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Financial Aid FAQ

Nancy Peterson
Director of Financial Aid

How is eligibility for aid determined?

Kent’s Financial Aid Committee starts with a standardized calculation derived by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). This calculation is based on information provided by the family on the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) and in the case of international students, the Kent School International Student Financial Aid Application Profile. This system considers gross taxable income, assets, liabilities, family size and number of students enrolled in tuition-charging schools. After an allowance for basic necessities and taxes, the remaining funds are considered discretionary income, available for education.

From there, Kent’s Financial Aid Committee looks at additional information which comes from the required supplemental documentation. As a result, often Kent’s calculated parent contribution differs from that of the SSS. For example, Kent does not allow depreciation and losses on second homes, investment properties and hobby businesses. Kent will also consider the potential for income to be earned by an able, non-working parent who does not have small children at home.


What if the parents of the applicant are divorced or separated?

In cases of divorce, separation, or parents who were never married, both natural parents are required to submit a complete and separate application regardless of any divorce or custodial agreement. Each parent’s PFS should reflect only their household income, assets and expenses, including those of current resident spouse/partner, if applicable. If either parent declines to submit the required information, no further consideration for aid will be given. If either parent has remarried, the application should include the step-parent’s financial information. Kent will consider the finances of a step-parent, bearing in mind the step-parent’s obligation to his or her natural children.


What if I am a single parent?

We base our financial aid decisions on both parents’ demonstrated ability to contribute toward educational expenses and not on their willingness to participate in the process. However, we understand that on rare occasions, it may be impossible to procure an application from a non-custodial parent who has no contact with the family and whose whereabouts are unknown. If it is impossible for a non-custodial parent to submit an application and the custodial parent is asking to be considered a single parent for purposes of awarding aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office for details on how to proceed.


Does the financial aid calculation take into account expenses for children enrolled at other schools?

Yes, but if a family has children in other tuition-charging schools, they are expected to apply to those institutions for aid as well. Kent reserves the right to verify enrollment/cost/aid for the sibling(s) enrolled at other institutions.


Can my child receive assistance to participate in Kent’s Equestrian Program?

Participation in the equestrian program at Kent carries with it a significant extra expense - 2021-2022 cost is $5,900 per trimester. In determining eligibility for aid, we do not include this extra cost in our financial aid expense budget and therefore do not assign financial aid funds to cover the Equestrian Program Fee.



If we receive financial aid for the first year, what happens in subsequent years and what if our finances change?

If there is continuing need, families are required to re-apply for aid each year. Awards may be adjusted if the family’s financial circumstances change.



If we do not apply/qualify for aid this year, can we apply again next year?

Families whose children begin their career at Kent without financial aid will not be given consideration in future years, barring unforeseen circumstances. In the event of such an unforeseen change in financial circumstance, should you wish to apply in a future year, you must notify the Financial Aid Office by December 1.  There is no guarantee that financial aid will be awarded even if the review confirms that need-based aid is warranted. The original Admissions decision and forecast of financial aid assumes no financial aid in future years.


What if we have special circumstances that are not addressed in the standard application?

Special or unusual circumstances can be documented in a letter sent directly to the Kent Financial Aid Office for consideration.


Does Kent offer financial aid to non U.S. citizens?

The majority of our financial aid goes to U.S citizens but we will consider small financial aid grants for highly qualified international candidates as well.


What if I cannot pay the PFS application fee and need a fee waiver?

The School and Student Service (SSS) will automatically determine your eligibility for a fee waiver based on the information entered on your PFS application. 

Is it still possible to apply if we have missed the published filing deadlines?

It is still possible to apply after the filing deadlines. However, there is no guarantee that aid will still be available for late applicants, so we encourage you to submit all application materials as soon as possible.