Financial Aid

College Prep recognizes that access and affordability are essential to a socio-economically diverse educational community.
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 $28,600. More than $2.4 million have been designated for need-based aid ranging from $5,600 to $43,000.
Once financial aid is awarded, College Prep provides support to families who continue to demonstrate financial need. Families are required to complete the financial aid application and submit supporting documents every year as financial aid awards are reviewed annually.
College Prep awards financial aid based on the guidelines and methodology used by the School and Student Service (SSS). Families wishing to be considered for financial aid should review all financial aid application information on our website, download the appropriate forms, and submit by the stated deadlines.

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  • Financial Aid Application Process: Getting Started

    The financial aid application is a two-step process that typically begins in early winter for both families applying for admission and returning families currently receiving financial aid.
    First, families complete and submit the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) by the stated deadlines. The PFS for the next school year is traditionally available by November 1. Second, families complete and upload their most recent federal tax returns, including Form 1040/1040A/1040EZ and all associated schedules by mid-February.
    The Financial Aid Committee will then review all pieces of the financial aid application to calculate a family’s contribution guided by the School and Student Services (SSS)methodology. Families are responsible for meeting all stated deadlines every year.
    Here is some useful information regarding our financial aid application process:
    • Prepare your taxes as early as possible to meet the application deadline. Note for the 2019-2020 school year, 2018 federal taxes will be required to complete this process.
    • If you are a business owner and/or self-employed, the application will require you to reference and potentially submit copies of your 1099s, K-1s (including Forms 1120S and 1065). Furthermore, we may request copies of these additional forms from the past two tax years if we need further information to complete your financial aid application.
    • Families are required to report tuition support for their children other than the applicant and may be required to provide a copy of award letters from independent schools and/or Form 1098-T from colleges and universities.
  • Financial Aid Application Process: Part I

    Part I deadline for all families: January 15, 2019
    The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) collects information regarding your family’s financial picture. New and returning parents should use completed 2017 tax returns, in combination with good estimates for 2018 taxes, to complete the PFS. School and Student Services (SSS) will verify your entries once 2018 tax returns are successfully uploaded into the SSS Family Portal.

    Step 1: Create an account, complete and submit your PFS
    • Visit the SSS website for families to get started on your financial aid application tasks. Click on the green bar in the upper right-hand corner to get started. The financial aid application itself is called the Parents’ Financial Statement (or PFS for short.)
    • Please remember to enter The College Preparatory School’s SSS code 2485 to ensure we receive your PFS.
    • The fee to submit your PFS is $51. Fee waivers are automatically granted to families who qualify. If your family is prompted to pay the PFS submission fee, this means that your family did not qualify for a PFS fee waiver.
    • For questions on specific PFS line items, feel free to call SSS customer service at 800.344.8328 or email  
    Step 2: Upload a completed 4506-T into your SSS Family Portal
    Verifying the accuracy of reported figures by collecting and using tax returns is a critical part of the financial aid process. Form 4506-T authorizes the IRS to supply College Prep with a summary of the 1040 form for a particular family should we need to officially verify your family’s federal documents.
    • Download form 4506-T, complete lines 1-4, and sign and date the form.
    • Upload the completed 4506-T form directly into the SSS Family Portal. If required, we will use your completed form to request documents from the IRS directly.
    • DO NOT mail the form to the IRS; please upload a completed form into your SSS account.
    Step 3: Upload 2017 Federal Tax Form 1040 to SSS
    All financial aid applicants to College Prep are required to upload completed 2017 Federal Tax Form 1040. Your 1040-submission should include all schedules (e.g. Schedules A, C, D, E, and/or F), W-2’s, and supporting documents to the SSS Family Portal. Returning families who uploaded completed 2017 tax returns last year do not need to complete this step.
    Additional Guidance for Families Applying for Aid
    Children at other tuition-charging schools
    If you have other children in tuition charging-schools, including college, please note of the following additional requirements:
    • Families receiving financial assistance from other tuition-charging schools for other children the family (e.g. private elementary/middle/high schools) must provide a copy of your 2018-19 financial aid award letter.
    • For families with older children in college and receive financial aid, please provide a copy of your 1098-T form for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. 
    Partnerships and S Corporations
    If you hold a partnerships or S Corporation and you file a Schedule E with your 1040College Prep requires you to submit all K-1s and/or Forms 1065 and/or 1120S with your tax returns.
  • Financial Aid Application Process: Part II

    Part II deadline for current College Prep families (including applicants whose siblings are currently enrolled at College Prep): February 13, 2019
    Part II deadline for first-time and prospective students: February 20, 2019
    The second part of the financial aid application process requires your family to upload completed 2018 federal tax returns into SSS. Once you have completed your 2018 Federal Tax Form 1040, please upload a copy of them into your SSS Family Portal. Please remember to include all Schedules, W-2’s, and supporting documents by the deadlines stated above.
    Other Helpful Tips & Reminders
    • Use these final months of the 2018 calendar year to begin collecting your tax documents. If you consult with tax experts to complete your federal tax return, please schedule your appointments early!
    • If your tax returns are too large to be uploaded and must be mailed, please securely mail them to: School and Student Services, P.O. Box 449, Randolph, MA, 02368. Be sure to include a Required Documents Cover Sheet available for download in your SSS Family Portal.
    • DO NOT upload your state tax returns.
    • Financial aid decisions for new families are postmarked in tandem with admission decisions on March 21, 2019.
    • Enrollment contracts and non-refundable deposits are due from all newly-admitted students receiving financial aid by 10:00 am on Thursday, March 28, 2019. There are no exceptions to this due date and time.
    Financial aid awards for returning students are disclosed with their enrollment agreement which are sent electronically for the following year throughout the month of March.
  • FAQs

    What are the basics of financial aid at College Prep?
    College Prep financial aid awards are grants that do not need to be repaid. Financial aid awards are based on a family’s demonstrated financial need. Funding for our financial aid program is 100% school-based; College Prep receives no government funding.
    What is “need-based” financial aid?
    College Prep offers grants based on a family’s ability to pay tuition. We utilize the School and Student Services (SSS)guidelines and methodology, supporting documents, and our financial aid policies to determine each applicant’s demonstrated financial need.
    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 demonstrated need of almost all 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 dramatically 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 only one academic year. 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 mailed alongside admission decisions. 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 his 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 am no longer living with my child's other parent?
    In order to promote a fair and equitable financial aid process, each parent 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 his or her own household and financial picture. If one of the parents has remarried, the expectation is for the stepparent information to be included in the PFS as well, since the stepparent is a contributing member to supporting the household’s needs. 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 on 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 the parents’ 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.
    Are there opportunities for merit-based scholarships?
    No, all financial aid at College Prep is need-based.
    I still have questions about financial aid, whom should I contact?
    Please contact David Lazo, Director of Admission & Financial Aid, at 510.652.4364 ext. 2 or
  • Important Financial Aid Dates

    • October 1, 2018: Parents’ Financial Statement, the financial aid application hosted by School and Student Services (SSS) opens for submissions for the 2018-19 school year.
    • January 15, 2019: Parents’ Financial Statement (financial aid application) due for both new and returning applicants. Completed tax documents from the previous tax year (2017) should also be uploaded into SSS by this date.
    • February 13, 2019: Deadline for returning College Prep financial aid recipients to upload 2018 federal tax returns and required supplementary tax documents to SSS. This deadline applies to applicants who have siblings currently enrolled at College Prep as well.
    • February 20, 2019: Deadline for new applicants to upload 2018 federal tax returns and required supplementary tax documents into SSS Family Portal.
    • March 22, 2019:  Admission notifications mailed to newly admitted students. Financial aid award letters are also included with the offer of admission.
    • March 28, 2019, 10:00 am: Response deadline for newly-admitted students receiving financial aid.  This is a hard-deadline and no exceptions to this due date and time will be granted.
    March 29, 2019, 12:00 pm: Enrollment contracts and non-refundable deposits are due from all newly-admitted students. There are no exceptions to this due date and time.

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