Financial Aid

Odyssey is committed to socio-economic diversity and equity; we annually offer a significant percentage of our student population tuition assistance.

We do our best to keep tuition low and offer financial aid in order to make an Odyssey education as affordable as possible. And, like all independent schools, the true cost of the Odyssey experience — small classes, personalized instruction, surrounded by a beautiful campus — far exceeds the tuition charged in full. As a non-profit, we raise funds annually, in part to support our commitment to these values.

If you think you might need assistance, please apply for aid. We will happily work with you to navigate the financial aid process and paperwork.

Odyssey’s Financial Aid applications are submitted through School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS) a third-party organization created by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to provide schools objective assessments of family financial information.

School and Student Services estimates the amount you can contribute to school expenses and forwards that estimate to the schools where you’re applying. It’s one form, for one fee, for any number of siblings, for any number of schools.

The Opportunity Scholarship provided by the NCSEAA offers direct tuition assistance for families, and is another way to help fund your Odyssey tuition.

How to Submit an Online Application for Financial Aid

To submit your online application to SSS, you will need:

  • Separate Parent Financial Statement (PFS) forms for any adult contributing to the household income
  • Signed copies of your most recent tax return(s)
  • W-2 forms and/or 1099 forms from the past two years
  • IRS Form 4506-T

If you have questions about the application forms, please contact our office at 828-259-3653 (M-F, 9 am – 4 pm).

Returning family applications (PreK and K-12) are due by February 8th, 2019 and new financial aid applications are due by March 1st, 2019. Award decisions take 4-6 weeks to determine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will applying for tuition assistance impact the admission decision for my child?
No. Our Admissions Committee does not use financial need as criteria for acceptance.
2. What does SSS do?
SSS uses a methodology to compute a family’s ability to pay for educational expenses for all children. Most independent schools use SSS.
3. How is the Family Contribution calculated?
The family contribution is determined through a methodology developed by SSS. This methodology takes into consideration gross taxable and non-taxable income, itemized deductions, assets, liabilities, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools. After accounting for required tax obligations and allowances for basic necessities, at a very modest standard of living, a portion of the family’s remaining resources are considered available for education on a sliding scale. It is assumed that higher incomes will have more discretionary financial resources available for education.
4. Do I reapply each year for tuition assistance?
Yes. Each student’s need is re-calculated annually. Therefore, parents are required to submit the PFS along with the other required documentation each year by the published deadlines.
5. If my family has received aid previously under the old process, do we have to re-apply using SSS?
Yes. Even if your family has received aid in the past, you must complete the PFS form through SSS to be considered for financial aid in the coming year. If your student is an Odyssey Scholar, s/he is exempt from this requirement.
6. If my family has historically paid full tuition, can we apply for financial aid in subsequent years?
We expect that families who begin by paying full tuition to the school will continue to do so unless unforeseen circumstances make that impossible. However, if your financial situation has changed significantly, you should apply for tuition assistance and include a detailed explanation of the change.
7. Does Financial Aid cover other costs beyond tuition?
While we try to minimize extra fees beyond tuition and publish all fees up front, we do generally ask families to contribute these dollars to help us cover extra costs for things like materials, technology, and experiential trips.
8. If we cannot pay the Family Contribution noted in the award letter, is there an appeal process?
Yes. Please notify Jen Stradling, Business Manager, at jstradling@odysseycommunity.org or 828-259-3653 of your request for an appeal and submit all written documentation that you feel may provide our Financial Aid Committee with additional insight into your financial picture. More than likely, you will be asked to set up an appointment to discuss, in detail, your particular situation and the circumstances for your appeal.
9. Is there a waiting list for Financial Aid?
Odyssey always has more students qualifying for tuition assistance than we have the ability to fund. In the event the funds become available, we will contact you.
10. I still have questions regarding this process and Financial Aid. Whom should I contact?
Jen Stradling, Business Manager. See question 8 for contact information.

 


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