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Financial Aid FAQs

If my child enrolls without receiving financial aid, can we apply for aid in future years?

While the financial aid committee will review any application submitted, there is little to no room for adding further students to the aid budget. Our budget will have been set upon a fixed number of students receiving aid they received in the previous year. Therefore, you should not enroll your child this year without receiving financial aid if you plan to apply for aid in the future. We recommend that you apply for admission and aid together in the following year. Although we cannot accommodate those who knowingly enroll with financial needs pending, we will try to help families who experience unforeseen financial hardships after they have enrolled.

If there are extenuating circumstances to consider, please discuss these with the director of financial aid before proceeding.

Do we have to apply for aid every year?

Yes. In order to keep your award, you must submit a new PFS and tax return every year. You can expect that your financial aid will be renewed at the original level of funding, provided that you demonstrate continued need. If you experience any significant changes in your financial situation, it is important to discuss this with the director of financial aid, as our budget is set in the fall before the application process begins.

When will we be notified of our aid grant?

Admission applications must be completed before the financial aid committee will review a financial aid application. When a student receives an offer of admission, the financial aid committee will include a letter to the parents notifying them of the aid decision.

Do you offer talent-based or merit-based scholarships?

No. We offer financial aid based on demonstrated need. However, because the number of applicants exceeds the number of awards we can offer, a student's talents or achievements may determine which applicants will receive an offer of financial aid.

Is aid available for international students?

Financial aid for international students at this boarding school is limited. If a family does not file a tax return in the United States, the application requirements are different. Please refer to the Financial Aid Instructions and Timeline to learn more. 

What is the average financial-aid grant?

The average grant for the 2019–20 school year is approximately $55,797 for boarding students and $31,308 for day students. There are fewer grants available for international students and new students enrolling in the upper grades (11 and PG). The amount a student receives in the first year sets the budget for subsequent years so that a family may plan through graduation. We encourage you to call the financial aid office to discuss your individual circumstances and learn the answers to your financial aid questions.

Do we have to pay back our financial aid grant?

Grants, which compose the major portion of a financial aid award, are funds awarded by the school from a fixed budget provided by investments and annual contributions from NMH alumni, parents, and friends. Grants need not be repaid; however, in the spirit of our founding, there is a general expectation that alumni who received financial aid as students will eventually contribute to the school to allow future generations to experience the same opportunities. Northfield Mount Hermon loans, which may be awarded in addition to a grant, are also need-based. Interest ranges from a minimum of five percent to a maximum of one-half of the prime rate. Repayment of these loans does not begin until after your child graduates from the school or leaves for any other reason. For the first four years after your child leaves NMH, you will pay interest only. During the four years after that time, you will make monthly payments of both interest and principal to repay the loan. There is no penalty for the prepayment of an NMH loan.

How is a financial-aid package determined?

The cost of tuition (which includes room and board) minus the family's calculated contribution, represents the amount of financial aid a family is eligible to receive. Once this amount is determined, the financial aid committee reviews information gathered during the admission process to make awarding decisions that promote a talented and diverse student body. Our resources are finite and NMH is fortunate to have many outstanding applicants. As a result, some students who are admitted to NMH may not receive financial aid. For those students who receive financial aid awards, NMH attempts to meet 100 percent of a family's need with need-based grants.

How is our family's contribution calculated?

SSS, by NAIS, a third-party, financial aid service, provides an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) report based on factors such as household income and expenses, number of children in tuition-charging schools and colleges, and assets and debts. The financial aid committee makes adjustments to this report, given case-by-case family information and NMH-specific policies. It is not unusual for a family to expect more aid than the calculation suggests, requiring more resources than anticipated. Understanding this, we are always willing to answer your questions about the calculations.

What is your policy regarding parents who live in separate households?

We expect both parents to finance their child's education to the extent they are able. Therefore, we require a completed PFS and tax return to be submitted from each household. If either parent has 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.

How and when do I apply?

In order to be considered for financial aid at our Massachusetts boarding school while there is still aid available, it is critical to meet the February 1 application deadline for both admission and financial aid. To start your application for financial aid, go to (after November 1). Please refer to the Financial Aid Instructions and Timeline to learn more. 

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