Admissions

Financial Aid

Affording a Priory Education

An independent school education is a considerable investment for many families. With over $4 million available in need-based grants, about 20% of Priory families receive financial assistance. Priory’s financial aid awards are grants, not loans, meaning they do not need to be repaid. Many financial aid awards cover most tuition and fees. Financial aid at Priory is need-based; like most independent schools in the Bay Area, we do not provide merit-based scholarships.  For families receiving significant financial aid, we also provide additional assistance to pay for other required fees (i.e., books).
 
The size of each family’s financial aid award is based on the determined need and funds available in the school's financial aid budget. Priory partners with Clarity, an organization that provides an independent assessment of each financial aid application. Families receive notice of financial aid awards with their acceptance letters in March. Priory families receiving financial aid are required to reapply for financial aid each year, and awards may be adjusted as family circumstances change.
 
Since every family has different circumstances governing their financial ability to contribute towards an independent school education, financial aid grants will vary depending on the information and circumstances provided in the financial aid application. Families who believe affording tuition and fees at Priory would cause significant financial hardship are encouraged to apply for financial aid.

Begin the financial aid application process* by clicking on the blue "Financial Aid: Getting Started" button at the top right or go directly to the Clarity homepage to create an account. The application typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete. The Clarity Application is also mobile-friendly so you can complete it from anywhere. You are also able to save your progress and return at any time. At the end of the application, there is a $55 fee to submit, and you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity Application for no additional charge. Simply use the dropdown menu in the application to select those schools.

*Please note that the financial aid application process opens in October for the next school year (e.g., for the 2023-2024 school year the financial aid application is available beginning October 1, 2022).

Learning More about Financial Aid

There are many ways to learn about financial aid. However, a quick internet search may only provide you information about financial aid for college. Visit the links below for trusted and helpful information about financing your child's independent school education. 

Getting Started:
Clarity Family Application Guide (PDF)

Financial Aid FAQ

List of 6 items.

  • At what income level is my family ineligible for financial aid?

    Our methodology considers income, assets, and expenses for both parents and students (where applicable). We also consider daycare costs and other private school tuitions, including undergraduate college/university tuition. Our goal is to provide a family with a reasonable amount expected to be paid towards a Priory education. There is no blanket cut-off for consideration.
  • Will applying for financial aid affect my child's chances for admission?

    Woodside Priory awarded over $4 million in financial aid for the 2022-2023 school year. The admissions committee is tasked with identifying each applicant's gifts and talents regardless of their ability to pay. While we encourage all families to apply, we invite families to consider how affording a Priory education will affect their family's financial situation.
  • What if I am separated, divorced, never married, or have re-married?

    Like many independent schools, Priory understands that the primary responsibility for financing an independent school education falls primarily on the family. This responsibility requires both parents and legal guardians, including step-parents, to contribute their child's educational costs. In practice, this understanding means that both custodial and non-custodial parents are required to complete the financial aid application.
     
    If the non-custodial parent has no involvement in the child's life, a letter from a third party (outside of the family) is required to petition for a waiver.
  • What if we might need financial aid in the future?

    We recognize that life circumstances may cause families to need aid to keep their child enrolled at the Priory. However, barring an unusual change in financial circumstances, families should not plan to apply for aid if they did not initially apply as a part of their admissions application to the School.
  • Will our financial aid award change from year to year?

    Financial aid grants are awarded annually, and enrolling families will see their financial aid award disclosed in their Enrollment Agreement. Families are also required to reapply for financial aid annually if aid is needed in the following school year.
     
    Unless there is a significant change in a family's financial circumstance, families should expect to receive consistent levels of financial aid.
  • Can international students apply for financial aid?

    Woodside Priory's boarding program is distinctive in intimate size and student diversity. While we can consider international students who may need need-based financial aid, international applicants should remember that financial aid grants are highly competitive. For all international students, the request for financial aid will be considered in the admissions process. Priory does not award merit-based (based on academic qualifications or other talents) scholarships. International students must complete the financial aid application like other students wishing to be considered for financial aid.

Financial Aid Deadlines for New Families

New applicants to Priory wishing to be considered for financial aid should note the following important dates:

  • October 1, 2022 – Financial Aid application goes live through Clarity
  • January 12, 2023 – Financial Aid applications due
  • January 12, 2023 – Supporting documents due 
Financial aid decisions are only released to families offered admission.
 

Financial Aid Renewal Deadlines

Families currently receiving financial aid should remember the following dates:

  • December 14, 2021 – Parent Financial Statement (PFS) due for returning Priory families only
  • December 14, 2021 – 2020 Federal Tax Returns (Form 1040) completed and uploaded into SSS
  • February 18, 2022 – 2020 Federal Tax Returns (Form 1040) completed and uploaded into SSS
Financial aid awards will be released in the Enrollment Agreement during the re-enrollment process.
 

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