A strong financial aid program supports Sewickley Academy's commitment to diversity within our student body. Qualified, motivated students are encouraged to apply to Sewickley Academy irrespective of financial need. Approximately 20% of students receive tuition assistance. Our financial budget for the 2013-2014 school year was $1.6 million.
Grants are awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Financial aid is available to students in PK through Grade 12; however, aid is primarily available to families of students enrolled in Grades 6-12. Once a financial aid commitment is made to a family, continuing assistance can be anticipated as long as financial need continues to be demonstrated.
The financial aid program at Sewickley Academy is need-based. When the family of an accepted student demonstrates financial need, the school makes every effort to help offset the cost of a Sewickley Academy education according to that family's particular need. Aid decisions are guided by financial data submitted to Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) by Independent School Management (ISM), and by review of the application data by Sewickley Academy's Financial Aid Committee.
There are no merit-based scholarships available at Sewickley Academy. All aid is need-based.
In order for us to allocate our resources wisely and fairly, we have enlisted the help of the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) program by Independent School Management (ISM). ISM's FAST does not decide whether financial assistance will be given or how much to give. Rather, FAST provides a need-based financial aid analysis service. FAST provides the school with a report, which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential.
Please note that Sewickley Academy is not able to meet the full amount of the recommended contribution for every family. FAST assumes each member school will recalculate aid awards based on the school's particular aid policies, and such re-calculation is a routine part of the financial aid process. Applications are reviewed by the Academy's Financial Aid Committee which makes recommendations to the head of school. Upon approval by the head of school, financial aid offers are sent to families.
In addition to completing the FAST application, families are required to mail signed copies of their Federal 2013 1040, including all schedules, State 2013 Tax Return, and W-2's directly to ISM at the address listed below.
Steps to Complete Financial Aid Application
Visit the FAST website. The application process is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program which allows you to partially complete an application and go back to it at another time. A helpline is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-877-326-FAST. If you do have questions, please call the FAST hotline, as Sewickley Academy will not be able to answer questions regarding the FAST application.
After completing the online application, you are required to mail a signed copy of your 2013 Federal Tax Return, 2013 State Tax Return, all schedules, and W-2's to: FAST Processing c/o Sewickley Academy ISM 1316 North Union Street Wilmington, DE 19806-2594
Please note that all financial aid requests, including financial information and award amounts, are kept completely confidential. Families are expected to keep the amount of their award confidential.
To be included in the initial round of financial aid processing, the deadline for submitting the FAST application and mailing your tax information to FAST is March 1, 2014. The deadline for the second round of processing is April 15, 2014. As always, our financial aid budget is fixed, so the sooner you apply, the better.
Aid is awarded annually and for one year at a time. Thus, all aid recipients must repeat the full application process each year. If a family does not meet the deadlines or follow all the steps correctly, they may not be funded.
Returning families receiving financial aid will receive a reminder from the Financial Aid Office to reapply in early winter. If tax forms have not been completed, families should use estimated figures to complete the FAST Application. Once tax forms have been filed, copies should be sent directly to ISM to verify estimated figures. Returning families will be informed of the financial aid decision sometime in early March.
New families to the Academy should apply for admission and financial aid concurrently, but please be aware that the admission and financial aid processes are distinct and separate.
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.
A one-time, non-refundable enrollment fee of $1,500 is payable when the enrollment contract is signed and submitted. This is a one-time fee and does not reduce first-year tuition costs.
Senior School Lunch - A la carte Middle School Lunch - A la carte Lower School Lunch - $4.50
Senior School - $500-$800 Middle School - $400-$500 Lower School - $80 Early Childhood - None
Home & School Associaton dues of $40 per family. (Optional)
Two options are available for paying tuition. The first requires 60% of the annual tuition to be paid in early August, with the remainder due in early January. The other option is a monthly budget plan, offered by PNC Bank. Tuition is paid in seven to ten equal installments between June and March. There is a small application and monthly fee.
Additionally, tuition payments can now be made online using a credit card by clicking on the Pay Bills Online link.
Philanthropy at SA
Tuition and fees cover approximately 84% of the cost of a Sewickley Academy education. Like all independent schools, the Academy relies on tuition revenues, endowment funds, and the private support of individuals – alumni, parents, grandparents, friends, faculty, staff, corporations, and foundations – to make possible the many aspects of a Sewickley Academy education.
Our endowment secures Sewickley Academy’s long-term future and generates an important part of the annual operating revenue. Endowment principal is preserved, and only a portion of the interest and earnings are used. The endowment is professionally invested and managed in order to provide income for Sewickley Academy in perpetuity.
The Annual Fund is the school’s most important source of revenue other than student tuition. It is a vital part of the annual operating budget, helping to make possible various programs such as fine arts, athletics, technology, and professional development. In addition, our Annual Auction raises significant funds that also help to keep tuition at affordable levels.
Sewickley Academy inspires and educates students to engage their hearts, minds, and hands to cultivate their full individual and collective potential in the service of a greater good.
Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Financial aid is one way in which we support families drawn to the mission of the school.
Our school provides financial aid on a need basis.
Our school determines need through a process that is equitable for all applicants.
Our school does not manipulate that process to the advantage of one applicant over another.
Our school does not use financial aid to compete with other private-independent schools.