Financial Aid Methodology


Alexander Dawson School is committed to providing over $1.3 million of need-based financial aid each year to new and returning families.  We understand that a Dawson education is a significant investment, and the mission behind financial aid to give all families, regardless of their ability to pay, the opportunity to attend.  Because the money allocated to families is not a loan, we do not ask for repayment. 

The financial aid program at Dawson School is guided by the belief that parents have an obligation to pay the educational expenses of their children to the extent that they are able.  A financial aid budget exists to fill the gap between the actual cost of tuition and what a family can realistically be expected to pay toward this cost. The methodology used to determine the parental contribution considers many factors, including, but not limited to, assets, liabilities, age of parents and children, family size, and the number of students in tuition-charging schools.


Dawson School and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) work within defined principles of good practice.  In these principles, independent schools are given latitude as to what guidelines inform and determine financial aid decisions. There are specific financial aid guidelines that Dawson has established in order to keep family contributions equitable and consistent. Dawson’s guidelines consist of the following:

To qualify and receive financial aid, both parents must be employed—unless it is not medically possible, there are extenuating circumstances, or if the parent(s) has/have a child under the age of six. If a parent chooses not to work, the School will impute an income for that individual.

Business owners are required to complete all necessary forms required by TADS. Please note that TADS will ask for all supporting tax information, as these forms are part of the financial aid process.

In the case of financial aid, the matter of divorce or separation of parents is a difficult one. Dawson will consider the assets and obligations of both natural parents, if living, before making any award. If either parent has remarried, Dawson will consider also the assets and obligations of the step-parent, always bearing in mind the obligation of that step-parent to his or her own natural children. In view of this policy, it is necessary for both biological parents and their current spouses, if any, to fill out a separate TADS financial aid form, and it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to ask the non-custodial parent to fill out this form. 


Alexander Dawson School understands that financial aid is a sensitive issue for families and the School.  As such, Dawson adheres to strict guidelines safeguarding awards, families’ income taxes, and relative information.  The expectation is that families who receive a financial aid award will do the same and keep all information private – by not doing so, families run the risk of losing their award.