University School of Jackson

Affording USJ

Affording USJ

At USJ, we realize that choosing an independent school education is a commitment and a substantial investment for your child’s future.  We strive to meet the financial need of all of our families, and because of that, we offer a need-based financial aid policy.  Need-based aid is the difference between what it costs to attend USJ and the family’s ability to pay.  While we attempt to meet a percentage of need, no child receives a full tuition.

 

Our Financial Aid Committee uses SmartAid to provide an analysis of each applicant’s finances.  Factors such as household income and expenses, assets and debt, and the number of children in a school that requires tuition are all considerations in determining awards.  These awards are available to qualified students in grades Kindergarten – 12.  

 

Financial Aid Facts

• USJ awarded over $500,000 in financial aid in 2019

• 120 students received financial aid in 2019-2020

• Anyone in grades K-12 may apply for financial aid

• Financial aid does not cover additional fees for books, dining services, uniforms, overnight field trips, or required technology in 4th - 12th.

 

Steps to Applying for Financial Aid

Access Application: https://smartaidforparents.com 

School Access Code:  We do not use an Access Code

Application and Supporting Documents Due Date: July 31, 2020 

Eligible Grades:  Kindergarten through 12th Grade

Application Fee: $35 

Required Supporting Documentation 

Applications submitted without documentation will not be processed. 

- Most Recent Paystubs. 

- Most recent W-2 forms for all jobs.

- Most recent filed federal tax return (1040).

- Most recent filed business tax return: 1120, 1120S, 1065 (if applicable).

- Supplemental income documentation: Social Security income, Welfare, Food Stamps, Child Support, 1099-M Forms, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment, Veterans Benefits, Housing Allowance, etc.

- If you are unable to provide any of the aforementioned items, please submit a Special Circumstance Letter indicating which document(s) you are unable to provide and why. This information will be shared with your school for consideration. 

 

Creating Your Account 

Please visit https://smartaidforparents.com and create your account by entering your primary email address as your username. Smart Aid will use this email address to contact you in the event that your application is “On Hold” for missing documentation. Once you create your username and password, you will receive a verification email. Next, please click the verification link to verify that you are the account holder, and you will then be able to log in using the username and password you created. Please be advised that if you do not click the verification link that is sent to your email address, you will not be able to log in or reset your password. 

 

Submitting Documentation 

Documentation should be submitted at the time the application is completed. Please be advised that each document must be uploaded separately under the appropriate document type in order for your application to automatically move into the “Documents Received” status, and ready for review. 

Direct Upload: https://smartaidforparents.com
(login with your username and password) 

 

Notification of Financial Aid 

Once your application is processed, a financial aid recommendation will be forwarded to USJ.  This can take up to two weeks and will then be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee. If you have not received notification regarding financial aid, contact Erin Wagner at 731-300-3655. 

 

Online Instructions 

1. Online Application 

Visit: https://smartaidforparents.com 

 

2. Section 1 – Household Information 

Parent/Guardian: Enter the parent or guardian’s contact information. Be sure to add both parents if married.

Dependent: Enter all dependents that live in the household. 

For dependents in college, select the “attending another private school” status option. 

 

3. Section 2 – Selecting A School 

You can search by school name or by city, state and zip

 

4. Section 3 – Income & Expenses 

Enter any income the household receives; employment, business or supplemental. If the work status is selected as ‘employed’, ‘self-employed’, ‘unemployed, receiving benefits’, or ‘disabled, receiving benefits,’ you will be required to enter this income source in the appropriate section before moving through the application. Please enter all expenses as they pertain to your household. 

 

5. Section 4 – Assets & Debts 

Enter all assets and debts as they pertain to your household. 

 

6. Section 5 – Special Circumstances 

Check off any special circumstance that pertains to your household. If no option available best describes your household’s circumstance, please check ‘other’ and describe your situation. This information is confidential and will only be available to designated School Administration and Smart Aid staff. 

7. Section 6 – Submit 

Agree to Smart Aid’s terms and conditions, then click SUBMIT to complete your online application. 

Please be sure to enter all fields with accuracy. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW IS FINANCIAL AID DETERMINED?

Our Financial Aid Committee uses SmartAid to provide an analysis of each applicant’s finances.  Factors such as household income and expenses, assets and debt, and the number of children in a school that requires tuition are all considerations in determining awards. The Financial Aid Committee uses the estimate of need calculated by SmartAid as a guideline in granting aid. 

 

DOES FINANCIAL AID HAVE TO BE PAID BACK?

USJ awards financial aid based upon the financial need of a family. This does not need to be paid back and is used to offset tuition costs. The money for financial aid comes directly from the school’s budget and demonstrates the school’s commitment to having a socio-economically diverse student population.

 

DO I HAVE TO REAPPLY EACH YEAR?

Yes. Because a family’s financial situation may change from year to year, awards may be adjusted if a family’s financial circumstances change significantly. However, as long as a student remains enrolled at USJ, financial aid will be renewed based upon demonstrated need. USJ requires that accounts be current in order for a family to be eligible for financial aid. 

 

HOW MUCH FINANCIAL AID MAY I EXPECT TO RECEIVE?

Each applicant is treated individually. The amount offered is determined after the SmartAid application has been processed.   

Awards are granted without regard to race, religion, or national origin.

 

DOES THE SCHOOL OFFER TUITION PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes. There are payment plans and options that USJ offers. Please contact our Business Office at 731-300-3655 for more information.

 

ARE THERE ANY OBLIGATIONS FOR STUDENTS WHO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID?

Any student receiving financial aid must maintain good academic standing and adhere to the “Code of Conduct” published in the USJ handbook.

 

WHO SHOULD COMPLETE THIS AID APPLICATION?  

Married parents need to submit one application with both parents information included within it.  For unmarried, separated or divorced families each parent will need to file their own application in order for it to be reviewed by USJ.

 

WHY DO I NEED TO INPUT MY SPOUSE'S INFORMATION IF I AM REMARRIED AND THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY CHILD? 

Smart Aid’s calculation works off of the total household income, therefore including all income, whether the party is legally responsible for your children or not. Our system however, does take into effect your spouse’s expenses as well as their income. It is important to list all expenses that are asked of within the application.

 

I DO NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED TAX DOCUMENTS. HELP! 

Include the most recent tax documentation you have available. If you are asked for a specific line from a tax document that you have not yet completed, please estimate the projected amount.

 

WHAT IF I WANT TO EDIT MY APPLICATION? 

Once an application has been submitted and paid for it can no longer be edited by a parent. However, if changes are necessary a written statement with the change (including the application ID), should be sent to [email protected]


 

Smart Aid Contact Information 

Phone Support: (800)-360-8027 

Email Support: [email protected] 

Once logged into your account, click the icon in the lower right corner of your screen to live chat with us. 

 

 

What if I have more questions about financial aid?

Contact our Business Office at 731-300-3655.

For More Information

Laura Moore
Director of Admissions

[email protected]

Erin Wagner
Accounts Receivable Coordinator, Human Resources

[email protected]

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