Financial Aid FAQ
Below you will find the answers to many of the most common questions about the Financial Aid program at SMUS.
A Financial Aid (or Financial Assistance) program is offered by many independent schools. It provides families a needs-based money award that is offset against tuition fees. The money mostly comes from our generous community of donors. It is not a loan and does not need to be repaid.
‘Needs-based’ (or ‘means-based’) is an award that is based on the financial position of your family. It is a variable amount and the academic potential of the student is not a factor.
Approximately 20% of the student population at SMUS receives a portion of financial aid, scholarship and staff bursaries. Although the financial aid budget is finite, SMUS has no cap on the number of students that receive financial aid. Students on financial aid are treated the same as full fee paying students.
Your financial information is held in the strictest confidence. It is only made available to Senior Leadership Team members on the SMUS Financial Aid Committee.
There are no restrictions on the Financial Aid program at SMUS. It is open to all grades, to both day and boarding students; Domestic, North American and International. Please see the Eligibility for Financial Aid page for more information.
The Financial Aid program awards up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of tuition.
The application process is a detailed assessment of your family’s financial position by a third-party organization (see the Application Process webpage). It considers several factors including dependents, income and assets. This means that until you have gone through the external application process it is impossible to define an award amount. As you might expect, there are too many variables to consider, so we encourage you to apply.
The school assumes that parents, to the extent that they are able, will bear the primary responsibility for financing their children’s education, sometimes at the expense of other discretionary expenditures. If you have looked at the Tuition Fees pages and feel like the fee would be a struggle to pay, you should apply.
When you accept a financial aid offer, the award is applied as a credit to your SMUS account.
Since it is common for financial positions to change, we require families to reapply each year for financial aid. It is likely that if the student is in good standing and your position does not change that you will continue to receive Financial Aid each year.
We recognize that personal circumstances change, so each year all families can apply or reapply for financial aid.