How Families Manage Financial Aid with School and Student Services (SSS) 

As a school, you want prospective families to know that you support them every step of the way. One of the most common barriers for families considering a private school education is, understandably, the cost.  

You can empower families to pursue a private school by offering financial aid options and resources. Some families may not realize they qualify for financial assistance. Or, they avoid applying because they think the process will be complicated and time-consuming. School and Student Services (SSS) makes the process simple and straightforward for families wanting to afford a quality education that fits their financial needs.  

We are breaking down how SSS improves the family experience and makes it manageable during each step of the financial aid cycle.   

The Application Process

To apply for financial aid using SSS, families complete and submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). The PFS gathers relevant information about family size, income, and expenses to estimate financial aid. Schools use the estimate as a starting point to assess financial aid needs and the amount they can offer.  

One benefit the PFS offers families is that they can fill out one PFS for multiple students from the same household for one fee rather than filling out the same information on multiple forms.  

Tip: SSS offers a complete resource library for families beginning the application process. Find a financial aid statement workbook, calculators, and more.   

Tax Documents and Verification  

Next, families upload their tax forms. Using the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) methodology, SSS quickly and efficiently verifies the tax forms and delivers fully audited student folders to schools—this saves schools a lot of valuable time. 

Streamlining the financial aid process not only encourages more families to apply but also allows schools to provide faster, more accurate award decisions to families; as a result, schools can reach more families who need financial aid.   

For example, the financial aid team at Le Jardin Academy spent eight or more hours per day manually processing financial aid forms. Since implementing SSS, they reduced this to a couple of hours per week. By using SSS to optimize their process, they saw an increase in enrollment by reaching more students and providing more financial aid.   

Tracking and Awarding

Once a family has submitted the PFS and uploaded their tax forms, they can view their family report in the SSS family portal. The family report shows them how SSS estimates the amount they can contribute to educational expenses, also known as their estimated family contribution. This estimate is only the starting point for schools, which also evaluate financial aid policies and the total amount of financial aid their school can offer.   

Schools and families can also communicate via the portal to keep things moving smoothly. Families will be alerted once a decision has been made. They can sign into SSS to review their award decision.  

Tip: Has your school considered an early awarding model? Watch the short video below to learn more, and check out our other videos in the Financial Aid Fast Facts series.  


Provide a User-friendly Experience for Families with SSS

SSS works to connect students and families with quality education through a reliable financial aid solution. For over 50 years, schools have depended on our software to reduce obstacles for families and schools in the financial aid process. We give you everything you need to approach financial aid fairly and equitably.   

Connect with an expert to see how SSS works and ask any questions you may have.  

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