Breakwater's financial aid program helps us maintain our vibrant and diverse community. Financial aid awards are determined based on guidelines from School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS) by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
To apply for financial aid, parents must submit a Parent Financial Statement (PFS) and both current and last year's W-2's and tax statements to SSS. SSS considers a variety of incomes and expenditures and makes a recommendation of need for each family. Breakwater does its best to meet the financial needs of all applying families. Award amounts are based on recommendations from SSS and the school's available financial aid funds.
All information regarding financial aid is kept confidential by Breakwater School. Families are required to maintain confidentiality as well. We ask that parents maintain confidentiality and refrain from speaking about their child's financial aid with others.
All financial aid decisions are made after careful consideration of the PFS and both year's W-2 earning statements and tax returns. Families who own their own businesses will also need to provide the business/farm statement portion of their tax returns. Please be aware that all financial aid awards are contingent upon receipt of all required documents.
Returning families will receive their financial aid awards with their enrollment contracts in February. New families will receive their acceptance letters, enrollment contracts, and financial aid awards in one packet at the time of acceptance. If your child is currently enrolled at Breakwater without financial aid, and your family experiences a significant change in financial circumstances, you may meet with Moriah Perry, Admissions and Financial Aid, to apply for financial assistance.
Please contact Moriah Perry at email@example.com or 207-772-8689, ext. 243 with any questions about financial aid.
Financial Aid FAQs.
What does financial aid cover?
Financial aid is a grant and is not paid back to the school. Your financial aid award is applied to tuition only. All other charges of AfterCare and Enrichment are not included in the award and are paid in addition to tuition.
What is the application timeline?
Financial aid applications and documents are required annually and are generally required by mid January for current families and mid February for newly applying families. The financial aid awards are contained in the enrollment contracts that are sent to current families in the beginning of February and to newly applying families in the beginning of March.
How confidential is the financial aid process?
The only people at Breakwater that know any financial aid information are the Financial Aid Committee and the bookkeeper for billing purposes. Most often the Financial Aid Committee does not see any specific financial information but simply the calculations that result from this information. The Committee is comprised of Breakwater employees for whom confidentiality is a requirement of their job. We also require that all financial aid awards be kept confidential by the receiving family and can revoke an award if confidentiality is not kept.
How does our financial aid application effect our application for admissions?
Our admissions process is need blind, meaning that we accept students regardless of their financial status. They are separate processes and do not impact one another.
What happens if our financial situation changes during the school year?
We understand that an unexpected loss of work, health issues or a variety of other factors can impact your financial status making it difficult to fulfill your financial obligations to the school. If this unfortunate situation occurs please contact the Director of Financial Aid with any documentation that supports your change in finances. We are not always able to amend financial aid awards after the child is enrolled, but we do make every effort to work with families.
What kind of aid can I expect to receive?
We do not give estimated awards because awards are based on the financial aid application, supporting documents and the school’s financial aid budget. There is a wide range of awards that our families receive that are appropriate for the individual financial situation of the family. Unless your financial situation changes, you can expect a similar financial aid award from year to year.
Does Breakwater offer sibling discounts?
While we do not offer a direct sibling discount, the financial aid application takes into account tuition or child care expenses for your other children. We generally do not offer financial aid to toddler or preschool students because of the tax benefits for child care as well as the cost of educating children at that age level. Financial aid given to a family with multiple students enrolled will typically be allocated to the older child.
We appreciate our reward, but it does not meet our needs. Is there a process for appealing an award?
We generate financial aid awards based on the information contained in the financial aid application and the supporting financial documents as well as our limited financial aid budget. We understand that there are extenuating circumstances that may not be included with this information and are willing to consider these factors. If you find that you are unable to commit to the tuition payments through all resources available to you (loans, family members, etc.), please submit a letter explaining your circumstances along with additional supporting financial documents to the Director of Financial Aid.
I am not sure I will qualify for financial aid. Is it worth me filling out a form?
There are many factors that effect how financial aid awards are determined. Income and expenses, including other children in tuition bearing institutions, that is included in your financial aid application as well as supporting financial documents are considered when generating a financial aid award. There is no income that would preclude an award being made. We do not offer financial aid without a complete application but encourage anyone that can not commit to paying full tuition to apply for aid.