Tuition and Financial Support

Tuition Aid FAQs

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • How is our family's financial need determined?

    SSS processes the information you provide on the Personal Financial Statement (PFS) according to SSS established standards and procedures. Your financial situation will be evaluated, and an estimated family contribution for education will be determined by SSS. The result of the evaluation is printed on a Report of Family Contribution and sent to Pine Hill and/or High Mowing School, as you designate.  SSS considers these factors and provides every family with a living allowance based upon family size, which protects a certain amount of income. This process helps determine a family’s discretionary income. A portion of this discretionary income is then suggested as the family contribution for education. The more discretionary income a family has, the higher the family’s tuition contribution. SSS takes the following into consideration: income (both taxable and nontaxable), assets (home equity, savings, bonds, etc.), expenses (medical, etc.), family size, indebtedness (some are allowable, some are not), age of parents (to allow for retirement savings), and number of students attending tuition-charging schools.
  • Should our family apply for financial aid?

    Pine Hill, along with most other independent schools, believes that the family has the primary responsibility for financing their student’s education.  We also believe that families should consider utilizing all of their resources before applying for financial aid, including requesting the support of extended family, or loans. We expect that families have spent sufficient time assessing their financial situation and have determined how much they can afford to contribute. Once these amounts have been determined, the family can decide whether or not to apply for financial aid. A good rule of thumb is: if in doubt, apply. Because so many factors are considered, it is always worth trying. It is important to understand that there is no specific income level at which a family no longer qualifies for financial aid.
  • Who will see the information provided by SSS to the school?

    Only the Business Manager, the Head of School, and members of the Financial Aid office will see this information when they review your application. They maintain strict confidentiality. Faculty and staff members do not have access to financial aid information and have no knowledge of who receives financial aid.
  • What is Financial Aid?

    The financial aid process determines the maximum possible tuition contribution of each family within the context of their financial commitments and needs, defined as the difference between a student's educational expenses and the family's resources. Like most private schools, we use the School and Student Service (SSS) of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) for Financial Aid as the basis for our financial aid process. SSS relies upon a standard methodology to assess the family’s resources available to contribute toward their student’s educational expenses. For detailed information, visit
  • What happens if the student has assets?

    The amount of assets that the student has will be taken into account. That amount will be divided by the number of years he or she has left in school and college and added to the parental contribution for education. The sum of both the parent(s) and the student’s contributions equals the suggested family contribution for education.
  • What happens to the information I provide to SSS?

    The financial aid team will review the Report of Family Contribution along with your federal tax return, W2's, pay-stubs, and any other information you provide. The school may recalculate the SSS suggested family contribution based on this information, on school policy, and on the availability of funds. Your contribution will then be subtracted from the educational costs for the year, and this will determine your financial need. The information you provide to our Financial Aid team is considered strictly confidential by the school and will not be disclosed.
  • Do we have other options if our family's full need is not met?

    We offer a monthly tuition payment plan via Smart Tuition that may help make payments easier on your family's budget. Your banking institution can also provide you with information about low-interest educational loan programs. You may also look for other forms of financial assistance that may be available through your place of employment, community organizations, or local foundations. Information about loans for private schools is available online:, or for example.
  • What are the school's priorities in terms of who receives aid?

    Financial Aid is awarded first to families of students in good academic and social standing  currently enrolled at the school who submit their complete application within the published deadlines, then to new students who have been admitted to the school for the following school year. Lastly to new students who are admitted mid-year.
  • How are assets used to determine our family contribution?

    Not all of your assets are considered in the methodology. A portion is set aside as an allowance for retirement purposes, based upon the age of the older parent. The greater your assets, the greater your family contribution. A family that has a large amount of assets is seen as having greater long-term financial strength and security than a family with a similar income but fewer assets.
  • How are my financial status and ability to pay evaluated if I am separated or divorced?

    Pine Hill and High Mowing School believes that primary responsibility for paying for the student’s education rests with both parents. Financial aid is not based on the willingness to pay, but on the ability to pay. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all parents to complete all steps in the application process. In families where one or both parents are remarried or have a domestic partner, their financial information is taken into consideration as well.
  • Are students who receive financial aid treated differently than other students?

    No. The expectations of students who receive financial aid with regard to academic performance and all other aspects of school life are the same as for students who do not receive financial aid. Furthermore, teachers and staff are not informed of students whose families benefit from financial aid. Please rest assured that admissions decisions are made on a needs-blind basis, and that all financial aid matters are handled with the highest level of discretion.
  • How much does it cost to apply?

    SSS charges a nominal application fee on a sliding scale based on your income and asset information You may mail a check to SSS along with your Parent Financial Statement (PFS), or pay by credit card if you submit your PFS online (preferred).
  • Will our family receive the difference between the tuition cost and what my Report of Family Contribution says we can contribute?

    Not entirely, because there is more demand for financial aid funds than we can provide. While we cannot meet the full need of all families applying for financial aid, we hope that by providing support for a percent of the cost, more families will be able to attend our school.
  • Can you consider our application for financial aid if we have not provided all the information requested?

    No. Financial aid will be denied if the application is incomplete or submitted late. We will attempt to advise you if we have not received certain materials, prior to considering your application, to give you a chance to submit the remaining materials, but it is the family’s responsibility to submit a completed application by the indicated deadline.
  • What is Pine Hill's code with SSS?

    Whether you are applying online (strongly recommended) or on paper, you will be asked to provide the code number(s) of the school(s) you would like your information to be sent to. Pine Hill's code is 904314. High Mowing's code is 3878.


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