Paul Sullivan at the Times covers the strangely inconsistent and subjective ways fancy private schools dole out financial aid to prospective students. In a world where tuition is so expensive even parents who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year apply for financial aid — and get it! — each school has its own system, and lemme tell you, it ain’t no FAFSA.
Not all debt is the same. Mr. Marshall said he did not look favorably on a family with $100,000 in credit card debt but was more sympathetic to a family that has run up medical debt or is paying for an elderly relative to live with them.
…If the money isn’t tied up in [a college savings] plan, his school expects one-eighth of college savings to be available toward a ninth-grader’s tuition.
Parents’ lifestyle matters. In some cases, where parents have contested an award, Mr. Marshall said he has gone so far as to ask them to show him a monthly budget.
Even the plain old DAY schools are fighting similar battles:
In the more affluent areas, parents sometimes need a reminder of what constitutes need. “You cannot be a member of a country club,” said Molly King, head of Greenwich Academy, a prestigious all-girls school from prekindergarten to 12th grade. “You shouldn’t have a second property, a boat, expensive vacations.”