Priority consideration for financial aid is given in the following order: returning students already receiving assistance, returning students whose family circumstances have significantly changed and are now requesting assistance, and new families. SSS uses calculations based on (but not limited to): household income, assets, debts, age(s) of the parent(s)/guardian(s), the number of dependents, and the number of children in tuition-charging schools.
- What if I am self-employed or own a business or a farm?
Questions on the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) will pertain to the ownership of your business or farm. We appreciate the most accurate numbers possible by our deadlines if you are self employed and report business income or loss on your 1040 and fill out a Schedule C or C-EZ. If your taxes are complete by our February deadline it helps us make the most informed decision possible. We also accept a draft of the 1040 and all schedules if this is not possible.
- What if I have children at other schools where I pay tuition?
SSS computes the total funds available for education (Estimated Parental Contribution) and divides this amount by the number of children attending tuition-charging schools. That number is what SSS deems appropriate per child. It is important to note that CFS may not consider day-care facilities as “tuition-charging.” CFS does not consider graduate students in the calculation. We expect that families will apply for aid at each of the institutions their children attend. Copies of enrollment verification as well as grant awards from other institutions (elementary through college) may be requested and must be sent to SSS.
- What if I plan to return to graduate school or go into business for myself?
Parents returning to graduate school, changing jobs, or starting a new business as a personal choice must realize that any decreases in income from this choice will not be subsidized by the financial aid budget at CFS. Choosing to reduce your household income will not make you eligible for an award or eligible for a larger award. In fact, a minimum income may be imputed for parents who do not work or who earn less than $15,000 per year.
- In a two-parent/guardian household, what if one parent/guardian does not work?
CFS believes that able-bodied adults in the household can contribute toward the household income. Therefore, CFS may impute a minimum income of $15,000 for each adult in the household. If one parent/guardian does not work because there are children in the household under five years-old, we do not impute an income. If one parent/guardian earns less than $15,000 per year, we impute the total of $15,000 as that parent/guardian’s yearly income. This will change the results of the initial SSS calculation.
- What if I own additional property? Will this be considered in the application process?
Yes, income from property (such as rental income), as well as the total value of the property, is considered in the calculation. In addition, the CFS Financial Aid Committee often adds depreciation from property and businesses back into the calculation as income. This will change the results of the initial SSS calculation.
- My child has a trust set aside for college education. Is that money protected?
Trust funds and other savings plans, investments, or other assets in a student’s name, held for the student for any reason, or restricted in any way, are taken into account for funding a CFS education. CFS follows the guidelines set by SSS which considers these assets over the number of years the child will be in school, including college. For example, if your child is applying for Pre-Kindergarten and has 18 years left of school and has a fund of $10,000, we would expect that 1/18th (or $556) of the fund could go toward the first year at CFS.
- Is retirement taken into account in the SSS calculation?
SSS factors in parent/guardian’s ages, therefore taking into account how close parents/guardians may be to retirement. The calculation will protect more income as parents get older. Pre-tax funds set aside for 401K, 403B, or other similar plans are calculated into non-taxable income and are not “protected.”