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Changes to the FAFSA | Are boarding schools affected?


You may have heard about the changes to the process for submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that are coming in 2016. The federal government is updating the federal aid application process so that college-bound students can apply for financial aid earlier than ever.

What does this mean? Students applying for college aid for the 2017-2018 school year will be able to file their applications as early as October 2016 using 2015 taxes instead of waiting until January 2017, after final taxes have been filed for 2016. Great news!

How does this affect those applying for financial aid for private schools and boarding schools

In short, it doesn’t.

The majority of private schools and boarding schools require families to complete the Parent Financial Statement (PFS), not the FAFSA, and submit it to School and Student Services (SSS). SSS is provided by the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS), and already allows families to utilize their tax returns from two years out.

Which means, families applying for aid for the 2016-2017 school year may submit their applications for financial aid using their 2014 tax returns. Upon completion of the 2015 tax return, families are typically asked to submit the returns for verification of eligibility. Some families may see a change in their aid offering if there is a significant increase or decrease in income or expenses.

Very few private schools or boarding schools accept the FAFSA.

Want to learn more about the PFS for private schools and boarding schools? Visit the SSS website today, where you can find a wide variety of resources available to parents applying for financial aid.


Stacy Jagodowski

Written by Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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