The following are some specific policies relating to financial aid at Sewickley Academy:
Separated or Divorced Parents
Sewickley Academy expects parents to pay the educational costs for their children to the full extent they are financially able. This principle applies to all parents, even those who are separated or divorced. The Academy is not bound by, and will not honor, any decrees, agreement, or legal document excusing a parent from financial responsibility for a child's education. Nor will Sewickley Academy be bound by a parent who has disclaimed financial responsibility for the student. In the event that a custodial parent and child has no contact with the child's non-custodial parent for the past two years, a letter of confirmation, addressed and sent to the Financial Aid Committee, is requested from a third party/individual (lawyer, minister, etc.).
Both parents are expected to file all of the necessary forms and to comply fully with all of the guidelines and requirements of the aid process. Thus, tax returns and forms are required of all parents. The custodial and non-custodial parent must each fill out the FAST application. Re-marriage of either natural parent creates a new family unit with new relationships, but since the parents still have a parental obligation, the income and assets of the entire family unit (including new family units and step-parents) are viewed as relevant for the purposes of calculating a family's level of need. Sewickley Academy considers the obligations of the parents to their new family situation in determining the award, but will not allocate the award on a proportional basis among the families. The responsibility for communication and payment lies with the custodial parent.
Parents Voluntarily Reducing Income
The Academy's policy is to decline to subsidize financial aid for a parent's voluntary reduction in income (i.e. voluntarily terminating employment, choosing to start a business, etc.). It is assumed that the parent has considered the impact such a choice would have on their ability to afford the cost of a Sewickley Academy education, and that such a change could prevent a child from enrolling or returning to school. This situation results in a calculation of need on the basis of the family's income before the voluntary reduction. Returning to school, for professional or graduate work, or to change careers, is considered a voluntary reduction in income and is treated accordingly.
Sewickley Academy expects families to do their utmost to provide for an Academy education. Where one parent chooses not to work and has children who are in school full-time, the Financial Aid Committee will re-calculate need using an imputed, minimum income for the non-working parent. Note that this policy does not require the parent to work. It only attempts to adjust the level of need by accounting for the minimum income that the parent could earn if he or she chose to return to work. If a parent can document that he or she is disabled or otherwise unable to work (caring for an aged parent, for example), this policy would not apply. The rationale for this policy is similar to that for voluntary reductions in income (see above).
Trust and/or "College" Funds
Trust funds and/or funds or accounts ear-marked "For College" are considered student assets and are treated accordingly. While it may not be possible for a family to tap the principal of such funds, the existence of the funds means that more of the family's current income is available for tuition.