Financial Aid Policy
Westover’s financial aid program is solely need based. Westover allocated over $2 million in financial assistance this year to approximately 45% of its student body and their families. We do not offer scholarships or grants based on merit or athletic ability. A substantial portion of Westover’s financial aid is made possible through endowed funds donated by our alumnae and the Annual Fund. Each year alumnae, current parents, past parents, grandparents, and friends support the School’s mission through donations to its Annual Fund. Westover has one of the highest alumnae participation percentages among our peer schools.
Financial aid decisions are made independent of admission decisions. After the Admission Committee accepts an applicant to Westover, financial aid awards are made based on a family’s demonstrated need and the availability of funds. Applicants acceptable for admission and qualifying on the basis of financial need outnumber those whom we can afford to support. Although need is the first requirement for financial aid, the final selection of a new recipient is based on our evaluation of the student’s overall academic and personal strengths. We cannot guarantee funding to all applicants who qualify. Our financial aid program provides need-based grants and low-interest loans to assist families who cannot meet the full cost of a Westover education.
Westover’s Loan Program: In order to provide financial aid for a greater number of families, a low interest Westover loan is often included as part of the financial aid package. This plan is funded by the endowed Adamson Fund. No interest is charged while a student is enrolled at Westover. Interest of 6% per year will start to accrue as of July 1 in the year of expected graduation from Westover, and monthly interest payments will begin on July 1 of that year. Repayment of principal begins four years from that date and repayment of all principal and interest is to be completed 45 months after the first payment of principal is due. Parents may choose to decline the loan portion of the financial aid package.
HOW IS A FINANCIAL AID AMOUNT CALCULATED/DETERMINED?
Westover subscribes to the principles and services of the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). In doing so, Westover believes a family has the primary obligation for financing their child’s education. In determining a family’s eligibility, factors such as family size, parents’ ages, extraordinary expenses, and retirement provisions are considered. Distinctions must be made between obligatory expenses such as tax payments and those made by choice, such as buying a new car. It is our expectation that your daughter’s Westover education be among your highest priorities when it comes to your family’s discretionary expenses. Because financial situations vary, an objective need-analysis system is used as a basic guideline to provide consistency in assessing need. Westover reserves the right to accept the recommendation of the Report of Family Contribution from SSS or to amend it by using additional documentation to complete the application process in accordance with the needs of the School.
The Financial Aid Committee assesses each family’s financial situation individually. In addition to the SSS guidelines, however, the Committee implements the following principles and practices:
1. Westover expects that all adult family members will work to contribute to their household income and their student’s education. The Committee may impute income for parents or guardians who choose not to work. Families with pre-school aged children and/or elderly family members in the home should make the Committee aware of their circumstances.
2. If more than one child in a family attends a tuition-charging institution, it is required that a family applying for financial aid does so at each of the institutions their children attend.
3. Savings, investments, and assets in a student’s name or held for a student with the purposes of higher education may be considered available resources for secondary school education and be equally distributed during the years she is enrolled at Westover in addition to the four years of college/university.
4. Please know that parents who return to school or change jobs as a personal choice, thereby reducing their household income, will not necessarily be granted additional financial assistance from Westover School.
5. In situations of divorce or separation, your daughter’s non-custodial parent must also complete financial aid forms. We expect both parents to finance their daughter’s education to the extent they are able. Therefore, we require a completed PFS and tax return from EACH household. If either parent is remarried, we will also take into consideration the spouse’s contributions to the household along with any obligations to his or her own children. A financial aid award cannot be made without information from or about ALL parents. In the case of an absentee parent or one who has no obligation to your daughter’s education, we require explanation and/or documentation from the courts.
IS FINANCIAL AID GUARANTEED IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS?
Westover requires that all applicants complete and submit the Parents’ Financial Statement to SSS as well as supporting documentation each year that a student wishes to matriculate at the School. Awards are evaluated annually based on the most recent year’s financial information. There is also the expectation that, as with all Westover students, your daughter’s re-enrollment and subsequent financial aid award is contingent upon her maintaining a high level of citizenship and scholarship. The Committee will review and make adjustments appropriate to changes in financial resources and tuition increases. Westover cannot always guarantee meeting an increased need should a family’s financial situation change.
All financial information submitted in support of a financial aid application is held in strict confidence. All financial aid awards are confidential agreements between the recipient family and Westover School. Therefore, it is the expectation that Financial Aid recipients, and their families, will honor this confidentiality; a student may forfeit her award if this confidentiality is breached.
Westover welcomes students of any race to the rights, privileges, programs, and activities made available to the students at the School. Westover does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or national origin in the administration of its education or admission policies; scholarship, loan or athletic programs; or other school-administered activities.