1 A FAMILY GUIDE TO FINANCIAL AID TUITION AID ASSESSMENT GUIDE NO. 03
2 Funding better education through partnership TADS is a tuition aid service that works with families and schools to create successful educational opportunities. Our mission is to simplify the financial aid application process for both the family and the school, making it easier for you to offer your child a superior education. We believe that by working together, we can maximize the potential of your school s financial aid program and start your child on the road to future success!
3 What is financial aid? Financial aid is funding intended to assist students in paying for educational expenses and is most commonly awarded on the basis of financial need. The level of need is determined primarily by measuring a family s income against the school s total educational expenses. Financial aid programs, common at most private schools, aim to diversify their student body and to give need-based students the chance to receive the best education possible, regardless of their financial circumstances. These programs share a common goal with you: to make a private education for your children more affordable. TADS is your partner in the financial aid process. We will guide you through applying for aid, presenting financial documentation, researching the school s aid programs, and understanding which questions to ask in order to make the most informed decisions. Step by step, we will help you navigate the financial aid process and make funding your child s education a reality. Family Guide to Financial Aid 1
4 How do I know if I qualify for financial aid? If you feel that affording a private education may be a struggle for your family, then chances are you qualify for financial aid. Aid is awarded based on a variety of factors, not just income level, so take some time to research the programs your school has developed especially for families such as yours. Tuition is not the only cost to consider. Remember that there may be additional costs for attending the school of your choice; uniforms, sports, books, trips, before- or after-school care, supplies, clubs, transportation, technology, etc. Attending a private school can be costly, and the schools recognize this. This is why they offer programs to offset these costs and more than likely, your family can benefit from these programs. So be proactive. Contact the schools you re interested in and ask them to send you their informational materials on financial aid, as well as an application. This is the first step toward providing a superior educational experience for your children TADS.
5 H o w d o I i n c r e a s e m y f a m i l y s c h a n c e o f r e c e i v i n g f i n a n c i a l a i d? The best way to ensure you receive aid for your family is to do your homework. Whether this is the first or the fifth time you re applying for aid, make sure you are well informed by asking questions. Contact the appropriate person at each school you are applying to and familiarize yourself with the school s financial aid policies. Make sure you communicate special circumstances and/or specific concerns to administrators and they will assist you in exploring options for your family. Here are some questions you ll want to ask: What is the deadline for the application process? Are your school s admission processes and financial aid processes combined or independent of one another? Do I need to fill out additional paperwork if I own a farm, business, or additional property? Are my financial status and my ability to pay evaluated differently if I am separated or divorced? How so? Does the school provide full scholarships? Is there a minimum contribution required on the part of the family, or will financial aid cover all school costs? Do I have to fill out an application each year that I apply for aid? Aside from tuition, what other costs are included in annual educational expenses? What paperwork and documentation do I need to supply? There may be more questions you have for your school s financial aid administrators. Take some time to consider these questions, write them down, and don t be afraid to ask. Your school is there to help you succeed in your efforts to fund your children s education. Family Guide to Financial Aid 3
6 How does financial aid help me afford tuition? Pending the assessment of your family s needs, your school s financial aid department may recommend different strategies for helping you afford tuition. The most common form of financial aid awarded by schools is need-based grants, which are allocated by the school s budget and do not need to be repaid. After the school reviews a family s application and requested financial documents, they determine the level of need by calculating the amount the family can realistically contribute to educational expenses. Grants are awarded to either supplement the family s contributions toward costs or to cover them in full. TADS will help you fill out this application form to your maximum benefit. By working with TADS, we can help you uncover all the possible aid options for your family and greatly reduce your long-term financial obligation. Visit for more payment options TADS.
7 W h a t c a n TA D S d o f o r o u r f a m i l y? The TADS advantage TADS combines our experience, relationships, and advanced technology to bring you closer to your goal of providing a private education for your children. Experience. Since 1972, TADS has been utilizing a proven formula that continues to evolve with the changing market. The online application was very easy and what questions I did have were answered quickly. Jim Nygard, Parent Stockton, CA Relationships. TADS is affiliated with over 600 schools across the U.S., offering you flexibility and security every step of the way. Technology. We use the best technology in our field to make the application process easier for you. Our online wizard and online chat assist you in every step of filling out your application. We offer applications in both Spanish and English, and, as a financial partner, we ensure your privacy by utilizing secure, encrypted data. Family Guide to Financial Aid 5
9 How do I get started? Below is a step-by-step guide to applying for financial aid. TADS offers assistance throughout the process via our toll-free line, , and online chat during business hours. The TADS process: 1. Ask each of your desired schools if you need to submit a paper application or apply online at Be sure you know your schools submission deadlines! 2. Gather information on family size, total income, amount of savings, amount of investments, amount of indebtedness, medical and dental expenses, any unusual expenses, and other assets such as home equity. 3. When filling out the application, be sure to inform TADS of which schools should receive your information. Please be aware that if a school you re applying to is not a TADS school, you may have to fill out additional forms. However, TADS is happy to send your information to any school you wish. 4. Submit to TADS online, by fax or mail any necessary personal financial information. The TADS online submission form utilizes secure, encrypted data and a helpful online wizard that make this the safest and easiest way to submit your information. If you fill out a paper application, we recommend you request the Parental Report as a record of your data. 6. TADS will review your application and help you identify discretionary income that can be applied toward tuition costs. TADS then submits a final report to your school. 7. The school uses the TADS report, and any other required information, to make its decision in awarding aid. You are then contacted with the results of your application. Verification Information Documentation may be required to verify information on your application. Contact your school and ask them what documents are required and when they are due, and then submit these documents to TADS. Family Guide to Financial Aid 7
10 What information will I need for the application process? Before you begin your online financial aid application, you should have the following information in front of you: 1. Payment form (credit card or checking account number) 2. Employment information for all parents and guardians, including: - Most recent pay stubs and W-2 forms - Actual gross income for each job during last year and estimated income for each job next year 3. Entire 1040 federal tax form 4. Any corporation, partnership or trust tax papers (1120, 1120S or 1065) 5. Monthly income, including: Welfare Social Security Food Stamps Child Support 6. Yearly income, including: Interest and Dividends Worker s Compensation Alimony Other Income Unemployment Other Income 7. Rent, renters insurance, yearly energy expenses 8. Purchase price of home, additions, current market value of home, home loan amounts, mortgage payments, property tax, home insurance, rental income/expenses 9. Assets and expenses for real estate other than house; assets and debt for automobiles, recreational vehicles and boats 10. Checking, savings, cash, CDs, stocks, securities, bonds, mutual funds, yearly retirement fund contributions and total current values 11. Medical expenses and debt, day care expense, charitable giving 12. Miscellaneous debt including: Credit Card Bank Loans Loan Companies Loans from friends or relatives 13. Dependant earnings and savings Education Other Your school reserves the right to ask for other information in addition to the above TADS.
11 What if the school requires a paper application? If your school requires a paper application, step-by-step instructions are included in the application packet. The TADS online chat, and toll-free helpline are available in the event that you have any questions about the application. If you include the confirmation postcard (don t forget postage!) with your mailed application, we will drop it in the mail to confirm receipt of your application. All supporting financial documentation, such as tax returns, will need to be faxed or mailed to TADS. For a list of tax information and other financial information required by TADS, please refer to page 8.
12 W h a t a r e t h e b e n e f i t s o f u s i n g the online application? The TADS online application further simplifies the financial aid process by utilizing a comprehensive online wizard that walks you through the application step-by-step. This wizard saves you time and energy by only asking questions that are relevant to your family, allowing you to edit as you work, offering you real-time assistance, and securing your information with encrypted data. Keep track of your progress throughout the application with the progress tracking bar. Navigate the application quickly and easily by answering pre-qualifying questions that determine which sections you re required to fill out and skip those that don t apply to you. To apply online, visit Easily edit your application during the process by moving back and forth to your desired page, instead of waiting until it s completed to make changes.
13 Other benefits View on-screen answers to frequently asked questions. Review your application in full once it is completed in the final review stage. Link to helpful websites that open in a new window so you don t lose your place in the application. Chat with a TADS associate during business hours and receive instant, online guidance. The online wizard s auto-save function keeps your application instantly up-to-date, so there s no risk of losing information you have entered. The error checker makes sure you ve filled out each section correctly and completely. Create a PDF of your application at any stage so you can take it with you for review or verification. Roll your mouse over the question button for pop-up help on filling out that field.
15 Your Partner in the Financial Aid Process TADS is your most valuable tool in achieving a private education for your children. We construct a partnership with families and schools to make high-caliber education accessible to more students. We are here to help your family better understand the financial opportunities your school can offer you. We use the information you provide us in conjunction with the TADS methodology to help you receive the assistance you need and deserve. We Help Make Private Education a Reality The high costs associated with private schools should not hinder your child s ability to receive the best education possible. TADS will help you ask the right questions, explore all your options, and successfully navigate the application process so that you can make a private education a reality for your children.
16 800 Washington Ave. N., Ste. 671 Minneapolis, MN TADS.
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