Desert Academy offers tuition assistance in the form of need-based grants. Any family may apply for need-based grants for any year of their child’s attendance.
Historically, Desert Academy has awarded Merit Scholarships to a few students annually based on their scores on our Merit Scholarship Exam. We have decided that, in order to remain in alignment with National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) best practices, we will focus all of our commitments on need-based aid, which will allow us to increase our financial aid funds to qualified families. This means that, going forward, we will not be making new Merit Scholarship awards.
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.
The deadline for all financial aid applications for the 2014-15 school year is Friday, February 14, 2014.
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.
- NEW REQUIREMENT: Submit a digital copy of your 2013 federal income tax returns with all schedules (or the latest year with filing extension verification), W-2s, and a 2013 Form 4506 T-EZ (signed and undated) through the PFS Manage Required Documents field by February 14, 2014.
- As part of your application, you may also include supplemental information 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.
- 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.
- Application Deadlines: Applications must be submitted by February 14, 2014 to be considered for the initial round of financial aid awards. Applications received after February 14 will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Committee weekly, but awards will only be granted 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.
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