Q. Is Tution Assistance need-based? Merit-based?
Q. What level of tuition assistance does the school provide?
Q. How does the school determine financial need?
St. James' uses Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), operated by an independent third-party, to help the Tuition Assistance Committee distribute need-based awards. In evaluating the amount of assistance needed to meet tuition costs, the Tuition Assistance Committee takes into account the family's other children who attend tuition-funded schools, additional dependents, all sources of income, assets, priority of spending, debts, and expenses.
Q. Does applying for Tuition Assistance affect admission decisions?
No. Applying for Tuition Assistance is not a factor in the admission decision. While St. James' is committed to serving all qualified students in our community, however, we do have a limited amount of Tuition Assistance funding available each year. Therefore, all Tuition Assistance awards are based on need. Priority goes first to students currently receiving Tuition Assistance, then to returning students, and finally to newly admitted students.
Q. Do I need to reapply for assistance each year?
Yes. Awards are not guaranteed. Increases and decreases in annual income are considered. Renewal of a Tuition Assistance award is based on continued financial need, as well as current tuition payment history. New forms and tax returns must be submitted each year. It is incumbent upon each family to demonstrate a commitment to partnering with the school.
Q. What if parents are divorced or separated?
We believe that all parents have an obligation to contribute to their children's educational expenses. We take into account the assets and the income of all parents. If any parent has remarried, we will consider the income of the stepparent, keeping in mind the obligation of that stepparent to their other children. If any parent lives in a household with another adult, we may consider the assets and income of that person, depending on the circumstances. St. James' requires all parents and their current spouses to complete a linked FAST application and submit tax forms, W-2s, and 1099s.
Q. Is my ex privy to my financial information?
No. In situations of divorce or unmarried parents, both parents or legal guardians are required to submit application forms. However, each form is separate. The school reviews both sets of financials in order to make an award decision, but under no circumstances will officers of the school ever discuss your financial status, taxes, or income with the other parent.
Q. What if I qualify for Tuition Assistance but my ex does not? What will the school decide?
The school will only determine the total family award available and will not assign portions or percentages of tuition due from each parent. Since the school believes strongly that both parents are responsible for a child's education, both financial situations are considered, and a decision is based on total income.
Q. What if I accept an award and then later discover that I need more assistance?
Q. What if I am a single parent receiving no financial support from the child's other parent?
The school reserves the right to request proof of this status. Additionally, we advise you to explain this in the notes section of the FAST application. Parents should be prepared to provide proof of sole custody or a court order that adequately demonstrates that only one parent has financial responsibility for the child.