Financial Assistance FAQ
What is the range of aid that is given?
Garrison Forest School financial assistance awards range from a small percentage to nearly two-thirds of the tuition. All families will pay some tuition.
Are there any merit awards available at Garrison Forest School to applicants?
All of the financial assistance awards are based on financial need. The only exception is the merit-based Legacy Scholarship, which is offered each year to up to two new student or current day students entering Grades 8-12 as boarding students at Garrison Forest. Alumnae daughters, granddaughters, or nieces are eligible to apply.
Does the financial aid award cover books and school trips or other costs beyond tuition?
No; the financial assistance award covers only the cost of tuition. Extra costs which may include uniforms, music lessons, athletic fees, and books are not included.
How is need determined?
Garrison Forest uses FACTS Management Systems, which helps independent schools across the country determine the need of a family. In reviewing each application for aid, the Financial Assistance Committee considers both the FACTS recommendation and any additional financial information the family is asked to provide, including the family’s other children, additional dependents, all sources of income, priority of spending, debts and expenses. It’s important to provide accurate information and meet all deadlines in order to receive an accurate financial assistance award. Garrison Forest's Financial Assistance Committee reviews your application in conjunction with the School's budget to determine each family's eligibility.
Do I have to reapply each year for Financial Aid? Will my award be the same in future years?
Yes, each student's need is recalculated annually. Any student to whom financial assistance is awarded can expect that a similar level of aid will continue as long as she remains in good academic and disciplinary standing, her family continues to demonstrate need and is not in financial arrears, and all required documentation is received by the school by the stated deadlines.
Will applying for financial aid have an impact on the admissions decision for my daughter?
No. The Admissions Committee does not consider who is applying for financial assistance and the financial assistance decisions are made after a student has been chosen for acceptance.
Garrison Forest School believes that a family's financial situation should not prevent a student from applying to or attending the School. Any student may apply for financial assistance, whether day or residential, beginning with Kindergarten, and it is not a factor in admission decisions. Garrison Forest School is fully committed to a need-blind admission policy and to socio-economic diversity within the school community. Because financial assistance information is held in strict confidence, members of our community do not know who is receiving assistance.
When will I find out how much I will be awarded?
If all of your tax documents have been received by the stated deadlines, we will be able to advise new families of our financial assistance award decisions with their acceptance letter. Returning families who have completed the financial assistance process will receive their award with their re-enrollment contract. If we have not received all of the necessary information by the stated deadlines, your daughter's financial award may be in jeopardy and your family will be placed in a waiting pool for further consideration.
Is there a Financial Aid waiting list?
Yes. Garrison Forest School will have more students who qualify for financial aid than the school has the ability to fund. Therefore, the School maintains a financial assistance waiting list in the event that funds become available.
If only one parent works outside of the home, will the student be considered for financial assistance?
Garrison Forest School recognizes that families have the freedom and the responsibility to make choices regarding their financial status. However, if only one parent works outside of the home, the Financial Assistance Committee will assume a minimum wage income for that parent. An exception to this policy might occur if the parent at home is caring for a preschool-aged child, a child with a disability, a seriously ill child, parent or grandparent, or if there are other special circumstances. Please make this known to the Financial Assistance Committee in writing when applying for financial assistance. As stated, it is our expectation that once all children are school age, all parents will work full time.
If one or both parents decide to attend graduate school, how will that decision impact the financial award?
The Financial Assistance Committee would expect that the parent enrolled in graduate school will continue to earn income and has arranged to fund his or her education without depending heavily on family resources. If a parent chooses to attend school full time, and is thus unemployed, the Financial Assistance Committee will assume a minimum wage income for that parent.
If I am single, divorced, or no longer living with my daughter's other parent, what information will the Financial Assistance Committee require in order to determine an award?
Each situation is unique and will be handled on an individual basis. However, the Financial Assistance Committee expects that both parents will contribute financially to their daughter's tuition. Your daughter's other parent would be expected to submit a completed FACTS Grant and Aid Application to FACTS, as well as all of the required documentation to Garrison's Financial Aid Office in order for us to gain a realistic picture of the family resources.
If the custodial parent has not heard from the non-custodial parent for a period of time to be determined by the Financial Assistance Committee, forms may not be required. However, a letter of verification from a third party (minister, attorney, social worker, etc.) will be required.
If I am living with someone who is not my daughter's biological parent or I am remarried, how will the Financial Assistance Committee review my daughter's file?
In this situation, we will require financial information from all adults involved in the applicant's life to get a full and accurate picture of the family’s financial circumstances.
If my daughter lives with her guardians, what information will the Financial Assistance Committee require?
Children who are living with guardians will be reviewed on an individual basis. However, if the parents are still living and are claiming their daughter on their tax return, the parents and guardians must complete the FACTS Grant and Aid Application and submit it to FACTS. If other family members have custody, they must also complete the FACTS application. The Financial Assistance Committee will also need copies of proof of custody.
What if I have more than one child attending a tuition charging school?
Families must apply for aid at each school their children attend. If another school has a lower tuition, the additional funds should be used toward the tuition at Garrison Forest School. If two children are given financial assistance and only one decides to attend, the amount given to the family will decrease. Copies of awards from other schools must be submitted.
What if I have business and rental properties?
All businesses and property reported on a family's income taxes will be considered. Any income from businesses or properties will be included in a family's income. Depreciation from businesses and properties is rolled back as income.
How are students assets, trusts and college funds considered?
Savings, investments, trust funds, 529 funds or other assets in a student's name or held for a student for any reason, or restricted in any way, are considered available resources for use in funding a student's education. Student assets will be equally distributed over their years at Garrison Forest School plus four years of undergraduate education. College funds established by any family member for the student are considered as assets available for educational purposes including tuition at Garrison Forest School.
What about any unusual expenses?
Documentation for any indicated unusual expenses (may not exceed $20,000) must be provided. The school will determine the amount that will be considered in the unusual expenses category in formulating the financial aid award.
Are girls ever asked to take jobs at Garrison Forest School to help pay for their education?
No, there is not a “work-study” component of financial assistance at GFS. We understand that girls are students first, and they have access to the full GFS experience if they choose to be involved in athletics, arts, clubs or other activities. Additionally, the identity of the girls receiving financial assistance is confidential.
I still have questions regarding the application process for financial aid. Whom should I contact?
We’re here to help! Contact the Financial Aid Office at 410-559-3112 at any time if you have questions or concerns.