Desert Academy offers two types of tuition assistance: need-based grants and merit scholarships. Any family may apply for need-based grants for any year of their child’s attendance. Merit scholarships are only offered to students when they first enter Desert Academy.
Desert Academy is committed to providing access to families who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the school at full tuition. Our financial aid program is guided by National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) principles. Families are expected to contribute according to their means, taking into account total income, net assets, number of dependents, and other appropriate information. As with all Desert families, financial aid award recipients are expected to be involved in the school, through volunteering, committees, or other areas. Families must reapply for financial aid every year. Applicants in good standing who are currently enrolled and already receiving aid will receive first consideration for aid on an annual basis with award criteria, listed below, guiding our decisions. Financial aid funds are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The School and Student Services (SSS) online financial aid application is available at http://sss.nais.org. Questions about the form should be directed to the SSS helpline: 866-387-2601.
Your student may be eligible for financial aid even if he or she is also awarded a Merit Scholarship.
The deadline for all financial aid applications is Friday, February 15.
Financial Aid Application Procedures:
- Go to http://sss.nais.org. Complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) and submit it online.
Be sure to include Desert Academy’s Code Number 2812 on the PFS in order to have the final PFS analysis sent to Desert Academy.
- Submit a copy of your 2012 federal income tax returns with all schedules (or the latest year with filing extension verification) and W-2s to Desert Academy by February 15.
- As part of your application, you may also submit a letter explaining the circumstances that have led you to apply for financial aid. Although this is optional, the information is often helpful to the Financial Aid Committee.
Financial aid decision letters will be mailed as soon as possible in March. Recipients have 10 business days upon receipt of the award letter to accept the financial aid award. The signed enrollment contract along with the deposit must be returned to the Desert Academy Admissions Office by the due date.
- Academic: Student must be working at his or her academic potential.
- Financial: Financial need as identified by the Parent Financial Statement (PFS), tax returns, and supporting documents. Family tuition payment history with Desert Academy will be considered for returning students. Families with delinquent or past-due accounts may not be eligible for assistance.
- Behavioral/Social: Attendance and behavioral records for the previous school years will be considered in making a financial aid award. Any serious disciplinary actions will be reviewed by the committee and could affect the award amount.
- Extracurricular: Participation in extra-curricular school-sponsored or outside activities is a consideration in awarding financial aid.
- Application Deadlines: Applications must be submitted by February 15 to be considered for the initial financial aid awards. For requests made after February 15, the Financial Aid Committee will make awards, if any, based on available funds.
Desert Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational, admissions, or financial aid policies, or in any other programs or policies.
Desert Academy’s merit scholarship awards assessment will be held on Saturday, February 9 at 9 am. These awards will be granted on the basis of merit only, and are completely separate from need-based financial aid. The competition is open to all prospective students in grades 6 through 12. The deadline to submit the merit scholarship registration form to the school is 5 pm on Tuesday, February 5. Click here for the registration form.
In order to participate in the merit scholarship assessment, students must have submitted a complete admission application to Desert Academy by Friday, February 8, in addition to the merit scholarship registration form.
The event consists of four parts. Students will:
- Complete an activities and interest inventory.
- Be interviewed by a Desert Academy faculty or staff member.
- Take a two-part standardized test.
- Write an essay.
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