Tips for International Applicants
Families living in any country can complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) to apply for financial aid.
However, because 99% of the families who complete the PFS live in the United States, the questions and the help tips are generally geared toward these applicants. We realize this can make the PFS more challenging to complete for international families.
The tips below can help you successfully complete the PFS. Above all, it’s important for you to communicate with the school to which you are applying for financial aid. Ask the school financial aid administrator about any special considerations or requirements for you as an international applicant.
Form for International Applicants
It is up to each school to determine what information it will require from international applicants, however a group of schools have collaborated on a common form that may be required as part of your application:
You should check with your school to see if this form is required as part of your application before completing it.
If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can fill it out online, save, print, or email. Adobe Acrobat Reader users can also fill it out online (or print to fill out by hand) but will not have the ability to save and send as an attachment to an email. Please also be aware that Mozilla Firefox does not support this functionality! It’s recommended you utilize either Internet Explorer or Chrome to complete this form.
Completing the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS)
Report your answers in U.S. currency.
On the PFS, answer the questions about currency in U.S. Dollars. Present the information with as much equivalency between U.S. and local conditions as you can. There are many available currency converters. Here’s a link to one: http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
Use the following date format “Month / Day / Year.”
Note that the date format used throughout the PFS is the format typically used in the United States: MM / DD / YYYY. So for example, if your child was born on January 19, 2000, please enter his or her birthdate on the PFS as 01/19/00.
Academic Year (School Year) in the United States
In the United States, the academic year runs generally from about September through June. So references in the PFS to “Academic Year 2019-20” refer to the school year that begins in September 2019 and ends in June 2020.
Acceptable Methods of Payment
It costs $55.00 U.S. Dollars to submit the PFS online. You may pay by electronic check or Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. All international credit cards are also accepted. The form requires a “zip code,” so if no other applies, please enter in digits such as 00000.
Additional Required Documents (Tax and Employment Documents)
In addition to completing the PFS, most schools also ask applicants to submit additional documents that help them verify the information submitted on the PFS.
Because these additional required documents tend to include U.S.-specific documents, it is best that you contact the school to find out what you should send. The school has the ability to waive a certain document for an individual family. Or a school may ask you to send other documents related to taxes and proof of income.
If a school requests that you provide additional documents, visit the “My Documents” tab of your Family Portal after completing and paying for your PFS. Guidance on this tab will help you with uploading your documents electronically or downloading a coversheet to use for mailing in your documents
Calling the SSS Customer Service Center
The main SSS toll-free phone line (800-344-8328) is only accessible from within the U.S. and Canada. However, to accommodate international callers, we have set up another phone number that can be dialed from outside the U.S. and Canada. That phone number is 952-967-9922. You will incur the long distance charges when dialing this number.