Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will applying for Tuition Assistance have an impact on the admission decision for my child?

No. The Admission Committee is not aware of who is applying for tuition assistance and the tuition assistance decisions are made after a student has been accepted.

2. What does SSS do?

SSS uses a methodology to compute a family's ability to pay for educational expenses for all children. Most independent schools use SSS.

3. How is the Family Contribution calculated?

The family contribution is determined through a methodology developed by SSS. This methodology takes into consideration gross taxable and non-taxable income, itemized deductions, assets, liabilities, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools. After accounting for required tax obligations and allowances for basic necessities, at a very modest standard of living, a portion of the family’s remaining resources are considered available for education on a sliding scale. It is assumed that higher incomes will have more discretionary financial resources available for education.

4. Do I reapply each year for tuition assistance?

Yes. Each student's need is re-calculated annually. Therefore, parents are required to submit the PFS along with the other required documentation each year by the published deadlines.

5. What kind of tuition assistance can my family expect in the following years?

Assuming that your family’s financial status does not change dramatically, funding will generally be renewed at previous levels. You must re-apply for tuition assistance every year.

6. If my family is paying full tuition, could we receive tuition assistance in subsequent years?

We expect that families who begin by paying full tuition to the School will continue to do so unless unforeseen circumstances make that impossible. We advise families not to go to extraordinary lengths to pay full tuition their first year in the hope of receiving tuition assistance the next year. However, if your financial situation has changed significantly since you joined the School, you should apply for tuition assistance and include a detailed explanation of the change.

7. Are students ever asked to take jobs at Carolina Day School to help pay for their education?

No. In order to preserve the identity of the students receiving tuition assistance, CDS does not use a work-study program. However, we do expect eleventh and twelfth grade students to contribute $500 to their education by obtaining seasonal or summer jobs.

8. Does tuition assistance cover other costs beyond tuition?

CDS attempts to minimize extra fees beyond tuition. Tuition assistance is intended to provide families resources to afford the CDS tuition.

9. If only one parent works outside of the home, will my child be considered for tuition assistance?

Tuition assistance is intended only as a supplement to the family responsibility for a student’s education. Both parents in many CDS families work in order to earn sufficient income to provide an independent school education for their children. We believe that in a two-parent household both parents should earn an income once all children are in a full-day school program, unless there are extenuating circumstances. For purposes of calculating a family’s ability to contribute to their child’s education, an amount will be added to the family contribution that represents our best estimate of the reasonable earning potential of the non-working or under-employed spouse.

10. If one or both parents decide to attend graduate school, how will that decision impact the tuition assistance award?

The Tuition Assistance Committee would expect that the parent enrolled in graduate school will continue to earn income and has arranged to fund his or her education without depending heavily on family resources. If a parent chooses to attend school full time, and is thus unemployed, the Tuition Assistance Committee will add to the income of the family.

11. If I am single, divorced or no longer living with my child’s other parent, what information is required in order to determine an award?

The Tuition Assistance Committee expects all parents to contribute financially to their child’s tuition. Each household is expected to submit a completed PFS and all other required documentation in order for CDS to gain a realistic picture of family resources. If the non-custodial parent refuses to comply, the Financial Aid Committee will determine whether or not the family will be eligible for an award. If the custodial parent has not heard from the non-custodial parent for a period of time, to be determined by the Tuition Assistance Committee, forms may not be required. However, a letter of verification from a third party (minister, attorney, social worker, etc.) will be required. The Tuition Assistance committee may request a copy of the divorce decree, however, it may choose not to abide by it. Each situation is unique and will be handled on an individual basis.

12. If I am living with someone who is not my child’s biological parent or I am remarried, how will the Tuition Assistance Committee review my child’s file?

In situations such as and similar to this, CDS requires financial information from all adults involved in the applicant’s life. Each situation is unique and will be handled on an individual basis.

13. If my child lives with his/her non-parent or guardians, what information will the Tuition Assistance Committee require?

These applications are reviewed on an individual basis. However, if the parents are still living and are claiming their child on their tax return, the parents and guardians must complete and submit the PFS to SSS. If other family members have custody, they must also complete and submit the PFS to SSS. The Tuition Assistance Committee will also need copies of proof of custody.

14. If we cannot pay the Family Contribution noted in the award letter, is there an appeal process?

Yes. Please notify Carole Hilderbran at or 828-210-9150 of your request for an appeal and submit all written documentation that you feel may provide the Tuition Assistance Committee with additional insight into your financial picture. More than likely, you will be asked to set up an appointment to discuss, in detail, your particular situation and the circumstances for your appeal.

15. Is there a tuition assistance waiting list?

Yes. Carolina Day School has more students qualifying for tuition assistance than we have the ability to fund. In the event the funds become available, we will contact you.

16. I still have questions regarding the tuition assistance process. Whom should I contact?

Feel free to contact Carole Hilderbran at or 828-210-9150.
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