in Rockland Country Day’s mission is our dedication to creating an
inclusive community that mirrors the socioeconomic diversity of our
communities. Our Financial Aid Program is one of the most far-reaching
of any independent school, providing aid to over one-third of the
student body. Financial aid affirms our commitment to helping make an
RCDS education available regardless of a student’s economic means by
bridging the gap between what a family can pay and the cost of tuition.
RCDS offers financial aid grants to families based on demonstrated financial need. Each family receiving a tuition grant is expected to contribute positively to the school community, to maintain an acceptable academic standard, and remain current on all financial obligations.
The school uses TADS as a guide to achieving equity in measuring family needs. The application process includes the completion of an online (www.tads.com
Frequently Asked Questions About FINANCIAL AID
Q: Who may apply for financial aid?
Tuition Assistance is available to any family that is enrolled at RCDS or has applied for admission in Grades Kindergarten through 12; Pre-Kindergarten students are not eligible for aid.
Q: Does Rockland Country Day School give Scholarships?
No. We do not offer scholarships based on academic or extracurricular merit. The financial aid program is available only to those families with demonstrated need.
Q: Does applying for financial aid influence the admission decision?
Every year there are more applicants for financial aid than available funds. RCDS admissions decisions are not influenced by a family’s need for financial aid. It is possible, however, that there will not be sufficient funds for all students who are accepted.
Q: Is preference given to any particular group?
While currently enrolled RCDS students
and newly enrolling siblings receive priority, no other outside factor
affects the awarding of financial aid grants.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
The application process begins with the completion of an online form. Families are reminded that they must also submit a copy of the signed IRS 1040, all personal and business tax schedules plus W-2s, and signed Form 4506 to TADS.
All information related to the parents’ financial circumstances will be treated confidentially. These forms will only be used to arrive at a fair determination of financial need by the financial aid committee. The Head of School and Academic Dean are not members of the committee and have no input or influence on aid awards.
Q: How will filing IRS tax forms on April 15 or later affect a family's financial aid award?
Families are encouraged to complete the
TADS form as soon as possible by using information from the current
year. The tuition assistance award will be made using those documents;
however if there is any disparity between information submitted and
final tax filings, RCDS reserves the right to modify the award
accordingly. ALL TAX DOCUMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 15 OR
THE AWARD WILL BE RESCINDED. FAMILIES WHO WILL HAVE DIFFICULTY MEETING THIS DEADLINE MUST CONTACT THE HEAD OF OUR FINANCIAL AID COMMITTEE, VANESSA WASSENAR, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
Q: Why do you require a deposit before making a determination of financial aid?
We consider each family’s individual circumstances and then put
that analysis in the context of our other families’ financial strength
in an effort to achieve an equitable offer of aid. (We do not necessarily accept the TADS recommendations.) We therefore need to know that you are committed to your child’s attendance at RCDS in order for us to engage in the process of determining your aid package.
This process in independent schools is meant to discourage families from “aid shopping” – going from one school to the next to see who is offering the best “deal” on tuition. This isn’t fair to any of the schools who are doing their best to attract and retain students who are mission- appropriate. We would not be a good colleague to our sister schools if we put them in competition for families, knowing that families and schools have varying levels of financial strength based on endowment and/or tuition income.
Q: Why is my child’s seat not reserved once s/he has been accepted?
Admission and Enrollment are two separate events/processes. Until we receive a signed contract indicating your acceptance of our offer, your aid amount is reserved for you and unavailable to other potential candidates. Sometimes this works well and other times we lose students because we don’t have funds available at the moment of their consideration of RCDS. Your enrollment contract is the only way we know for certain that your child will be attending RCDS. We receive enrollment contracts on a
“first-come first-served” basis and reserve seats according to the receipt of those contracts.
Q: Will every admitted student eligible for financial aid receive it?
RCDS is unable to provide aid to every qualified student. However, students are never denied aid; rather, they are placed on the financial aid wait list in the hopes that funds will become available.
Families who apply to the school on the regular admission and financial aid cycle (June through February) have an increased chance of receiving aid.
Q: How does TADS calculate my family’s “contribution” or ability to pay?
Once a family submits its application to TADS, the process starts. All families are expected to make a payment of at least 20% of the cost of tuition, meaning that the maximum allowable award is 80% of tuition.
TADS uses a formula to estimate the resources your family may have available to pay school costs. Simply stated, the formula considers your income, what you own (your house and other investments), what you owe (your mortgage and other debts), the size of your family, and how many family members are enrolled in tuition-charging schools or colleges.
After making allowances for basic necessities, taxes, and certain other expenses, TADS determines the portion of your remaining funds which would be available to pay school costs. RCDS uses this information to inform its decision-making but will not necessarily use the figures TADS provides.
All information related to parents’ financial circumstances will be treated confidentially, as we expect our families to maintain confidentiality about their award(s).
Q: What costs does financial aid cover?
Financial aid grants only cover a portion of the cost of tuition. All families must pay at least 20% of the cost of tuition; our maximum award covers 80% of tuition. All fees or costs for after-school programs, field trips, busing, and other incidentals are the responsibility of families.
Q: What happens if the tuition aid grant is not enough?
Families may appeal a decision by submitting a written request to the
Financial Aid Committee. Include any information that will help the
committee to better understand your financial situation, such as monthly
expense, unforeseen changes in employment, or outstanding financial
Q: Is a financial aid automatically renewed each year?
RCDS supports the continued attendance of students through graduation, pending satisfactory academic performance and good citizenship. Families are required to submit an application each year they wish to receive a grant in order to demonstrate continued need.
Q: When will I be notified of my award?
Families will be notified as the committee reviews the files. Returning families receive priority in the allocation of aid so new families' packages are customarily awarded from mid-March through the end of April.
To apply for Tuition Assistance click here for our Tuition Assistance Application page.
For more information on the financial aid process and policy, please contact Vanessa Wassenar, CFO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tricia Mayer, at 845-268-6802 Ext. 206 or email@example.com