How to Ensure your School is Meeting the Growing Need for Financial Aid Awards

Kassandre Kallen

February 9, 2024

    The need for more financial aid is increasing as the trend towards rising enrollment in private schools continues to grow. Minority families, middle-class, and higher-income families are all included in the latest data showing a higher need for financial aid. Specifically, the trend of higher-income families needing financial aid, was noted in the NAIS 2023-2024 Trendbook, “The demographics of the applicant pool are changing as more higher-income families apply for aid.”  

    Schools can continue their focus on the families’ needs by making it easier for families to apply for financial aid. At the same time, schools can increase the number of families they’re able to help. Schools and families benefit when award choices are made expediently and with more precision. Financial aid processing solutions that offer automated document verification, self-service capability, secure data management, and privacy protection for families’ financial information offer those advantages to K-12 private and independent schools. Schools also see a marked reduction of manual application processing hours.  

    For instance, if your school has 50 financial aid applications and it takes eight hours per application to manually process, your staff is spending 400 hours just on processing applications. If your school automates much of that processing, and manual hours are reduced to two hours per application, your school is then only spending 100 hours processing applications. That’s quite a time-savings! 

    Because equity plays such an integral part in the financial aid process, schools using a third-party processing solution can reassure families that all financial aid information is thoroughly analyzed. Families also feel confident that award decisions and financial information used in making those decisions remain free of outside influence.  

    Equitable financial aid processing at schools is a game-changer for families, unlocking opportunities and fostering a more inclusive learning environment. Distributing aid fairly breaks down financial barriers, allowing talented students from diverse backgrounds to access quality education regardless of economic circumstances. This empowers families to make informed choices about their children’s education without feeling constrained by their income.  

    Equitable practices also cultivate a sense of trust and transparency among families, knowing that decisions are based on genuine need and not influenced by external factors. This fosters a more positive and supportive school community where students, regardless of their financial background, feel valued and able to thrive. Ultimately, equitable financial aid processing benefits not just individual families, but the entire school community by promoting diversity and inclusivity. 

    Our financial aid application procedure relies on the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). A Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) is filled out and submitted by families to apply for financial aid through SSS. The PFS estimates financial help by collecting pertinent data regarding family size, income, and expenditures. In determining the amount of financial aid they can provide, schools can utilize the estimate as a baseline.   

    As an alternative to filling out numerous forms with the same information, the PFS allows families to submit a single form for all their children in the same household, saving them time and money. Additionally, by offering a solution that provides customer assistance in both Spanish and English, schools can better assist bi-lingual families and guarantee that parents and school staff are supported at every stage. 

    Our software has helped schools and families navigate the financial aid process more easily for over 50 years. 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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