Financial Aid and FAQs


Steps for Applying for Financial Aid

1. Fill out the Parents' Financial Statement
2. Prepare your tax return and upload a copy to SSS.
3. Fill out and mail IRS form 4506-T to School Year Abroad



Go to, or click here, carefully read the instructions and complete the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) online. As you begin, be sure to write your PFS password and SSS PIN in a safe location.

  • Create your PFS Online account with your email address and a password. If you applied for financial aid last year, simply login to the PFS Online as a Returning Family, using the email address and password you set up last year.
  • Begin a PFS for Academic Year 2019-2020. You can log out of the PFS Online at any time, then return later to complete it.
  • After you have pressed submit, you'll be brought to a payment screen. The fee of $49 is nonrefundable. Once your PFS is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn from the SSS system.
  • After you pay for and submit your PFS, you'll have access in the PFS Online to a section called "My Documents." You can upload the additional documents we require there.

Be sure to note our full school name, School Year Abroad, and our school code, 7216, in the appropriate sections of the PFS.



Prepare your tax return as soon as possible. Then, upload to SSS  your signed and completed Form 1040 for the year 2018, including all schedules and W-2 forms. Tax returns must be received  by February 22, 2019. If you have not completed this year's tax return, please submit the most recent tax return and this year's W-2; but we will need your current year tax return to finalize any financial aid award.


Complete all sections of IRS Form 4506-T; date the document, sign and send it to SYA. Do NOT include a check with this form. SYA will pay the fee if we request information from the IRS. The form is available online at Select Form and instruction number (pdf) from the Download forms and publications menu. You can also click here for a pdf of the 4506-T form.

In order to be assured of full consideration as we begin to allocate funds, you must submit your completed application as soon as possible.
We will not be able to calculate aid until we have received all the required components of the financial aid application.

Please note: If the student's parents are divorced or separated, or were never married, each birth parent and spouse (that is, both households) must complete and submit the PFS, current Income Tax Return and IRS Form 4506-T before SYA can calculate an award.

Mail the IRS Form 4506-T to:
School Year Abroad
Financial Aid Office
120 Water Street, Suite 310
North Andover, MA 01845

How does School Year Abroad determine financial need?

SYA uses the guidelines established by the School and Students Service (SSS) for Financial Aid ( to determine a baseline range a family can contribute towards their child’s independent education.  Once completed, our financial aid committee then balances our fixed financial aid budget with the all of the identified requests and the total need.  While approximately half of our students receive awards, our limited budget means not every student with demonstrated need may receive an award (they can remain on our financial aid waitlist) and those that do receive awards may find they do not meet the full identified need. 

What if I haven't filed my taxes yet?

We understand that your 2018 Income Tax Return may not be prepared by our application deadline. Therefore, we ask you to estimate your tax information on the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), submit the most recent tax return available and this year's W-2. We must have a copy of your most recent Income Tax Return with schedules before we can confirm your financial aid scholarship award.

Can I appeal my financial aid award?

Families that feel the financial aid award does not accurately represent their financial circumstances may request an appeal.  Appeals should include any new information or materials that may not have been factored into the original submission and determination.  In order to initiate an appeal, parents should email the business office within 7 days of their initial award at   The business office will then review the new materials and determine if an adjustment is warranted based on the new information.

 SYA allocates out 100% of its financial aid budget when initial acceptance notifications are sent to provide families with the most complete view as to what their financial commitment would be.  Because of this, there is no FA funds held in reserve.  Any appeals that warrant a change in award are still dependent on initially distributed grants being returned to our FA pool to provide funds to support the appeals.


Will applying for financial aid affect my chance of being accepted?

No. SYA accepts students based on academic excellence and personal qualities, not on their ability to pay. We review applications for financial aid after students are accepted. Financial aid is limited however, so we cannot guarantee that all students who qualify will receive grants and some will be placed on a financial aid wait list.

What happens if parents are divorced or separated?

Both parents are expected to contribute to their child's education. Financial aid is based on ability to pay, not willingness to pay. Therefore, both parents must participate in the financial aid process. Both must submit a Parents' Financial Statement and supporting tax documents to School and Student Services.

I am receiving financial assistance from my child's school now, would I qualify for an award from SYA?

Families receiving need-based aid from their home schools normally do qualify for aid from SYA. However, we cannot answer this question definitively without seeing your financial aid application.

What other financing options are available?

There are a number of other options available which may meet your needs. National Association of lndependent Schools (NAIS) offers a list of vendors on their website, You can also view the NAIS Family Guide to Financial Aid here.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 978.725.6828.