Apply to vetted scholarship programs in one clickAdvertiser disclosure
Student-centric advice and objective recommendations
Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.
Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.
What is SSS Financial Aid?
For some students and their families, financial aid is key to helping them pay for private school. The School & Student Services (SSS) platform helps make the process of applying for financial aid easier. Read more about what SSS financial aid is and how it helps students access private school education!
What is SSS?
School & Student Services (SSS) is an organization that partners with private and independent K-12 schools to provide a financial aid platform. The SSS platform helps determine a family’s ability to pay private K-12 school costs. This service and process helps ensure that all schools use the same methods and objective procedures to evaluate the financial aid application.
What determines how much financial aid students receive?
K-12 schools use financial need to determine how much financial aid to provide to students. Therefore, to determine how much financial assistance is needed for a student, schools use the SSS computations to figure out how much a family can contribute.
The type of information a school needs to determine financial assistance may include:
- Family size
- Savings, investments, and other assess
- Children’s assets
- Medical, dental, and unusual health expenses
This information is collected on what is called the Parent’s Financial Statement (or PFS). The PFS is then shared with all of the schools the student wants to apply to. The PFS only needs to be filled out once and can be sent to multiple schools.
After calculating the difference between the resources that a family has and the cost of their tuition and fees, schools weigh the resulting financial need against their available financial aid funds.
What are some features of SSS?
Easy application monitoring
It is extremely easy to track an application’s progress on a personalized dashboard
Quick application delivery
Within one hour of submitting the PFS, the calculated family contribution will be available in a detailed student folder for viewing
Fast document verification
The average verification time for tax forms is 15 hours after the parent uploads
Steps to apply for financial assistance through the SSS platform
- Parents complete and submit a PFS
- SSS calculates a family contribution
- School of choice receives PFS and family contribution calculation
- Parents upload tax forms
- SSS verifies tax forms
- School of choice reviews student folders and makes award decisions
- School communicates award offers with parents
Related: Charter vs. private schools
Choosing which K-12 school to send your child to can be complicated. There are many choices involved, but we can help walk you through them. Those include choosing between private and public schools, and considering Montessori, charter, and parochial schools. You may also consider a boarding school or country day school. You’ll also want to help your child study for the SSAT and/or ISEE for admittance to private schools. Finally, be sure to check out our guide to private K-12 scholarships. Good luck!
Frequently asked questions about SSS financial aid
Why use SSS financial aid when you can get scholarships from other sources?
Does SSS offer financial aid to families?
How does the SSS program calculate a family’s ability to pay?
Through the PFS (Parents Financial Statement), SSS compiles the necessary financial information needed to estimate (after applying a formula) how much a family should contribute towards their child’s education .
The formula considers income, what is owned, what is owed, the size of the family, and how many family members are enrolled in tuition-charging schools or colleges.
SSS encourages schools to use their estimate to make their final determination about a family’s ability to pay. However, the final determination always comes from the school and not from SSS.