Understanding Financial Aid: Affording a Private School Education

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The following article is presented by James Pinkham, Associate Director of Admission and Financial Aid at New Hampton School. 

An independent boarding school can seem like such a great fit for many kids—well-rounded academics, competitive co-curricular offerings, and a diverse student body with a driven and caring faculty to match. What’s not to be interested in? The conversation can often come to a screeching halt when the price tag is revealed. However, after reading this, I hope that you will think differently and complete the process to provide a New Hampton School education for your student. Independent schools can be affordable for families from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. At New Hampton School, over 40% of families receive some form of financial support.

Each year, the Financial Aid Committee reviews applications for families interested in applying to New Hampton School but are worried about the price tag. There are several key factors but the main one I want you to remember is that there is no one type of family that receives financial aid. Everyone’s circumstances are different and that is why our committee reviews each application to make sure that we are doing our best to make this a reality for their family.


What is financial aid?

Financial aid is a grant with no expectation of repayment. The money awarded is credited to the student’s account each year and is made solely by New Hampton School. The money is generated by the operating budget as well as scholarships funded by generous alumni, parents, and friends.

How is financial aid awarded?

New Hampton School offers financial aid on a need basis. Applying for financial aid does not guarantee aid will be awarded. A thorough review of each application is performed after completion of the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) as offered by the School & Student Services (SSS) organization.

Do you offer any merit-based financial aid?

There are no athletic or academic scholarships offered by New Hampton School. All financial aid offered by the school is offered through our SSS application process. This is typical for independent schools in New England and as part of the New England Preparatory School Council (NEPSAC) athletic league we are not able to offer athletic scholarships of any kind.


Here are some suggestions as your family considers the cost of New Hampton School and private school education.

Apply early for financial aid.

The application for financial aid is due the same day as the admission application on February 1. The school needs both to consider a student for financial aid and submitting your applications together allows for our office to review them at the same time. Our committee has an annual budget that we allocate to prospective families—if you wait to apply until after the February 1 deadline, most of the aid will have been distributed and may no longer available.

Collect all of your finances.

When filling out the Parent Financial Statement, there are many questions about your finances and projections for the year ahead. When entering financial information, most of the numbers can come straight from your taxes. When you are looking ahead, estimate values based on past years when possible. If there is a drastic change from year-to-year, please do your best to explain the reasoning but understand that we will use the data we have from your taxes to drive our decisions.

Over 40% of the families at New Hampton School receive some form of financial aid support.

Don’t compare financial aid awards with other families.

Money is a tricky conversation to have and, for some families, asking for assistance can be challenging. We keep all of your information confidential through the entire process with only the Director of Financial Aid reviewing your tax documents. As we protect your confidentiality, we ask that you do the same with us. Do not share your award with other families whether it’s a neighbor who is also applying or a fellow current parent you are chatting with on the sidelines of your student’s game.

Research all of the ways you can pay.

When you look at the total cost of attendance, keep in mind that there are different ways to pay the tuition bill. Choosing a payment plan keeps bills lower, spreads out the charges, and does not incur any interest!

Keep the big picture in mind.

While the onus of the application rests on the student, the financial aid application is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. There are more guidelines and answers on how to apply through our Tuition page or you can contact our Admission Office to speak with an admission counselor.

There is a path to making a New Hampton School education affordable for your family and we hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity.

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