Financial Aid at CCS
The cost of tuition at CCS is a barrier to many families who would otherwise attend. As stated in our Social Justice Public Statement, one of our goals is “barrier-free access for families, leading to a diverse and representative school community.” We will know that we have achieved that goal when “any family in the neighborhood that wants to attend CCS has equal access to CCS” and “multiple funding streams (federal, state, grants, donations, tuition) allow equitable access to all families by supporting financial aid.”
Considerations for Financial Aid Decisions
Our vision is to provide enough financial aid to eliminate all financial barriers for families. However, we are limited in what we can afford to offer without damaging the finances of the school. We recognize there will always be more financial need in our community than we are able to meet. In deciding how to allocate limited financial aid resources, we are guided by the following priorities, in order:
- Financial aid must not compromise the financial well-being of the school.
- Financial aid must be distributed in a way that is equitable and that aligns with our social-justice goals.
- Financial aid should meet the needs of as many families as possible who would not otherwise be able to attend our school.
What financial aid do we offer?
Children’s Community School provides two categories of support for families with financial need:
- We accept child care subsidies through CCIS, which provides financial support to low-income families in paying for child care. (We are working to expand the subsidies we accept to include Philly Pre-K; it remains unclear when and to what degree we will be able to accept this fundring.)
- All families have the opportunity to apply for financial aid directly from CCS—see below for detailed information.
Families may apply for subsidies through CCIS at any time, before or after enrollment at CCS. Newly applying families who have already qualified for CCIS and already enrolled families who newly qualify for CCIS will be accommodated as our budget and enrollment allow. Note that between October and June it is rare for us to have open spots available for new enrollment. For questions about CCIS at our school, contact Jarrod.
We are working to expand the subsidies we accept to include PHLpreK; it remains unclear when and to what degree we will be able to accept this funding.
Financial Aid Process
Families who feel they cannot pay our full tuition are invited to apply for reduced tuition starting in January for the following school year. Financial aid applications are processed by TADS, the company that also process our applications for admissions and tuition payments; acceptance of financial aid applications and award decisions are handled purely internally at CCS according to our own policies. Financial aid applications are completely separate from admissions applications; neither has any bearing on the other.
Each application for reduced tuition costs us $34. Please apply only if you are committed to completing the entire process, as outlined below.
Each application requires an “access code.” Beginning in early January Stephanie will email the access code to each family who has indicated a need for financial support in their admissions application. If you would like to apply for financial aid and you have not received an access code, email Stephanie.
Children who live in multiple households must fill out one application per household.
When you click the “application” link below, you will be asked a variety of questions about your household finances and other matters, and you will be asked to provide documentation of your finances (pay stubs, tax forms, etc.). All the information is optional, but the more complete picture TADS can build of your finances, the more they can factor into your calculated need. There are a lot of questions, so we strongly encourage you to start by filling out the “worksheet” with the link below, which will help you gather the necessary documents and information before you begin.
TADS assigns each application a “quality score,” based on how much documentation of finances your family has provided to confirm the information you entered. Families missing substantial documentation will be contacted three times by TADS and once by CCS before final quality scores are given. If TADS cannot confirm the majority of the financial information, that application will be given a quality score of “poor”; CCS cannot accept applications with a quality score of “poor.” Families having difficulty gathering the necessary documentation should contact Jarrod.
In addition to financial questions, the application includes several questions to help us set priorities for allocating our financial support resources. In accordance with the goals of our Social Justice Initiative, our decision process prioritizes children with special needs, families with less educational privilege, families who have lived in our neighborhood for a long time, and families who have recently immigrated to the United States, as well as families with higher financial need. Additionally, we work to ensure that families who are already enrolled at CCS have the support they need to remain enrolled.
After you complete your application, you must upload, fax, or mail supporting documents to TADS within four days (though you can request an extension). The required documents are your tax returns and W2s, as well as your most recent pay stubs. You may optionally include a letter of special circumstance. Instructions for submitting those documents are provided at the end of the application.
Financial aid decisions for 2018-19 will be made during the month of February 2018. We will contact each family by email with a tuition offer. Families have 48 hours to accept or decline the offer.
If you have questions about the financial support process, contact Jarrod.
If you are ready to prepare your application for reduced tuition, use the TADS Worksheet to prepare your information before applying.
If you are ready to submit your application for reduced tuition, make sure you’ve received your access code from Stephanie, and then apply online—click the button below, then click on “Financial Aid Assessment” and use the login info from your CCS application.