What is the Financial Aid Assistant (FAA) Program?

Financial aid can be intimidating for prospective families, especially nontraditional families or those with complex financial circumstances. At the same time, it’s a top priority for private and independent schools to provide thorough, equitable financial aid awards.  

The Financial Aid Assistant (FAA) program by School and Student Services (SSS) helps families and schools by eliminating the complexity of the financial aid process. Read on to learn more about how this innovative program works.  

What is the FAA Program? 

The FAA program acts as a friendly extension of your financial aid office to help you collect family information and complete folder reviews. Our team of financial aid assistants will follow up directly with families to resolve questions and ensure we have the information required to process applications. Each interaction is documented for easy tracking.  

Then, they use the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) methodology to evaluate applications; NAIS partners with SSS to provide a consistent review process that reflects current economic realities and ensures equitable awarding. 


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How Does FAA Work? 

FAA makes the financial aid process easy to complete and understand for families and school staff. By using the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) as the cornerstone and a trusted folder review methodology, things move smoothly throughout the process.  

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how it works: 

  1. Families will complete the PFS and upload tax documents. Families complete one PFS and pay one fee for all students in the same household.  
  2.  Next, the FAA team reviews the PFS and tax documents submitted and communicates directly with families if any further information is needed. 
  3.  The FAA team also evaluates special circumstances that could impact a family’s financial situation, such as upcoming income changes or tuition support from another family member.  
  4.  Then the FAA team calculates the estimated family contribution amount.  
  5.  Finally, the total financial aid needed is determined by subtracting the family’s expected contribution from the tuition amount.  
How Does FAA Benefit Your School? 

FAA benefits your financial aid team and your school as a whole—but don’t just take it from us!  

Le Jardin Academy used the FAA program to increase enrollment and provide more financial aid. One of the school’s long-term goals is to match and meet 90% of the financial assistance needed. Using data from financial aid reports, Le Jardin found a path of growth by using FAA to increase timeliness in financial aid awarding and secure and enroll students faster. 

“We are seeing an increase in enrollment by being able to provide more aid. The time we’ve gained back using FAA lets us focus on what we need to focus on outside of the financial awarding decisions.” -Jennifer S., Director of Admissions at Le Jardin Academy.   

Similar to Le Jardin Academy, FAA will help your school: 

Reallocate time: Build family relationships and let FAA handle the nitty-gritty details! 

Streamline processes: FAA expedites the financial aid process with efficient folder reviews and proactive family communication.   

Grow enrollment: Thanks to a seamless review process, your school can reach and serve more families.  

Save money: Avoid over-awarding with our proven review process.  

Increase diversity: Attract families who may have thought your school was out of reach financially by promoting a financial aid system that follows a vetted methodology.    

Enhance the Financial Aid Process With FAA 

Set your school up for a successful financial aid season with support from the FAA program. Meet with one of our experts to explore how FAA can help your school. Simply complete a demo form and select “FAA program” to start. 

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