About Financial Aid
At Free Union Country School, we value socioeconomic diversity and are committed to providing an enriched educational experience for all children who would benefit from our programs, regardless of financial means. As we strive to support and include families at Free Union from many backgrounds and circumstances, we also recognize that paying independent school tuition is a significant financial commitment.
The financial aid program at Free Union provides assistance to families who require some financial help in order to enroll their child. A family's need in this case is the difference between what it costs to attend (the tuition) and a family’s ability to pay the tuition, as demonstrated in the Financial Aid application. Financial aid is not a consideration in determining a student's eligibility for admission.
Financial aid is not a loan. It is a financial grant awarded by the School to a family. Each year, families receiving Financial Aid are responsible for contributing at least a minimal amount towards their child’s education. The amount of tuition that a family is responsible for each year is likely to increase slightly since tuition typically increases annually. Financial aid is funded from Free Union Country School's annual operating budget and from the money generously donated by families and friends to the Free Union Fund and raised through several events (Holiday Wreath Sale, Annual Auction, and Spring Fair).
Do we qualify for Financial Aid?
Free Union Country School offers financial aid to families with a wide range of financial situations. Most families adjust spending priorities, maximize family earnings, and carefully manage assets in order to pay tuition. As each family’s circumstances are different, the School cannot provide firm guidelines to help a family decide whether to apply for financial aid. In general, if after assessing their individual circumstances a family finds that it cannot consider enrollment at Free Union without some reduction of tuition, we suggest they apply.
The financial aid committee’s awards are based on a variety of factors including income, assets (including home equity, college funds and investments), family size, and the number of children attending institutions charging tuition. In addition, the School seriously considers each family’s entire financial picture and extenuating circumstances when deciding on financial aid awards and assumes each family has provided an honest assessment of its ability to pay tuition.
How do we apply?
There are three simple steps to applying for financial aid. We suggest that you begin by calling Martha Maclay in our business office (434-978-1700). She will guide you through the process.
Step 1: Complete the School and Student Services online application.
Free Union Country School uses the School and Student Services (SSS) program administered by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to streamline the application process. SSS provides an online process that can be initiated by the family. Simply visit the SSS web site (http://sss.nais.org/) and click the green, "enter now" button at right that will take you to the web site for parents and families applying for financial aid. SSS quickly provides the School with an assessment of need for financial aid. You will need our school code (2202) to complete your application.
Step 2: Provide the school in confidence with a signed copy of your most recent federal tax return, including all W2 and 1099 forms.
Step 3: The Financial Aid Committee will evaluate your need for financial aid and communicate with you.
Families currently enrolled at the School and planning to attend the following year (2013-2014) must apply by March 15, 2013.
For families applying for first-time enrollment, financial aid is awarded on a rolling basis and is contingent upon the SSS analysis and funds remaining in the financial aid account.
Free Union Country School strongly recommends that families keep copies of all submitted forms. The Financial Aid Committee will not review incomplete applications. Applicants can be assured that Financial Aid applications and supporting documents are strictly confidential and will only be reviewed by members of the Financial Aid Committee.
The school does not discriminate in the administration of its financial aid policies because of race, religion, gender, color, disability, nationality, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.