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Financial Aid and Scholarships

For many, the cost of higher education will loom as a major issue, and financial planning will be a significant item on a family’s college selection agenda. Before the close of 11th grade, students and parents/guardians need to have frank discussions about the amount of money that the family is willing and able to contribute to the cost of higher education.

Although some colleges and universities offer “merit-based aid” or scholarships based on merit or talent, most financial aid awarded by colleges is based on demonstrated family financial need. This is called “need-based aid.” Because of the discrepancies in financial aid awards from one college to the next, students seeking need-based aid are urged to apply to a variety of colleges. We strongly urge students applying for financial aid to apply to their state institutions and other less expensive options.

Be aware of the following points when researching financial aid policies at specific institutions:

  • We encourage utilizing online calculators to gain a sense of what a family will be expected to contribute towards a college education.

  • Beware! A family that receives financial aid from Phillips Academy does not automatically qualify for aid in college. Many PA families are surprised by the relatively small sum of college financial aid for which they qualify.

  • International students: There are extremely limited funds available at most colleges in the United States for international students who require financial aid, and competition for these funds is intense. International students who require aid should consult with their college counselors at the earliest opportunity. Permanent residents need to have “green cards” and alien registration numbers in order to qualify for federal financial aid consideration.