Financial Aid Policy and Process

Norwood School offers tuition assistance based on financial need to current and incoming families. Norwood School's Financial Aid Program has a two-fold purpose: to provide students an opportunity for an education which might otherwise be inaccessible for them and to provide the School with a well-qualified student body reflecting economic diversity. All requests for tuition and non-tuition aid should be made directly to the Director of Admission and Enrollment Management.

Award Criteria

To be eligible for financial aid at Norwood, a family must demonstrate financial need based on criteria established by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). The completed application provides a comprehensive review of a family's finances. Norwood's Financial Aid Committee reviews the initial application, the SSS calculation, and a copy of the family's federal tax return (Form 1040). Final aid decisions are based on the committee's assessment of an applicants' needs and the budgeted funds available. Unfortunately, there is always a greater demand for aid than there are resources. Information reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee and discussions within committee meetings are strictly confidential.

The Calculation

Financial need is defined as the difference between tuition and fees at Norwood School and a family's ability to pay. Norwood, through the SSS calculation process, assesses the financial strength of each family by taking into account many factors. Major factors considered are income (both taxable and nontaxable) and expenses, assets (home equity, real estate, savings, etc.) and indebtedness, family size, and number of children attending tuition-charging schools or in full time day care. The SSS standard calculation considers these factors and determines each family’s effective income. Out of this income, a portion is protected for necessities. The remaining income is defined as discretionary income. A standard percentage of this discretionary income is allocated towards education. Financial aid awards reflect the difference between this amount and the sum of tuition and fees.

Other Fees Covered by Financial Aid

In addition to offering financial aid to defray the cost of tuition and fees, Norwood discounts After Care fees at a rate proportional to a student’s financial aid award. Likewise, activities that the School deems essential to a student’s equitable experience are also supported by financial aid funds. The fees of such essential items are either waived or discounted. Tutoring fees and psycho-educational testing when recommended or approved by the School and Annual Benefit tickets are examples of items deemed essential for an equitable experience at Norwood for a student or family. The School has made significant efforts to fold most of the fees associated with essential items into the overall figure for tuition and fees.

Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?

    Norwood School asks that parents submit their PFS online as early as possible (SSS will begin accepting online applications on October 2). The deadline completing the PFS is February 1 for new families and January 5 for returning families. All supporting documents (see above) must be submitted to SSS by the appropriate deadlines. No financial aid award will be finalized until a student has been admitted into the school and all necessary documentation has been received. A delay in sending the required forms may disqualify a family from receiving funds.
  • Do financial aid awards need to be repaid?

    Financial aid awards do not require repayment - awards are outright grants supported by Norwood School's annual operating budget.
  • Does applying for financial aid influence the admission decision?

    No. Norwood School accepts students based on academic merit, test scores, references, and personal qualities. Financial aid files are reviewed and awards made only after a student is admitted. However, financial aid requests must be made by the February 1 deadline in order for an award to be considered.
  • Do I have to apply for financial aid before I know my child has been admitted?

    Yes. Only those students who have applied for financial aid by the February 1 and have been accepted by the admission comittee will be considered for financial aid.   
  • I sometimes file an extension beyond April 15 for my taxes. How will this affect my financial aid award?

    In addition to sending in 2016 supporting documents by February 15, you will need to complete your 2017 taxes early enough to meet the April 15th deadline in order to receive a financial aid award. If you have questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact our office for clarification.
  • What happens if the parents are divorced or separated?

    Norwood School believes that parents have an obligation to pay for the educational expenses of their children to the extent that they are able and that takes precedence over the school's responsibility to provide financial assistance. The Financial Aid Committee will consider the assets of both parents, if living, before making any award. If either parent has remarried, the committee will also consider the income and assets of the stepparent. Therefore, it is necessary that both parents and their current spouses, if any, complete a PFS. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to ask the non-custodial parent to complete a PFS.
  • Is financial aid automatically renewed each year?

    Norwood School requires families receiving financial aid to reapply each year. As long as the student remains at our school, financial aid will generally be renewed each year according to demonstrated need. Changes in such things as income, family status, or the number of children attending tuition-charging institutions may result in increases or decreases in an award. Every application is reviewed annually.
  • If my family can't afford the SSS fee, how can we apply for financial aid?

    Based on information submitted in your Parent Financial Statement (PFS), SSS will determine whether a family qualifies for a fee waiver. If a fee waiver is granted, it will be reflected on the payment page prior to submitting the application.
  • When will I be notified of my financial aid award?

    New students (with completed financial aid applications) will receive award letters within one week of receiving their admission letters. Returning students will receive financial aid awards in February prior to the re-enrollment contract deadline. 
  • What payment plans are available?

    Norwood School offers three different payment plans: a one-time payment, a two-time payment, or a ten payment plan through FACTS. The school does not accept credit card payments for tuition and fees, however, credit card payments can be arranged through FACTS. For further information please contact the School Business Office at 301-841-4152.
  • My spouse is not employed. How will that affect my financial aid award?

    Since it is our belief that families bear the primary responsibility for financing the education of their children, it is our policy to expect both parents to contribute financially. If your spouse chooses not to work, then an annual salary based upon a 40 hour position paying an appropriate wage will be added to the income calculations for evaluation. There are circumstances such as caring for a disabled or elderly parent, or a disabled or preschool child that would exempt a family from this policy. Each application and circumstance is evaluated individually.

How to Apply for Aid

Norwood uses School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS) to determine financial aid awards and to collect documentation. In addition to submitting an application, families must provide copies of the indicated tax returns and supporting schedules and w-2s by the indicated deadlines. The below steps outline the financial aid application process.

RETURNING STUDENTS
  1. Submit your application (a Parents' Financial Statement or PFS) through The SSS Parent Page, by January 5, 2018. The portal will accept applications for the 2018-2019 school year beginning October 2, 2017. Norwood School's code is 5425.
  2. Upload copies of your final 2016 1040 tax return and supporting schedules, 2016 w-2s, and IRS 4506-T tax form (see downloads below) by January 5, 2018.
  3. Upload copies of your 2017 1040 tax return and supporting schedules and 2017 w-2s by April 15, 2018.


NEW STUDENTS
  1. Submit your application (a Parents' Financial Statement or PFS) through The SSS Parent Page, by February 1, 2018. The portal will accept applications for the 2018-2019 school year beginning October 2, 2017. Norwood School's code is 5425.
  2. Upload copies of your 2016 1040 tax return and supporting schedules, 2016 w-2s, and IRS 4506-T tax form (see downloads below) by February 1, 2018.
  3. Upload copies of your 2017 1040 tax return and supporting schedules and 2017 w-2s by April 15, 2018.

Directions for uploading information is available on the SSS website. If mailing, documents should be sent directly to: School and Student Services, P.O. Box 449, Randolph, MA 02368-0449. For overnight mail, use: SSS by NAIS, Application Processing Center, 15 Dan Road, Suite 102, Canton, MA 02021 (USA).
*Families should use a Required Documents cover sheet whenever sending materials to SSS. The cover sheet can be found under the 'My Documents' tab in your parent portal.

Questions? Contact Mimi Mulligan in the Admission Office by phone at 301-841-2131 or email at .
Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.