School and Students Services (SSS)

"School and Students Services (SSS)" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Saturday 23rd July 2011

The lengthy, anguished post in the Private Schools Forum about the SSS (School and Student Services) touches on a subject most private school parents are familiar with, namely, financial aid. Most schools do not award financial aid simply because you ask for it and/or need it. They use an independent agency like the SSS which is run by the National Association of Independent Schools to assess your need.

The School and Students Services (SSS) uses a formula nationally accepted among independent schools to analyze need and provides a preliminary estimate of a family's ability to contribute to educational expenses. SSS provides Mid-Pacific with a report of the family's finances. Your school uses the "estimated parental contribution" figure from SSS to rank the relative need of the family applying for our limited financial aid resources.

There is no preset income figure that qualifies a family for aid. Numerous factors are considered in determining need - family size, assets, debt, number of children in tuition-charging schools or colleges, as well as care responsibility for an elderly parent. The school looks at the application, and it differentiates between necessary expenses and money spent for lifestyle choices. The school does not provide financial aid to make up for "lifestyle" expenditures that could have been directed to education.

To receive a copy of the SSS report, request a Family Report (Code 9000) on the PFS in the section to order reports. This SSS Family Report would provide your "Estimated Family Contribution" amount that Mid-Pacific Institute uses to rank those applying for financial aid. (The annual tuition minus the estimated family contribution is not the amount that Mid-Pacific can necessarily provide in financial aid.)

In addition to submitting the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS), many schools require that you submit additional forms. It is imperative that you submit all required forms and meet school deadlines so that you don’t negatively impact schools’ financial aid decisions.

You should consider filing the PFS Online at www.sss.nais. org. The fee for applying online is $35. If you cannot afford either fee, contact the school to which you are applying for information about the SSS Fee Waiver Program.

Enter the complete name, state, and SSS code number of each school or organization to which this application is to be sent. If entering more than six (6) schools or organizations, complete the Additional School Request form in the instruction booklet. To receive a Family Report, use code 9000.

While some forms will be school-specific, this page lists SSS forms you may be required to submit as well as helpful resources. School and Student Services (SSS by NAIS) is a comprehensive financial aid management service, devoted to helping schools help families. Schools and families can access SSS resources and the Parents' Financial Statement on the SSS website at sss.nais.org.

If you have specific questions about completing these forms contact customer service assistance related to financial aid services, families and schools may call 800-344-8328 (Mon-Fri: 9 am - 8 pm. Sat: 9 am - 4 pm). Families can also e-mail s...@nais.org. Schools can e-mail sss-...@nais.org.

Following the instructions in the Financial Aid Application Packet, you must also mail the required IRS forms to SSS as part of the application. Follow the instructions in the Financial Aid Application Packet to complete and mail the application, along with all required forms and documents, to SSS.