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St. Mary's Academy

Financial Aid Policy

I. PROGRAM OVERVIEW
 
The purpose of the St. Mary’s Academy (SMA) Merit Scholarship & Financial Aid Program is to provide the students' families with financial support in order to ensure the academic success of their daughters. SMA is grateful to our donors and considers their contributions as investments in the academic achievements and successes of our students.
 
In the Merit Scholarship & Financial Aid Program, "Merit Scholarship" refers to funds granted based on merit, for example: academic recognition in a specific subject (math, science, arts, journalism, etc.), overall academic achievement, pursuit of a Career Path, academic qualifications based on donor designations, and other types of merit programs. "Financial Aid" refers to funds granted based on financial need and other donor designations. In some cases, students may receive both Merit Scholarship and Financial Aid.
 
All SMA Merit Scholarship & Financial Aid funds are from outside donor sources. The allocated amount from SMA's financial aid award letter includes the total funding the student will receive for the entire 2017-2018 school year, including awards from the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) and other donors.
 
Please note that the spring financial aid award letter reflects the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive during the school year. Students may be selected for donor funding after receiving the financial aid award letter in the spring. In these specific cases, the donor funding will be automatically included as part of their financial aid package as outlined in the financial aid letter.
 
II. MERIT SCHOLARSHIP STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Students who receive Merit Scholarship awards must adhere to the requirements as outlined below:

1. For entering 9th grade students: complete High School Placement Test on-site at St. Mary's Academy; and
2. Satisfactory Academic Standing with a GPA of 3.5 or above; and
3. Satisfactory Disciplinary Standing reflected by good citizenship grades (no unsatisfactory marks and not more than one Needs Improvement); and
4. Satisfactory Behavior Standing as outlined in student handbook and not on continuous Disciplinary Probation for more than a semester.

III. FINANCIAL AID & CEF STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Students' families are encouraged to apply for the CEF Financial Aid Program by submitting a complete Financial Aid application as well as a complete copy for on-site processing on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, to receive funding for the next academic school year. If the CEF application is COMPLETE with COMPLETE PROOF OF INCOME, along with a COMPLETE COPY of the tuition application for our St. Mary's tuition file, a family will be eligible to receive $100 off of the 2017-2018 registration fee. This applies to the CEF processing date of Wednesday, November 9, 2016 only. Please keep in mind, Financial Aid awards are not automatically renewed from year to year. A tuition application form must be completed and submitted on an annual basis.
 
Students who receive Financial Aid awards must adhere to the requirements as outlined below:

1. Satisfactory Academic Standing with a GPA of 2.0 or above; and
2. Not on Academic Probation for more than one semester; and
3. Satisfactory Disciplinary Standing reflected by good citizenship grades (no unsatisfactory marks and not more than one Needs Improvement); and
4. Satisfactory Behavior Standing as outlined in student handbook and not on continuous Disciplinary Probation for more than a semester.

IV. FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Submit a completed Financial Aid application and proof of income to the Development Office, along with a complete copy. Please remember to SIGN AND DATE the bottom of the last page. The following proof of income documents are required to receive Financial Aid through St. Mary's Academy (same requirements as for the Catholic Education Foundation):

A. Copy of 2015 W-2 forms and pages 1 and 2 of the 2015 Federal Income Tax Returns (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ)Unobstructed View of Page 1
 
a. If Parent/Guardian A and Parent/Guardian B file separately, both tax returns are required for the same tax year.
b. If the student is not a dependent on Guardian’s taxes, please provide taxes on which the student is a dependent. Please provide the supplemental sheet for dependents if names are not on Page 1 of Form 1040.
c. Copies of all supporting tax schedules if you have income from any of the following:

i. Business (Form 1040, Line 12 – Submit Schedule C or C-EZ: Page 1, 2 & Other Expense Page)
ii. Capital Gains (Form 1040, Line 13 – Submit Schedule D)
iii. Rental Property, Partnership, Trust (Form 1040, Line 17 – Submit Schedule E: Page 1 & 2)
iv. S-Corporation (Form 1040, Line 17 – Submit Schedule E: Page 2, Form 1120S)
v. Farm Income (Form 1040, Line 18 – Submit Schedule F: Page 1)
 
B. For Cash Income, please provide CEF Notarized Statement of Income (Requires a CEF Notarized Statement of Income signed and sealed by a Licensed Notary Public.)
C. Copies of all supporting documentation for household Non-Taxable Income: Social Security Income, CalWORKS: Welfare/TANF, Child Support, CalFresh: Food Stamps, Workers Compensation, Disability, Alimony, Section 8: Public Housing.
D. All official documentation to prove income and dependents on “LIST OF INCOME SOURCES” page of the application.

The deadline for submitting a MAIL-IN application to SMA to be considered for CEF funding for returning and new students is Monday, December 5, 2016.
This date is provided for families who missed the CEF on-site processing on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and these applications will NOT be part of the early bird $100 registration discount.
 
V. MERIT SCHOLARSHIP & FINANCIAL AID PROBATION

Upon the Development Office's receipt of a student's academic or disciplinary probationary standing from the office of the Dean of Students, the Development Office will forward written notification to the parent(s) or guardian(s). The notification letter sent will be either an Academic Probation letter and/or Disciplinary Probation letter. A student who fails to meet any one of the requirements for the Merit Scholarships & Financial Aid Program will be placed on probation.

VI. PETITION FOR ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL AID

Sometimes a family’s financial situation changes during the course of the school year. Under these extraordinary circumstances, a family may petition for additional financial aid. The process for additional financial aid begins with the Development Office and is reviewed by the Financial Committee. The final arbiter of decisions regarding financial aid is always the Principal of St. Mary’s Academy. Please note that the Principal's determination is final and may not be contested.

If you have any questions regarding the SMA Merit Scholarship & Financial Aid Program, please call Ms. Cynthia Haxton in the Development Office, at (310) 674-8470, ext. 229.