Affordability

In 2016, our financial aid program provided more than $1.9 million in need-based aid to qualifying families. At Porter-Gaud, we actively seek to admit talented and motivated students, regardless of their family's ability to pay full tuition. We believe our comprehensive aid program is fundamental in making this goal a reality. We also believe that socio-economic diversity enriches the educational opportunities for all our families.

The key tenants of the Porter-Gaud financial aid program are:

  • Porter-Gaud does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of admissions, scholarship, educational and athletic policies.
  • Porter-Gaud subscribes to the principles and services of School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a service of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) which provides financial analysis based on families' confidential Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). SSS reports provide a point of reference for the Porter-Gaud Financial Aid Committee, which makes all final financial aid decisions.
  • Financial information submitted for all financial aid applicants will remain confidential and it is not made available to anyone other than SSS and members of the Financial Aid Committee.



Financial Aid Application Process

Thank you for your interest in the Porter-Gaud School financial aid program. Below are step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful submission process. Please call, email or stop by to see Margie Stanbrook, Director of Financial Aid, if you have any questions or need assistance in completing and submitting your application.

margie.stanbrook@portergaud.edu | 843-402-4681

Step 1: Prepare to Apply

We accept financial aid applications for the 2017 – 2018 academic year

beginning October 24, 2016.

1) Download your 2017-18 Parent Financial Statement (PFS) Instructions and Workbook

2) Gather your financial documents (the complete list is found on Page 2 in the Workbook)

Step 2: Complete and Submit Parent Financial Statement (PFS) and other Documentation

Note: Once you collect your financial documents, please plan on this process taking a couple of hours.

1) Visit http://sssbynais.org to create your Parents Financial Statement (PFS). Porter-Gaud's SSS code is 5848.

2) Create your PFS Online account with your email address and a password. If you applied for financial aid last year, simply login to the PFS Online as a Returning Family, using the email address and password you set up last year.

3) Begin a PFS for Academic Year 2017-18. You can log out of the PFS Online at any time, then return later to complete it.

4) Pay for and submit your PFS to School and Student Services (SSS). Porter-Gaud's SSS code is 5848. Your secure payment will be $48.

Note: SSS by NAIS automatically evaluates eligibility for families to receive a application fee waiver.

5) Deliver (by US mail, secure email or drop off in person in envelope marked confidential) all other financial documents to: Margie Stanbrook, Director of Financial Aid. (Please redact all federal id numbers.) These documents include:

  • Your 2015 federal income tax return including all attached forms and schedules and W-2's.
  • Any additional documents, if any, that the Director of Financial Aid has requested from you.

The Financial Aid Committee will begin its review of complete applications and make awards for the 2017-18 academic year in February.


IMPORTANT: A complete application consists of three parts: 1) the online PFS, and 2) your most current federal income tax return (include all tax form schedules and W-2’s.) and 3) any other requested documents.



FAQ

What are the current tuition and fees?

Detailed information about current tuition and fees can be found here. Tuition and fees for 2017-18 academic year will be approved by our Board of Trustees and posted on our website in January 2017.

What types of financial assistance does Porter-Gaud offer?

All financial assistance is need-based and awarded in the form of an annual grant. We do not offer solely merit-based awards, although some of our need-based awards include a merit component. Financial aid is specifically not contingent upon or awarded on the basis of academic, athletic, or other particular skills. We do not offer loan programs.

What is an overview of Porter-Gaud's financial aid policy?

Our financial aid program is need-based and is made available to applicants of any race, color, gender, national or ethnic origin, and all financial information submitted for all financial aid applicants will remain confidential and it is not made available to anyone other than SSS and members of the Financial Aid Committee.

Financial aid awards are made annually and on a rolling basis. Families must re-apply for financial aid every year. Current students who reapply are given priority and their award decisions are made first. Then current students with new aid applications are considered; followed by new students with new applications that were completed by February 1.

Thereafter, new and renewal applications are considered provided there are still funds available.

SSS report provides a point of reference for the Porter-Gaud Financial Aid Committee, which makes all final decisions on financial aid amounts. The SSS will provide Porter-Gaud with their analysis of your PFS. Please understand that the result of this analysis does not necessarily indicate what amount your grant will be. The SSS provides a standardized analysis of the information provided in the PFS, while we perform a detailed analysis considering every aspect of a family’s financial situation.

Prompt completion of the financial aid application and submission of all supporting documentation by February 1 is essential to the award process. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and notification of awards is sent out via US mail beginning in February.

Failure to complete your application by February 1 may disqualify a student from receiving aid. Failure to submit requested documents, misrepresentation, or failure to completely disclose all required information on the PFS, may also result in the loss of financial aid.

Our complete financial aid policy can be found here.

What are the general parameters for receiving financial aid at Porter-Gaud?

Generally, a two-parent home, with both parents working and only one child in Upper School, would qualify for a financial aid award close to the full cost of Upper School tuition if their household income is $60,818 or less. Conversely, the same family would be able to afford the cost of tuition if their household income is $147,600 or above.

Both scenarios assume no assets and no debt. These are only general guidelines. There are many factors that influence aid qualification and award amounts; therefore, every application outcome will be different. The very best way to find out what you qualify for is to apply.

When should we apply for financial aid?

Prospective families should complete the financial aid application between October 24, 2016 and February 1, 2017.

The Financial Aid Committee makes awards to new students for the coming school year starting in February, and the available funds go quickly. Although financial aid applications submitted after February 1 may be considered, those families who submit an application during the timeframe outlined above are most likely to receive an award.

Do we apply every year for financial aid?

Yes. Every tuition grant is made for one year and must be renewed every year. Annual renewals are subject to (1) the filing of an annual Parents’ Financial Statement and submitting required documents, (2) maintenance by the student of the academic and high citizenship standards expected of scholarship holders, and (3) continued financial need.

Normally, a family should expect that financial aid will continue throughout the student’s enrollment; however, the Financial Aid Committee may reduce or refuse subsequent grants if the student’s academic effort or conduct is deficient, even if such shortcomings do not preclude continued enrollment.

Assuming your family’s financial situation remains essentially the same, the percentage of tuition covered by your child’s financial aid award should remain generally consistent from year to year.




Are the admission process and the financial aid process connected?

The processes of applying for admission and financial aid are completely separate, and members of the Admission Committee do not consider a candidate’s financial status when evaluating the fit between an applicant and Porter-Gaud.

Once the decision is made to offer admission to a candidate, that student’s name and grade are shared with the Financial Aid Committee, which then determines if it is possible to offer an award to that student.

Unfortunately, an offer of admission does not guarantee that a candidate will receive financial aid funding. At times, it also may be necessary for a prospective family that either submitted their financial aid application after February 1 or did not receive funding in the initial round of awards to have to wait for a few weeks for additional funding to become available before receiving a new or revised award. This additional funding is the result of prior awards not being accepted by the awarded recipient due to a change in circumstances.


Should we wait to apply for financial aid until our child has been accepted?

No. The processes of applying for admission and financial aid are separate, but they should be completed in parallel by prospective families. Financial aid applications should be submitted by February 1, 2017. The deadline for applying for admission is February 10. 2017.

Financial aid applications are processed on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis. The Financial Aid Committee begins meeting in February and available funds decrease after each meeting. Applications submitted by February 1 have the best chance of receiving an award that more closely matches need. So it is best to complete the financial aid process as soon as possible, even before your child is accepted, so an aid decision can be made at the next scheduled meeting after your child is accepted.

What if we do not receive enough financial assistance to enroll our child(ren)?

Regrettably, the school is not able to meet the funding needs of every qualified student, and an offer of admission does not guarantee that a candidate will also qualify for or receive financial aid.

Families who have applied for financial aid are given a one-week grace period from the date of their award letter to accept the award, appeal the award and/or withdraw their child from enrollment without legal obligation to the enrollment contract. All requests to withdraw a student must be made in writing via email to the Admission Office.

If you feel that there are circumstances that may have been overlooked in the original application then you may request an appeal. To appeal an award, please contact Margie Stanbrook, Director of Financial Aid. She will review your application and may request additional information or documentation. Then, your appeal will then go before the Financial Aid Committee for review at its next scheduled meeting.

The Committee's final decision will again be sent via US mail. An increase in the award will be dependent on the availability of funds and verifiable additional information that may have not been included or considered at the time of the original decision.

What is the tuition refund plan?

The Tuition Refund Plan offers tuition coverage should a student withdraw. If you purchase this coverage and your child withdraws, a claim will be filed with A.W.G. Dewar. Dewar will compute the tuition refund benefit subject to the terms of the policy and amount insured and will pay the benefit to Porter-Gaud. This benefit will be applied to your outstanding balance and any resulting credit balance will be refunded to you. You will be responsible for any balance remaining not covered by Dewar and you will receive a statement of your account detailing your remaining balance due.

Participation in our Tuition Refund Plan is required for all new families, families of returning students on academic or disciplinary probation, and families paying by the 60/40 and ten-month payment plans.

If not otherwise required, participation is elective with the annual payment plan, if tuition is paid in full by August 1, 2017; however, tuition is non-refundable and no refund or cancellation of the yearly fees will be made by the School for absence, withdrawal, or dismissal before the end of the school year; therefore, parents are strongly encouraged to purchase the Tuition Refund Plan.

The complete Tuition Refund Plan can be found here. Please familiarize yourself with the exclusions and details of this coverage.

Below is an excerpt from our Enrollment Contract regarding the Tuition Refund Plan:

“Unless this Contract is cancelled by written notice received by the Admissions Office on or before July 1, 20—(“Cancellation Date”), it is understood by the undersigned Parent(s) that a contractual obligation exists to pay the full tuition and fees. Following the execution of this Contract, the School will rely on the Student’s enrollment … It is understood and agreed by the undersigned Parent(s) that the obligation to pay the full tuition and fees for the entire academic year is unconditional. It is further understood that under no circumstances will any portion of the tuition or fees be refunded, forgiven or reduced, except as outlined in the attached Tuition Refund Plan.”



Will our financial award change year after year?

Porter-Gaud will remain committed to our financial aid recipient's level of need throughout their enrollment. Returning applicants are given priority in the award process. Generally, a family can expect that financial aid will continue throughout enrollment as long as need remains. The dollar amount of the award may increase or decrease based on income and cost of living fluctuations, but families can rest assured in the same level of commitment to need year after year.

However, the Financial Aid Committee will reduce or refuse subsequent grants if the student's academic effort or conduct is deficient, even if such shortcomings do not preclude continued enrollment.

Additionally, failure to submit requested documents, misrepresentation, or failure to completely disclose all required information on the PFS, may also result in the loss of financial aid.

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