Inherent in Long Trail School’s mission is our dedication to creating an inclusive community that mirrors the socioeconomic diversity of our communities. Our Financial Aid Program is far-reaching, providing aid to over half of the student body. Each family receiving a tuition grant is expected to contribute positively to the school community, to maintain an acceptable academic standard, be in good standing financially, and demonstrate positive social behavior.
This need-based program provides financial assistance to qualified families. The program has a limited budget and while the School cannot guarantee aid, we endeavor to provide aid to the widest socio-economic range of students our funds can afford. The School believes that parents have an obligation to pay the educational expenses of their children; therefore, every family is expected to have exhausted all financing avenues available to them before a grant is awarded. This includes, but is not limited to, second mortgages, retirement funds, savings accounts, funds from extended family members and bank loans. All families pay some tuition.
LTS uses TADS which helps independent schools across the country determine the need of a family. In reviewing each application for aid, the Financial Aid Committee considers both the TADS 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. (See FAQ: Who receives aid?) Applications for financial aid must be completed online at www.tads.com. A $34.00 processing fee is paid to TADS; failure to do so may delay the evaluation. You may contact TADS for assistance in completing the application or to check application status. TADS does not have award information. The financial aid deadline is March 15.
Financial aid applications are available online and should be filed with TADS as soon as possible. Failure to submit information in a timely manner will delay processing and possibly jeopardize any award for which a family may qualify. However, you must be an accepted LTS student before your financial aid application will be considered.
• All information submitted is kept in the strictest confidence.
• Financial aid is awarded with priority to returning students whose applications are submitted by the appropriate deadline.
• Tuition accounts for currently enrolled students must be in good standing with the Business Office to receive a financial aid award. All families are required to meet payment schedules under the terms of the enrollment agreement. Failure to do so may result in dismissal.
• Awards will not be considered unless complete financial information is received from both parents. In the case of parents separated, divorced, or never married, both parents are required to fully complete the financial aid application. It is expected that both parents and appropriate step-parents contribute to the cost of the student’s tuition and fees regardless of legal agreements. The Financial Aid Committee does not feel bound by the assertion that one parent disclaims responsibility for educational expenses.
• If a family has children over the age of six, it is expected that both parents will be employed. If one parent chooses not to work, then income will be imputed to that parent for the purposes of awards calculation.
• Families must apply for financial aid every year. Receipt of an award for one year does not guarantee receipt of an award for every year.
• In the event of a positive change in financial circumstances, families receiving aid must notify the Business Office for the purpose of recalculation.
• Financial aid determinations are usually not included with the initial enrollment contract. A letter and amended enrollment contract that stipulates the amount of assistance offered for the school year will be sent once a determination is made.
• While there is no obligation to repay a financial aid grant, it is hoped that recipients and their parents will make an effort to repay the grants, in whole or in part, at a future date to assist the school in awarding similar aid to future students.
Long Trail School recognizes familial contributions to educational expenses as an integral part of financial responsibility. Financial aid at LTS does not cover all expenses a family may incur during the course of the school year. Financial aid provides assistance for a portion of tuition only.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCIAL AID
Q: Who may apply for financial aid?
A: Financial aid is available to any family that is enrolled at LTS or has applied for admission in grades 6 through 12.
Q: Why do you require a deposit before making a determination of financial aid?
A: We do not necessarily accept TADS recommendations. Rather, we consider each family’s individual circumstances and then put that analysis in the context of our other families’ financial strength in an effort to achieve an equitable offer. We therefore need to know that you are committed to your child’s attendance at LTS in order for us to engage in the process of determining your aid package.
Q: Why is my child’s seat not reserved once s/he has been accepted?
A: Admission and Enrollment are two separate events/processes. Until we receive a signed contract indicating your acceptance of our offer, your aid amount is reserved for you and unavailable to other potential candidates. Sometimes this works well and other times we lose students because we don’t have funds available at the moment of their consideration of LTS. Your enrollment contract is the only way we know for certain that your child will be attending LTS. We receive enrollment contracts on a “first come first served” basis and reserve seats according to the receipt of those contracts.
Q: Does need for financial aid affect an application for admission?
A: Every year there are more applicants for financial aid than available funds. LTS admissions decisions are not influenced by a family’s need for financial aid. It is possible, however, that there will not be sufficient funds for all students who are accepted.
Q: Will every admitted student eligible for financial aid receive it?
A: LTS is unable to provide aid to every qualified student. However, students are never denied aid; rather, they are placed on the financial aid wait list in the hopes that funds will become available.
Q: Who determines aid awards?
A: Aid awards are determined by the Financial Aid Committee composed of LTS staff. The Head of School is not a member of the committee.
Q: What costs does financial aid cover?
A: Tuition aid grants only cover a portion of the cost of tuition. All fees or costs for field trips, busing, and other incidentals are the responsibility of families.
Q: When will I be notified of my award?
A: Families will be notified as the committee reviews the files. Returning families receive priority in the allocation of aid so new families’ packages are customarily awarded from mid-March through the end of April.
Q: How does the TADS program calculate my family’s contribution to tuition or ability to pay?
A: Once a family submits its application to TADS, the process starts. TADS uses a formula to estimate the financial resources your family may have available to pay school costs. Simply stated, the formula considers your income, what you own (your house and other investments), what you owe (your mortgage and other debts), the size of your family, and how many family members are enrolled in tuition-charging schools or colleges.
After making allowances for basic necessities, taxes, and certain other expenses, TADS determines the portion of your remaining funds which would be available to pay school costs. LTS uses this information to inform its decision-making but will not necessarily use the figures TADS provides.
All information related to parents’ financial circumstances will be treated confidentially, as we expect our families to maintain confidentiality about their award(s).
Q: Is preference given to any particular group?
A: While currently enrolled LTS students and newly enrolling siblings receive priority no other outside factor affects the awarding of financial aid grants.
Q: Does Long Trail School give scholarships?
A: No. We do not offer scholarships based on academic or extracurricular merit. The financial aid program is available only to those families with demonstrated need.
Q: Is financial aid automatically renewed each year?
A: LTS supports the continued attendance of students through graduation, pending satisfactory academic performance and good citizenship. Families are required to submit an application each year they wish to receive a grant in order to demonstrate continued need.
Q: If I do not apply for financial aid at the time of my child’s application to LTS, would I be able to apply in subsequent years?
A: Yes. However, the likelihood of receiving aid would be significantly reduced unless an explanation of a change in circumstances is provided.
Q: What happens if the financial aid grant is not enough?
A: If LTS is unable to meet the needs of the family, the application fee and non-refundable enrollment deposit will remain with the school but any other fees paid to LTS will be refunded, and the enrollment contract will be canceled.
Q: When will I be notified of my award?
A: Families will be notified as the committee reviews the files. The process for incoming families usually extends from mid-March through the end of April. Once an award notification is sent, families are expected to accept or decline the award within two weeks. If this timeline is not met, LTS reserves the right to award the assistance to an alternate candidate.
For more information on the financial aid process and policy, please contact Patti Nisco Business Manager, at 802-867-5717 x164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.