Tuition Assistance / Financial Aid
We acknowledge that making a Fenn education an option for your son represents a significant investment for most families, and Fenn is committed to growing and sustaining a community that represents socioeconomic diversity.
Fenn has a generous and thoughtful Tuition Assistance / Financial Aid program. Over $1.5 million is awarded in need-based financial aid each year to close to 20% of the student body, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $40,000, or between 3%-100% of tuition, which is entirely dependent upon a family's resources, assets, and liabilities.
The Fenn Financial Aid Committee uses the School and Student Services (SSS) Parent Financial Statement (PFS) to come up with a percentage of tuition for an award. Once awarded an aid package, a family may count on this package for the duration of their son's time at Fenn unless the financial circumstances for a family change. Students who enter Fenn without receiving financial assistance will not receive aid in future years unless the family’s financial status changes significantly.
We encourage you to discuss your concerns and questions about financial aid with Tory Hayes '02, Interim Director of Admission and Financial Aid. You will find more specific information on Fenn's financial aid program below.
Applying for Financial Aid
By January 31, complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). In separated/divorced cases, both parents must submit a PFS. If you could use any assistance filling out the PFS, please call our office to set up an appointment.
By February 15 or as soon as possible, please upload to SSS copies of your previous year's Federal Income Tax returns with W-2 forms and all attached schedules.
+ THE FENN FINANCIAL AID POLICY
Families who come to Fenn receiving financial aid must reapply for an award each year through the Admissions and Financial Aid Office. Current Financial Aid families will be reminded to reapply through the Friday Fenn and email. This notification will include due dates, documentation required, and instructions on how to complete the Parent Financial Statement online. The School makes every effort to provide a consistent award based on a family’s annual demonstrated need. However, the amount of tuition assistance granted by Fenn may vary from year to year due to changes in the School’s or a family’s individual financial circumstances. Families should anticipate that their available funds for educational expenses will be expected to be divided evenly among all children in the family who attend tuition-charging institutions, including colleges. Fenn expects that all parents make earnest efforts to obtain employment in order to pay for as much of tuition as possible before applying for Financial Aid. This requirement may be waived if there are extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to, a parent having a debilitating illness.
Families who come to Fenn without receiving financial aid should assume that they will not receive financial aid in future years unless there is a significant change in the family’s financial circumstances. Such a change must be documented via three years of past IRS 1040 forms. Significant changes may include, but are not limited to, job loss, income decline, and additional children in tuition-charging schools. Current families who demonstrate significant need in their financial circumstances will receive priority in the allocation of financial aid over incoming families. If there is no significant change in a family’s financial circumstances, then no aid will be given in subsequent years of a student’s attendance even if the family qualifies for financial aid.
Financial aid awards are based on the decision made by the Financial Aid Committee, which is chaired by the Director of Admission and Financial Aid and includes the Director of Finance and Operations and the Headmaster. This committee maintains strict confidentiality throughout the financial aid process; it is assumed that financial assistance awards will be kept confidential by families as well, and that no discussions will occur among families. Fenn follows the Principles of Good Practice for Financial Aid as defined by the National Association of Independent Schools. We do not discriminate on any basis, including but not limited to race, religion, color, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin. Decisions are based upon a family’s tax returns, the report received from School and Student Services (SSS), and all other confidential information in a family’s financial aid folder. Financial aid is awarded strictly on the basis of documented need. Fenn does not award merit scholarships.
Admission decisions are made separately from financial aid decisions; the Admission Committee is unaware of financial aid applications. Once admission decisions are made, the Financial Aid Committee reviews the application. While Fenn strives to meet each family’s demonstrated financial need, we may be unable to assist all students who have been accepted and qualify for assistance, nor may we be able to fund all qualified students within one family.
At this time, funding is available for other ancillary needs beyond tuition assistance, including but not limited to: school-based tutoring, curricular trips, the After School Program, Parent Association events, Fenn-branded sports clothing, TI83 graphing calculators, and the leasing of Fenn computers. Funding for these expenses is allocated on the same percentage as is tuition assistance for each individual family, and in some cases, these items are given at no charge, depending upon family financial circumstances and the School’s judgment. Families who receive tuition assistance and would like to request help with any of these other expenses may place a confidential call to the Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Please note that funding is not available for optional school activities or trips, or for guitar lessons, string ensemble, hockey, tennis, or SSAT preparation. For boys participating in band, Fenn works to reduce the cost of music lessons by placing boys in group lessons and offering reduced fees for this service. Fenn also has a small collection of band instruments which may be borrowed.
When parents are separated, divorced, or never married, the assets of both original parents (by birth or adoption) are considered. Both the custodial and non-custodial parents must file the Parent Financial Statement (PFS). Supporting documents, including tax returns, are required from all parents, including current spouses (stepparents) of each original birth or adoptive parent. If a parent has remarried, the current spouse’s information and support document are considered pertinent and are to be included in the application.
The Fenn School will not be bound by any divorce agreement specifying a parent’s responsibility for education expenses since Fenn was not a party to the agreement nor was Fenn represented at the hearing. Likewise, The Fenn School cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed responsibility for the student.
The Fenn School considers the obligations of the parents to their new family situations in determining the award, but will not become involved in allocating the award on a proportional basis to the families involved. The responsibility for all communications and payments ultimately lies with the custodial parents. In cases where one parent has had no contact with the student for more than seven years, the requirement that both parents apply for assistance may be waived. The guiding principle is lack of contact, which must be documented by the custodial parent.
In cases where the involvement of the non-custodial parent is not in the best interest of the student (child abuse, incest, spousal abuse, addiction), the requirement will be waived upon receipt of acceptable documentation from a disinterested third party.
For Fenn faculty and staff who are not eligible for tuition remission must follow the same policies and procedures and to meet the same deadlines as all other families.