific education skills, you can make better financial aid decisions that are fair and appropriate to potential students.
Financial aid is often provided in flexible or sliding-scale tuition programs to boost current enrollment and increase the school’s revenue stream. It is essential that your team communicates about financial aid—both internally to employees and externally to potential students. Without open communication, families with potential private school students may not understand that your school strives to be accessible and socioeconomically diverse.
Private schools often market to middle-income families, where the institution is more accessible. However, because of these factors, other families often think they won’t qualify for financial aid due to their middle-class status, leading to fewer applications. Marketing your program of financial assistance to all kinds of students can reduce strains on your funding and help you align your program with your school’s mission.
Understanding Your School’s Financial Aid Process
Another significant step is learning to manage and choose software to assist your financial aid process. After establishing your mission and values and answering essential questions from the board of directors, look at your strategy for awarding student aid.
You want to be sure that each family pays a fair amount. To calculate the appropriate amount, many use a private school financial aid formula that subtracts the allowed expenses from the family’s income to find the total dollars they have available to pay their tuition.
Two factors also contribute to the amount each family might receive in financial aid. These are the family’s income and assets.
Kinds of income or cash flow may include:
- Wages or salaries: The amount given to the family for their jobs
- Interest or dividends: The interest paid through their savings accounts or the amount paid to shareholders during a surplus
- Alimony: Money given to a spouse during a divorce settlement
- Social Security: The funds received through the Social Security program.
- Support from relatives: Any other monetary or financial support from the family’s relatives
- Tax refunds: Yearly tax refunds received as a check or direct deposit
Types of assets may include:
- Cash: The amount of cash a person has collected over time
- Savings: The amount of money in savings through a bank account
- Home equity: The value of the family’s home or property
- Real estate investments: Investments in local homes or property and their monetary value
- Stocks and bonds: Investments in the stock market or collected bonds and their current worth
- Securities: Tradable assets like mutual or hedge funds or derivatives
- Retirement: Any savings for the family’s retirement
- Vehicles: Any vehicles owned by the family
The presence or lack of money in these areas may influence how much financial aid families get. Expect most families to have some form of savings, equity or retirement accounts. With these expectations in mind, you can better allow for different family sizes, diverse students, and various financial aid plans.
How to Plan for Using a Financial Aid Software
A reliable online financial aid software can walk you through managing and implementing your school’s financial aid program. Great software offers the tools you need to draw more students to your school while sticking to your mission and values. You can make informed financial and award decisions with software that includes a dashboard, analytic tools, and helpful data reports.
Build Transparency and Trust in Financial Aid Processing
When processing your financial aid awards, privacy is one of the most critical areas to consider. Many families remain anxious about the privacy of their information during scholarship determination. Others want the school staff to promptly provide as much award information as possible.
Whatever the case, your private school can work to build trust and transparency in the financial aid process through School and Student Services Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). The cornerstone of our aid software, a PFS allows families to submit the document and let SSS analyze their financial eligibility and information.
Because their financial information is submitted to third-party software, many families feel better about the process and trust that the determination will remain unbiased, equitable, and fair.
Using SSS, schools can also benefit from a program and software that contains aid processing solutions, fast document verification, data management, privacy, and self-serving functions. Your private school can utilize third-party software to reassure families that you will meet their needs.
Through this simplified application process and unbiased experience, you will find that more families and applicants trust your school and your financial aid process.
Financial Aid Management With School & Student Services
For over 50 years, School & Student Services has worked hard to connect students with educational services. Through need-based financial aid solutions and reliable software, we give you the tools you need to collect data and approach financial aid fairly and equitably. Depend on our aid software and organizational tools to reduce any obstacles that application fees and aid management may create. Our program allows schools to reach more students and increase access to education.
We believe your private school is more than just a customer. Our company houses a community of more than 1,900 private or independent schools and other schools and scholarship organizations. We’ve built a reliable proprietary program to help you evaluate each student and family’s eligibility and efficiently hand out financial aid to those who need it.
Contact us today to speak to an SSS representative, or call us at 855-230-7850.