About the methodology

As a service created by schools and for schools, SSS is strengthened by its collaboration with NAIS
SSS maintains a collaboration with NAIS by using the NAIS needs assessment methodology within the SSS software platform to calculate the ability of families to pay tuition. The origins of the service and the methodology began in the mid-1950’s with a coalition of independent boarding schools that later entrusted NAIS to operate the service in 1968. In 2016, NAIS entered into a collaboration with Education Brands (now Community Brands), whereby NAIS maintains stewardship of the methodology used in the SSS software platform, updating and improving it to remain relevant to current economic realities. NAIS collaborates with SSS in the interest of improving financial aid solutions to schools that are reflective of NAIS standards of best practice in financial aid management.

Advisory Task Force

NAIS relies upon the advice and guidance of a volunteer group of private school financial aid practitioners to shape the Methodology. This advisory group reflects and supports leadership to schools in developing sound financial aid policies and best practices. It works to promote greater access to private education though a strong need-based financial aid methodology. In its work, this advisory group strives to:

  • Uphold and promote the principles of need-based financial assistance in private elementary, middle, and secondary schools
  • Maintain the integrity and validity of the Methodology
  • Support NAIS’s efforts to provide relevant research and data that advances strategic thought leadership in issues of financial aid and affordability to the broader private school community.


Carinne Meyn Barker (Chair)
Director of Enrollment
St. Matthew’s Parish School (CA)

John M. Hutchins
Director of Admission and Financial Aid
Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)

Jennifer Wing
Director of Enrollment Management
Berwick Academy (ME)

Heather Daly
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid                                                          St. Andrews (DE)

Fé Patriciu
Sr. Associate Director of Admissions
Providence Day School (NC)
Jennifer Pease
Director of Financial Aid
The Dalton School (NY)

Bill Murdock
Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Baylor School (TN)

Russ Gagarin
Director of Financial Aid
Landon School (MD)

Genieve Rankel
Director of Financial Aid
Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols School (MA)

Pamela McKenna
Director of Enrollment and Strategic Marketing
Hopkins School (CT)

Serving on the Advisory Task Force

The Advisory Task Force traditionally looks for two or three new members every two or three years. To be considered for this NAIS task force, potential nominees should meet the following general requirements:

  • Represent a school that uses SSS for its financial aid assessments
  • Be willing to serve a three-year term
  • Attend two meetings per year (all expenses paid) with some work between each meeting
  • Attend the NAIS Annual Conference and assist in the planning and/or presentation of sessions
  • Be willing to serve as a regional representative for other financial aid colleagues.

If you are interested in being considered for membership on the task force, please contact Mark Mitchell, Vice President, NAIS at