Financial Aid

Providing access and affordability are essential to creating a socio-economically diverse educational community. We know that cost is on the minds of many families who are considering independent schools. 
Our financial aid program helps ensure that talented students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds can afford to attend College Prep. All financial aid awards are grants that do not need to be repaid. Approximately 25% of College Prep students receive financial support, with an average grant of $29,880. More than $2.3 million has been designated for need-based aid, with grants ranging from $8,000 to more than $44,000.
 
Once awarded, College Prep provides support to families each year, as long as financial need continues to be demonstrated. Families are required to complete a financial aid application and submit supporting documents each year and financial aid awards are reviewed annually.
 
College Prep awards financial aid based on the guidelines and methodology used by the School and Student Services. Families wishing to be considered for financial aid should submit the online application by January 9, 2020.

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  • Financial Aid Application Process

    The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) is the heart of the financial aid application. The good news is that the PFS is a common application shared by most Bay Area independent schools. 

    Step 1: By January 9, 2020, Submit your Parents' Financial Statement 
    • Visit the School and Student Services website for families to get started on your Parents’ Financial Statement
    • College Prep's school code is 2485
    • The fee to submit your PFS is $51. Fee waivers are automatically granted to families who qualify. 
    • For questions about the PFS, call School and Student Services customer service at (800) 344-8328 or email sss@solutionsbysss.com
    Step 2: By January 9, 2020, Upload 2018 Federal Tax Form 1040 to your School and Student Services account
    Step 3: By April 15, 2020, Upload 2019 Federal Tax Form 1040 to your School and Student Services account
    • Both new and returning enrolled students should upload completed 2019 Federal Tax Form 1040 including all schedules, W-2’s, and supporting documents to your School and Student Services account.
  • Financial Aid FAQs

    What are the basics of financial aid at College Prep?
    College Prep financial aid awards are based primarily on an application (called the Parents' Financial Statement) as well as supporting tax documents. The Financial Aid Committee uses these documents to determine each applicant's demonstrated financial need, which is defined as the difference between what a family can afford to pay and the full cost of College Prep's tuition. 

    Are there opportunities for merit-based scholarships?
    No, all financial aid at College Prep is need-based.
     
    Who is eligible to apply for financial aid?
    All current and prospective College Prep students are eligible to apply for aid, regardless of their grade level or current financial aid status.
     
    Could the request for financial aid impact my child’s chances of being accepted for admission?
    The school’s financial aid budget is able to meet the need of most eligible applicants. In some years, the outcomes of a small percentage of qualified students may be impacted when the financial aid budget is expended.
     
    If I did not apply or did not qualify for financial aid, can I pay full tuition for a year and then reapply for financial aid?
    College Prep assumes that all students who enroll without receiving financial aid will be able to pay full tuition each year. Unless your family circumstances change significantly while your child is a student at the school, financial aid will not be awarded in subsequent years.
     
    Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
    Yes, all financial aid recipients must reapply for financial aid every year. Awards are given for one academic year at a time. A family whose financial situation remains relatively unchanged can generally expect the same percentage of their tuition to be covered by financial aid from year-to-year. For current College Prep families, all future financial aid awards are contingent upon payment of the prior year’s account.
     
    When will I receive a decision regarding financial aid?
    For new students, financial aid decisions are sent alongside admission decisions. This year, that date is March 20, 2020. Returning students receive financial aid awards at the same time they receive their enrollment agreement for the following year. Typically, this occurs throughout the month of March.
     
    Is there a minimum GPA required to maintain a student’s financial aid eligibility?
    No, College Prep maintains the same standards of academic performance and behavior for recipients of financial aid as it does for non-recipients.
     
    Is my information kept confidential?
    Financial aid applications are only reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee. The school safeguards the confidentiality of financial aid applications, records, and decisions while respecting the right of each family to discuss its own financial aid outcomes in an appropriate manner.
     
    Does financial aid cover non-tuition school fees and other expenses?
    Non-tuition expenses are typically $1,500 annually. Many financial aid recipients can expect to receive about the same percentage of their non-tuition costs covered as their tuition costs. For example, a student receiving a financial aid award equal to 50% of tuition will have about half of their non-tuition expenses paid for by the school. Non-tuition expenses include books, the Intraterm program, and the annual laptop fee, among others.
     
    What information will the Financial Aid Committee need to determine an award if I do not live with my child's other parent?
    In order to promote a fair and equitable financial aid process, each of your child's households is required to submit a separate and complete financial aid application. If the student’s parents do not live together, whether separated, divorced, or never married, each parent should complete a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) that is reflective of their own household and financial picture.

    If one or both parents has remarried, the expectation is for the stepparent information to be included on the PFS as well. College Prep determines the ability to pay that each household exhibits and makes an award determination based on the combined determination.
     
    What if my child’s non-custodial parent is not willing to complete a financial aid application?
    If the non-custodial parent has little or no contact with their child for a significant period of time, and provides little to no financial support, the requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Financial Aid Committee. In such cases, College Prep requires a written statement from a non-family member (such as a family lawyer, clergyperson, social worker, or school official) who is aware of the family situation in a professional capacity. If the non-custodial parent is providing financial support and/or is in contact with their child, College Prep requires their participation. Financial aid is determined by each parent's ability -- not willingness -- to pay.
     
    I’m a stay-at-home parent and do not work outside the home. Will my family still be considered for financial aid?
    In order for the school to treat families with stay-at-home parents equitably compared to families in which all parents work outside the home, College Prep typically attributes a small income for stay-at-home parents to the financial aid calculations. Exceptions to this policy may occur if a parent is caring for a child not yet of school age, a child with a disability, a seriously ill child, parent, or grandparent or if a parent is disabled and cannot work. Please inform the Financial Aid Committee in writing of these circumstances at the time of your initial application by disclosing your situation in the Additional Information section of your PFS.
     
    If we cannot afford to pay the family contribution after an award is made, is there an appeals process?
    If you feel that you cannot pay the family contribution, please contact the Admission Office and provide any additional documentation supporting your claim.
     
    If I still have questions about financial aid, who should I contact?
    Please contact Jonathan Zucker, Director of  Financial Aid, at (510) 652-4364 x1 or jonathan@college-prep.org
  • Important Financial Aid Dates

    • October 2, 2019: School and Student Services application opens to apply for the 2020-21 school year.
    • January 7, 2020, 6:30 PM: Affording College Prep: Demystifying Financial Aid presentation at College Prep.
    • January 9, 2020: Parents’ Financial Statement (financial aid application) due for both new and returning applicants.
    • January 9, 2020: Completed 2018 federal tax returns (including all schedules) should be uploaded to the School and Student Services portal by this date.
    • March 20, 2020:  Financial aid notifications mailed to newly admitted students. 
    • March 26, 2020, 10:00 AM: Response deadline for newly-admitted students receiving financial aid. No exceptions to this due date and time will be granted.
    • April 15, 2020: Completed 2019 federal tax returns (including all schedules) should be uploaded to the School and Student Services portal by this date for all College Prep financial aid recipients.

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