Financial aid FAQs
We understand and appreciate the financial commitment families undertake in deciding to send their children to the American School in London. And although paying for education is first and foremost the responsibility of a family, we devote significant funds each year to a financial aid budget that helps assist families. In turn, our school community benefits by attracting qualified students that otherwise would not have been able to attend.
- How do I apply for financial aid?
- How is financial need assessed?
- How does the School make financial aid decisions?
- What information needs to be submitted in order to apply for financial aid?
- When should we apply for financial aid?
- Will financial assistance be renewed each year?
- Is financial aid available for expenses other than tuition?
- If parents are divorced, separated or never married, who must submit financial information?
- How will a non-earning spouse affect a financial assistance award?
- Once I’ve submitted my application, will the amount listed in my “Report of Family Contribution- Family Report” match the amount of aid I receive?
To help us objectively assess what a family is able to contribute to its student(s) education expenses, we use School and Student Services (SSS) as a trusted third party. You can apply online at solutionsbysss.com.
In order to assess each family’s financial situation as fairly and consistently as possible, families are asked to submit a detailed financial statement and to send in tax returns and other documentation. ASL uses the principles and recommendations of the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). This computer software analyzes the parent information and calculates the amount of demonstrated need.
Calculations for financial aid awards consider all aspects of a family’s finances. In addition to income, the School will also look at family assets and expenditure.
A confidential Financial Aid Committee made up of School administrators examines the information provided by the SSS analysis along with the other information provided by the family and makes an award based on the demonstrated need of the family and the resources available at the School. Every attempt is made to be as equitable as possible in allocating assistance to all families who demonstrate need.
The financial aid application form specifies that tax returns and statements of income from the employer and other documents must be supplied with the application. If for some reason these documents are not available, the School may ask the family for alternative documentation. This may be a letter from a lawyer or other professional attesting to some particular item. In such cases the School will let the family know exactly what is required. Anything less than full disclosure of a family’s financial situation may put an award of financial aid in jeopardy.
Families can begin applying on 1 October. Returning families must apply by 15 January, and the deadline for prospective families is 1 March. Financial assistance decisions will be communicated by early April. Families should submit their applications by the announced deadline so that the total requirement for assistance will be known at the same time; this will allow the School to distribute aid fairly. There may be no funding available in the budget for late or incomplete applications.
Families new to the School should submit the application forms as soon as possible after their children have been admitted to the school. The admissions office will be able to provide a timeline.
Financial aid decisions are made for one year at a time, and families receiving aid must reapply each year. In general, if a family’s financial circumstances have not changed from year to year and the application is received in time, then the level of financial support will remain consistent. The re-evaluation process each year looks to see if there have been variations in the demonstrated need or additional information that may require the amount of the award to increase or decrease.
Financial aid is also available for trips and extra-curricular activities, both to families who receive financial aid for tuition and to those who do not normally receive aid. In certain circumstances financial aid may be available for transportation and lunch.
Trips and extracurricular activities
The ASL experience also includes participation in required activities, which qualify for financial aid; examples include music tour for students enrolled in band, choir or orchestra and athletic tournaments for students on school teams. There are also optional activities for which financial aid may be available; examples include honor language trips and global partnerships. The School’s resources are finite and awards for optional activities are at the discretion of the financial aid committee. In general, the financial aid committee will consider one such request per student per year.
Families who receive financial aid at 75% and above may be eligible to receive aid for transportation for students in Grades K1 – Grade 6.
Middle and High School students who receive aid at 75% and above may apply for financial aid for lunch.
After school programs
Families who receive financial aid at 75% or above are eligible for additional support for the after school program in the Lower School. Each student who receives tuition assistance at the required level will be eligible for assistance with one class per term in the after school program.
Normally financial aid is not provided for the summer program.
In situations where the parents are divorced, separated or never married, the School expects to receive full disclosure of the financial circumstances of both parents, regardless of the arrangements regarding custody. It is the responsibility of the parent making the application for financial aid to ensure that the other parent provides the School with full financial information.
The School anticipates that both parents will participate in contributing to the tuition costs of their children. Except when there are young children not yet of school age at home, the expectation is that both parents in a family will be engaged in full time employment. Families who experience temporary loss of employment may be considered for short-term assistance.
The SSS analysis of a family's "Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)" is a critical component of our financial aid decision. However, it is just a start. To make our final financial aid award decisions, we use the SSS figures as the baseline for our own additional review, taking into consideration our total financial aid budget, other information we may have collected, our school’s policies and priorities, and the needs of our entire applicant pool. Due to circumstances like these, and others, our school may or may not meet the level of demonstrated need shown on the SSS Family Report.