Affording an Atrium Education
Since its founding, Atrium has been committed to providing access to independent education for as many students as possible. While paying for schooling is primarily a family's responsibility, we work toward having a community of families with economic diversity, and over 30% of our families receive some level of need-based financial aid.
Who is eligible for financial aid?
Families who demonstrate financial need are eligible for aid. A family’s ability to pay tuition is determined by several factors, including household income, assets, and number of household members.
How does financial aid work?
Financial aid is completely based on need. Some families receive a small percentage of the tuition and some a large percentage of the cost. Atrium makes a commitment to continue aid for returning students whose families remain within the eligibility guidelines. As family circumstances change, and our financial aid budget changes, awards are adjusted yearly up or down.
Along with 2,200 other independent schools, Atrium uses School and Student Service (SSS) of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to evaluate a family’s financial situation because it provides an objective, third party assessment of need. Based on information you provide, the SSS assessment guides us in understanding your financial capacity to afford tuition costs and helps us to allocate funds equitably.
Each year Atrium receives more requests than our budget allows us to provide. Although a family may clearly demonstrate need – and Atrium recognizes that need – we cannot guarantee that financial assistance will be available. Please note that according to our policy, all families are required to contribute toward the tuition of their child(ren) throughout their time at Atrium. Tuition is never covered at 100%.
Sometimes the amount that SSS determines a family can afford is either a negative number or a minimal amount, and the family suggests a notably different amount they can contribute. In this instance, we ask for more information so that we can understand where funding will come from and whether it is sustainable.
All financial aid applications are then reviewed by a committee, and grants are made depending on family need and our budget. We notify families of their award along with admission decisions. Families then have a period of time, to be determined by the application date, to accept the award. Applications for financial aid received after the January 13 deadline are considered, if funds remain available.
How do we apply?
1. Complete a Parent’s Financial Statement (PFS) and a Business/Farm Statement, if applicable, online at sss.nais.org/parents/ by January 13.
• Our school code to enter on the SSS site is: 1422.
• For divorced or separated families, a form from both parents is required.
• A $42 non-refundable fee is required.
3. Upload the following required documents to SSS by January 30:
• 2015 Tax Return
• 2016 Tax Return
We realize that some families will not have completed 2016 taxes by January 30th. If this is the case, please submit all other supporting documents as soon as possible, and the 2016 taxes when they are completed. If an award is granted in such instances, it is done so contingent upon receipt of all required documents.
Applications for financial aid are held in the strictest confidence.