- Q. Who can apply for financial aid?
A. Any family may apply for financial aid. However, our financial aid budget is limited and distributed across grade levels. Our financial aid process is based on the assumption that families are applying for aid only after having explored other possible means of meeting educational expenses, so we do not expect to admit a student from a financial aid waitlist if his or her family later chooses to pay full tuition.
- Q. Will applying for financial aid reduce my chances for admission?
A. Admission decisions and financial aid decisions are made separately. However, while we do have a sizeable financial aid budget, it is finite. Given that UHS has more qualified students applying for financial aid than we have the means to fund. Our financial aid process is based on the assumption that families are applying for aid only after having explored other possible means of meeting educational expenses.
- Q. How does UHS determine a family’s need?
A. UHS subscribes to School and Student Services by the National Association of Independent Schools (SSS) as a guideline to determine financial need for educational expenses. The SSS methodology requires families to submit detailed information on taxable and non-taxable income, assets and investments, and living expenses. The result is a recommendation to the school with the amount a family would be able to contribute. To reach a final financial aid award calculation, the UHS Financial Aid Committee uses the information from SSS in conjunction with the submitted tax returns, accompanying required documents, and an optional Letter of Family Circumstance. We want to ensure that we have the fullest picture possible of each family’s circumstances.
- Q. If my parents are not together, who should fill out the financial aid application?
A. Both parents must complete a financial aid application. UHS believes strongly that parents have an ethical obligation to pay for their child's education to the extent possible; we cannot be bound by a decree or other agreement that specifies or limits a parent’s responsibility for educational expenses. If either parent has remarried we will consider the income of the stepparent, keeping in mind the obligation of that stepparent to his or her other children. If either parent lives with another adult, we may consider the assets and income of that person, depending on the circumstances. We do not share the financial information of one parent with the other. If financial aid is awarded, UHS leaves it to parents to decide how to divide the responsibility of paying tuition.
- Q. If I live with a guardian, who should fill out the financial aid application?
A. The financial aid process for students who live with a guardian will be determined on a case-by-case basis. However, if the parents are claiming the applicant on their tax return, the parents must complete a financial aid application.
- Q. Does UHS have any financial aid awards based on athletic, artistic, or academic ability?
A. No. All of our financial aid awards are based solely on demonstrated financial need.
- Q. When will I find out if I received a financial aid award?
A. Financial aid award amounts and agreements are mailed with acceptance letters.
- Q. Do I have to apply for financial aid each year?
A. Yes. Financial aid is awarded for one year, so we will evaluate your financial need on an annual basis.
- Q. If I enroll without financial aid for my first year, can I apply for financial aid later?
A. UHS is unlikely to grant financial aid to a student who enrolls without financial aid unless his or her family experiences an unforeseeable financial hardship after enrollment. If you are counting on gifts from relatives, it is important to discuss with them whether they can maintain that help over your four years at UHS.
- Q. What should I do if my family's situation is complicated?
A. Please include a letter with your most recent tax return explaining the special circumstances (such as a missing parent or one who has not provided support and has not been in contact with the family for a lengthy period of time). We look at each case individually and make every effort to be sensitive to particular family circumstances. To be fair to all of our students, we base our financial aid decisions on demonstrated need rather than willingness to pay.
Additional questions? Please call Aaron Mieszczanski, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, at (415) 447-3104.