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Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions
What are Bellarmine's tuition and fees?
Tuition for 2012-2014 is $13,220.
Books and Materials - $400-$700
Campus Ministry Retreats - $40-$125
Computer Literacy - $15
Music Classes (Choir & Band) - $12
Yearbook - $60
Activity Card - $20
Lunch (drink and entree) - $4.25 per day
What are the payment options?
The Board of Directors' policy is to have tuition pre-paid. The first 10% of tuition is due by April 30 and is non-refundable. Tuition is billed as follows:
*10% billed on Mar 31 - due by Apr 30 (New Students due at registration)
* 30% billed on May 31 - due by Aug 31
* 30% billed on Aug 31 - due by Nov 30
* 30% billed on Nov 30 - due by Feb 28
A benefit to families is the "budget plan." Any family may request to pay their tuition over a nine month payment schedule rather than the three payment periods. Arrangements for extended payments are made through the Financial Aid Office at 253-761-3529, or email Mary Graves.
Financial Aid: Investing in Your Child's Future
Bellarmine is committed to enrolling students from diverse economic and social backgrounds. As part of that commitment, the school has established a program of financial aid for families. The school plans to allocate $2,100,000 of financial aid for the 2012-2013 school year. Thirty-five percent of Bellarmine families receive some sort of financial aid. Bellarmine's average grant is $5,779.
Should our family apply?
Each family's set of financial circumstances is unique. The most helpful guideline comes from your own knowledge of your family's finances. A good rule of thumb is: if in doubt, apply. So many factors are considered that there is no workable "filter" for determining in advance who might receive financial aid.
Few families find it "easy" to pay private school tuition. Most adjust their spending priorities, maximize both parents' earnings, and carefully manage assets to do so. Some will need financial assistance no matter how carefully they fine-tune family finances. We would like to provide guidelines to help you decide whether to apply for aid, but we have found that each family's combination of circumstances is unique. The most helpful guideline comes from personal knowledge of your family's finances. Can you find a way to pay roughly $1,300 each month for 10 months for your student's education? If not, you may be a candidate for financial aid.
The chart below is intended to provide guidance as you consider the possibility of adding Bellarmine's tuition to your household expenses. If, after reviewing your situation and the information below, you feel you will need assistance but are uncertain whether you will qualify, it is generally best to apply.
Financial Aid Awards for 2012-2013
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% of Financial Aid Recipients
0 - $50,000
$50,001 - $80,000
$80,001 - $110,000
The following programs are available:
1. Grant: Some grants are restricted to students who meet the criteria set by the donor. Other grants are from a general fund for families in need. Athletic scholarships are not offered.
The Fulcrum Foundation also offers a $1,100 (2012-13) grant to the most needy families. Each year, Fulcrum gives hope to many families throughout Western Washington who understand the value of a Catholic education and desire that their children are able to benefit from the experience. Through the tuition assistance program, Fulcrum provided grants of $1,100 to nearly 1,000 students for the 2012-13 academic year.
2. Work Study: The Work Study Program offers students the opportunity to apply for an on-campus job ($9.04 per hour). Work Study is offered as a portion of the financial aid award.
How much financial aid is available?
Bellarmine's Board of Directors has made a real commitment to our financial aid program. At this point about 13% of our operating budget is allocated to Financial Aid. The school plans to allocate $2,100,000 of Financial Aid for the 2012-13 school year.
Which costs are covered?
Only the cost of tuition is considered. Separate scholarships are available for specific activities such as Campus Ministry retreats.
What happens if the aid is not enough for a family?
Parents should then write a letter to the Financial Aid Committee requesting additional aid. This may require an appointment to discuss further assistance. The school has pledged to give aid where needed, limited to funds available.
What is the basis for financial aid?
All financial aid is awarded on the basis of a family's ability to pay.
Who decides my ability to pay?
Parents submit a financial report to Private School Aid Service (PSAS), in Lakewood, OH, an organization serving the financial aid departments of many private schools, including Bellarmine Prep. PSAS applies a standardized method of evaluation that considers income, assets, extraordinary expenses, and some forms of indebtedness. These are factored in with family size, the number of children attending tuition-charging schools, and the years remaining to retirement for parents, to determine the family's discretionary income. PSAS sends the confidential evaluation back to the school. This report suggests the amount the family should be able to contribute to the child's education. In general, the higher the discretionary income, the higher the family's contribution. The Bellarmine financial aid office then makes a specific award of financial aid and work study.
Does Bellarmine offer other types of aid?
Will applying for financial aid affect my application for admission?
No. Financial information is not given to the Admissions Committee, and the Admissions Committee is not involved in financial aid decisions.
Financial aid at Bellarmine is awarded based on family need. We do have the following scholarships:
Minority Leadership Opportunity Scholarship: The Tacoma Urban League and Tacoma Ministerial Alliance, in conjunction with Bellarmine Prep grants five $1,000 Minority Leadership Opportunity Scholarships to minority students over any need-based financial aid and are renewable for each year they attend Bellarmine. All minority students will receive a letter in early February inviting them to apply for the scholarship.
Saint Robert Bellarmine Scholarships: PRIDE sponsors the Saint Robert Bellarmine Scholarship. The committee will award five $1,000 scholarships to 9th grade applicants who initially are screened using the following criteria: score 98th percentile or better on the ACT Explore exam and have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average from middle/junior high school.
I know another family at my school makes much more than I do, but they were granted a scholarship and I wasn't. How can this be?
There are many factors beyond earnings that are considered by the need assessment formula. These include family size, number of children at private schools, age of parent, assets available to the family, etc.
How do I begin the process?
How can I get information and advice if I need it?
If you need help assessing your circumstances as you decide whether to apply for aid, or with any part of the financial aid process, please call the Financial Aid Office at 253-761-3529, or email Mary Graves at GravesM@bellarmineprep.org.
Facts About Financial Aid