Financial Aid

The St. Francis Financial Assistance Program enables us to enroll and re-enroll qualified students in kindergarten through the eighth grade whose families cannot pay full tuition costs. St. Francis’s goal is to create a diverse school community. We are committed to providing financial assistance to families who qualify and whose child or children have been accepted through the admission process.

All families who feel they may qualify are encouraged to apply for financial assistance. Financial assistance decisions do not adversely affect a student’s opportunity for admission or re-enrollment at St. Francis. The maximum financial assistance award, per family, is twice the highest middle school tuition each year.

Financial Aid FAQ's

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial assistance for the upcoming academic year, new and current St. Francis families should follow these steps:

  1. Access the FAST Program website specifically for St. Francis. Once at the FAST website, click the Get Started button at the bottom of the Instructions page.
    • Complete the financial assistance application. The deadline to submit your application to FAST is February 17, 2017. All your financial information should be entered directly through ISM’s secure server.
    • Space is also provided to fill out additional information that may be pertinent to your application.
    • Special procedures for divorced or separated parents are described on the FAST website.
  2. ISM charges a fee to process your application. The fee is payable online by MasterCard, VISA, or AMEX.
    • Once the application is completed, you may be contacted by the Business Office if additional information is needed.
  3. Mail a copy of your 2016 tax return by February 24, 2017, directly to Independent School Management, RE: FAST, 1316 North Union Street, Wilmington, DE 19806-2594. Or, you may electronically send your tax return to FAST per instructions on the FAST website.
    • The Financial Assistance Committee will not make a recommendation on financial assistance if the tax return is not provided.
  4. Financial assistance award notifications are published April 7, 2017.
  5. If you intend to accept the financial assistance award, notify the school within one week after you receive the financial assistance decision.

It is necessary to re-apply for financial assistance every year to continue to receive financial assistance. Those applications received after February 17, 2017, will be prioritized in a date-received order, and assistance will be awarded until funds are no longer available.

What is financial aid?

St. Francis Episcopal School offers financial assistance in the form of tuition grants based solely on a family’s demonstrated need. A tuition grant is money applied toward the tuition for the upcoming school year and does not need to be repaid.

How does the school determine financial need?

Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost to attend St. Francis Episcopal School and a family’s ability to pay. FAST provides the school with a general assessment of a family’s ability to pay for education and a recommended award based on that assessment.

In order for us to allocate our resources wisely and fairly, we have enlisted the help of Independent School Management’s Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) program. FAST does not decide whether or how much financial assistance will be awarded; rather, FAST provides a need-based financial assistance analysis service. FAST gives St. Francis a confidential report that includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. Applications are reviewed by the Financial Assistance Committee, and the committee recommends allocation of financial assistance resources for the next school year to the Head of School. Upon approval by the Head of School, financial assistance offers are sent to families.

Will I qualify for financial aid?

Any family may apply for assistance. Major factors in determining financial need include, but are not limited to, income; assets (including home equity, college funds, investment accounts, and trust funds); family size; and the number of children attending tuition-charging institutions, excluding daycare, preschool, and graduate school. Ability to pay is based on combined salaries, business cash flow, and assets. There is no preset income figure that qualifies a family for assistance. As the school reviews applications, it differentiates between necessary expenses and lifestyle choices.

Do I have to apply for financial aid before I know whether my child has been admitted?

Yes. The financial assistance application deadline in February falls before applicants are notified in March regarding admission decisions.

‪Does applying for financial aid influence the admissions decision?

No. Financial assistance files are reviewed and awards are made only after a student is admitted. However, financial assistance applications must be completed by a February deadline in order for an award to be considered. Applications for financial assistance completed after the deadline will be considered only if funds remain.

Is my financial aid information confidential?

Yes. All submitted financial assistance information is confidential. Only members of the financial assistance committee have access.

Who can apply for financial aid?

Families who have students entering kindergarten through grade 8 at St. Francis Episcopal School may apply.

Do I have to reapply every year?

Because a family’s financial situation may change from year to year, all current financial assistance recipients are required to reapply each year. Awards may be adjusted if a family’s financial circumstances change significantly.

Are there any restrictions on financial aid students?

Each financial assistance recipient is expected to maintain the highest academic standards for himself/herself in a responsible and honorable manner, and to play an active role in the daily life of the school community. Students must abide by the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures as outlined in the School Handbook.

What if there is a situation involving divorce and/or stepparents?

St. Francis expects both the custodial and non-custodial parents to participate in the support of their child at St. Francis. Both custodial and non-custodial parents will be expected to provide their information on the financial assistance application.

What happens if I do not have all of the required documentation?

The application will be considered only after all the required documentation is submitted, assuming funds are still available to award.

With financial aid questions, please contact the St. Francis Business Office (713.458.6212). We’re here to help!