Financial Aid and FAQs

Steps for Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for financial assistance for School Year Abroad is a simple three-step process, and must be completed by February 14, 2018.

1. Fill out the Parents' Financial Statement
2. Prepare your tax return and send a copy to School Year Abroad
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 2018-2019. 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 Once your PFS is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn from the SSS system.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, send a photocopy of your signed and completed Form 1040 for the year 2017, including all schedules and W -2 forms, to School Year Abroad. Tax returns must be received in our office by February 28, 2018.


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 all required forms to:
School Year Abroad
Financial Aid Office
120 Water Street, Suite 310
North Andover, MA 01845

How does School Year Abroad determine financial need?

Financial need is the difference between the cost to attend School Year Abroad and the amount a family is able to pay. SYA uses the guidelines established by the School and Students Service for Financial Aid ( to help assess a family's ability to pay for independent education.

The SSS methodology considers the income, assets and expenses of both the student and the parents, and the education costs for all children attending tuition-charging schools. The goal of the Financial Aid Office at SYA is to ensure that each family's financial contribution towards tuition is feasible.

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.

Do you need my most current tax return? I usually file close to the deadline.

Yes. We understand that your 2017 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) and submit the most recent tax return available. 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 who feel they are unable to meet the financial expectations outlined in the financial aid award agreement may request a second review of their financial aid application.

In order to initiate the appeals process, the parent should email the Business Office at The request should include any additional information or materials that may not have been factored into the original submission that could impact the determination. This information should be sent to us within 7 days of the receipt of your award.

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.