At the Gardner School of Arts & Sciences, we believe that learning is maximized when students of differing abilities and backgrounds work together and develop an understanding of one another. A diverse educational environment is vital to our mission: “to inspire all students to build knowledge of self, an awareness of our connection to others, and develop responsibility for themselves, their community, the earth and humanity.”
Because of this, we offer need-based tuition assistance to qualifying families. One in three students at Gardner receive some level of tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is available to qualifying families of students entering Kindergarten through eighth grade. Tuition assistance is not provided for students in Gardner’s Early Childhood program.
We encourage families to apply for tuition assistance if they feel such assistance would support their abilities to afford a Gardner education. Families should apply for tuition assistance along with their application for admission. However, the Admission and Financial Aid processes are separate and distinct from one another, and we do not use a family’s financial situation in our consideration for a student’s admission.
All families that apply for tuition assistance must complete an online Parent Financial Statement (PFS) through School and Students Services (SSS). This requires submission of the family’s most recent tax return. If a family’s tax return will not be filed prior to the deadline, a draft or estimated return must be filed with SSS. In such cases, tuition assistance awards will be preliminary and subject to change upon receipt by SSS of the current year’s completed tax return. SSS charges a nominal application fee.
Deadlines and additional instructions for applying are updated on The Gardner School website and in other admissions communications for each year’s admissions cycle for the following academic year. For families applying to Gardner for the current academic year, questions about tuition assistance should be directed to the Director of Enrollment.
The total amount of tuition assistance awards varies from year to year, depending on the school’s operating budget. Tuition Assistance awards are made on the assumption that the family is allocating the maximum amount of resources within its capacity to fund its child’s or children’s education. It is expected that each family has prioritized educational costs after necessary living expenses.
In accordance with guidelines from SSS, The Gardner School expects that for those families applying for tuition assistance, both parents in a two-parent household should be employed. Exceptions include families with children younger than kindergarten age, other dependents in the home requiring full-time care, or a documented physical or health problem that prevents gainful employment. If one parent is not employed, and there are no extenuating circumstances, the Financial Aid Committee will use the SSS guidelines for imputing income for this parent. Any necessary childcare costs will be considered. If multiple children attend tuition-charging schools, it is expected that the family will apply for financial aid at all schools.
Where a family has more than one household, tuition assistance awards are based on the student’s entire family’s ability to pay tuition. Both parents and their spouses or domestic partners, if any, are required to participate in the financial assistance application process. Each household must complete a separate Parent Financial Statement and provide required tax documentation. Exceptions to this policy will be considered only for extraordinary circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. Neither the school nor SSS will share confidential information between households.
SSS sends The Gardner School a report that uses a family’s financial information to determine what their contribution to tuition should be. The School’s Financial aid Committee reviews the SSS report and any other pertinent information to determine award amounts. Only families who have submitted all required application materials and documents by the deadline will be considered for awards. Awards are allocated first to returning students and then to new students. Returning students must be in good standing both academically and behaviorally in order for the school to consider a tuition assistance award for the subsequent year.
In accordance with equal opportunity standards, awards are made without regard to a student’s race, color, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, and any other class protected by existing state and federal law.
Families of newly accepted students will be notified about their Tuition Assistance awards no later than April 15th.
Current families will be notified of their awards for the next academic year at the time contracts are issued, but only if their current tuition balance is current and clear. Financial aid cannot be applied toward any tuition or unpaid fees from prior years.
Families applying for or receiving Tuition Assistance must still pay the $1000 enrollment deposit when securing their child’s place. Should a family be denied tuition assistance or where the award is not sufficient for enrollment, the enrollment deposit will be refunded so long as the family notifies The Gardner School in a timely manner according to the calendar published by the school.
Families who are notified of a tuition assistance award will need to accept or decline within two weeks of notification, otherwise the committee may grant the award to another applicant.
Families receiving tuition assistance may choose to pay their remaining balance according to one of the payment plan options offered by the School for the relevant academic year.
The Gardner School safeguards the confidentiality of all financial aid information supplied by applicants and does not publicly identify recipients of Tuition Assistance outside of relevant staff members.
Awards are not automatically renewed for subsequent years. Returning families must complete the required forms online and provide the necessary documentation to be considered for tuition assistance each year.