TUITION ASSISTANCE


Stella Maris Academy, the parochial school for Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church,  is committed to offering tuition assistance to help make attendance at Stella Maris possible for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. In an effort to promote access to students who will benefit from an outstanding Catholic, academically challenging education, and whose contribution in and outside of the classroom will enrich the Stella Maris community, the school provides tuition assistance to qualified families. We understand there are sacrifices made to afford Catholic education, so we ask that you carefully consider your family’s financial circumstances before applying for Tuition Assistance as we receive more requests than we can fulfill.

Families are required to complete the FACTS Grant & Aid application by February 29, 2020 to be considered for tuition assistance. Applications for Tuition Assistance for the 2020-2021 school year will be available on January 1, 2020.

Tuition Assistance awards are determined by the relative financial need of each applicant, the size of the applicant pool and the amount of available funds. Students receiving tuition assistance are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Families are required to re-apply annually for tuition assistance. In addition, families experiencing a sudden change of life circumstances which necessitates financial support, are encouraged to reach out to the Business Office as soon as possible.
Stella Maris Academy is dedicated to making our enriching educational programs accessible to as many students as possible.

Please contact Julie Hollis, Business Manager and a member of the tuition assistance committee at jhollis@stellamarisacademy.org for assistance.

Process and Deadlines

All families seeking assistance are required to submit an application through FACTS Grant & Aid
The deadline for applications and 2019 tax returns to be submitted is February 29, 2020.
Completed applications submitted by February 29, 2020 will be given first priority for consideration for tuition assistance awards. If there are funds remaining, late and/or incomplete applications will be considered once all required documentation is received.
Please note: Incomplete applications will be considered late even if they are submitted by the deadline.
Stella Maris Academy school-specific application questions must be answered. If the questions are not answered, the application will be considered incomplete.
Applications must be submitted with a complete 2019 tax package in order to be considered. A complete 2019 tax package includes: all W-2s and/or 1099s, K-1s if applicable, federal return, state return, and all schedules (i.e. Schedule A, B, C, D, etc).
Taxes must be signed or documentation of e-file must be submitted with the taxes.
Stella Maris Academy admits students of any color, race, ethnic origin or faith to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of color, race, ethnic origin or faith in the administration of its educational policies, scholarships, financial aid programs, athletic and other school-administered programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I apply for Tuition Assistance before or after I apply for admission at SMA?

A. Both applications for admission and for tuition assistance must be completed by the posted deadline (February 29, 2020). Applicants are first reviewed by the Admissions Committee. The Tuition Assistance Committee evaluates all students who have applied for tuition assistance for need-based awards. Tuition assistance decisions are made available at the same time as the acceptance letter in April. If your forms and documentation are received after the deadline of February 29, 2020, your request for aid will only be considered if funds are still available.

Q. What type of financial aid does SMA offer?

A. SMA offers tuition assistance through the Stella Maris Academy Tuition Assistance Fund. A tuition assistance award is a grant towards tuition from the school that does not need to be repaid and is based on family need.

Q. How is tuition assistance determined?

A. SMA uses the FACTS Grant & Aid program to help us determine your family need and contribution to educational expenses. You will complete the FACTS Grant & Aid application and submit all required documentation. Stella Maris Academy’s Business Office will use the recommended results, along with your family documents (tax returns, related schedules and school-required questions), as a guide in determining your tuition assistance based on need. Tuition assistance awards are reviewed by the SMA Tuition Assistance Committee. Decisions regarding tuition assistance are made independently by the Tuition Assistance Committee within constraints of the budget.

Q. What are the deadlines?

A. Tuition assistance applications must be completed online through FACTS Grant & Aid and submitted with your tax documents by February 29, 2020. If you are a new student, tuition assistance award notification letters will be available at the same time as the acceptance notices. If you are a returning student, your tuition assistance award will be communicated to you along with your tuition agreement during registration.

Q. Do I need to apply again for aid the following year?

A. Yes. Tuition assistance is awarded year-by-year and is based on need. Families are required to complete a new application annually for tuition assistance. Tuition assistance awards may fluctuate to reflect changes in a family’s financial circumstances. Families experiencing a sudden change of life circumstances, which necessitates financial support, are encouraged to reach out to the Principal or Business Office as soon as possible.

Q. What if I am divorced or not living with my child’s other parent?

A. SMA requires that both parents be part of the application process for tuition assistance. We are aware that circumstances differ among separated or divorced parents and urge you to contact the Business Office if you have questions.