Affording Oak Knoll
Oak Knoll’s Financial Aid program is designed to make a Holy Child education possible for all families based on demonstrated financial need and the availability of funds. We know that the total cost of an Oak Knoll education is significant, and are committed to making the experience affordable through our financial assistance program. Oak Knoll awarded over $2.8 million in financial aid to new and returning families for the 2022-23 school year.
Oak Knoll is proud to use the Clarity Application to determine a family’s level of financial need based on the information that families share in the application which includes assets, income, expenses, and debts. Clarity’s financial aid application for the 2023-2024 school year will be available by October 1.
To get started, you will go to the Clarity Application and create an account. The application typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete. The Clarity Application is also mobile-friendly so you can complete it from anywhere. You are also able to save your progress and return at any time. At the end of the application, there is a $55 fee to submit, and you can share your application with additional schools that accept the Clarity Application for no additional charge. Simply use the dropdown menu in the application to select those schools.
Please remember to return to your dashboard after you complete and submit your Clarity Application, as Oak Knoll requires you to upload additional tax documentation including copies of 1040s, W-2s, and recent pay stub.
Returning Oak Knoll families and Lower School applicants must submit their financial aid application by December 15. Supporting documents, including 2022 W-2s and December paystub, are due by January 25, 2023.
If you need support during the process of completing your application, there is in-app support available at email@example.com in both English and Spanish. The application itself is also fully translated into Spanish.
Click here to watch a recording of “Affording an Independent School and Completing the Financial Aid Application” webinar with the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. A copy of the slide deck can be found here, too.
Financial Aid FAQs
A: Oak Knoll’s admission process is need-blind, so a student’s financial need plays no role in the admission decision. Families apply for admission and financial assistance concurrently, but they are separate processes. All financial aid applications are kept strictly confidential and do not influence admissions decisions. However, the school has limitations on the amount of total financial assistance that can be granted, and not every student who may qualify for financial aid will receive an award. All financial assistance decisions are considered to be confidential agreements between Oak Knoll and the recipient family and must be treated accordingly by both parties.
A: The 2022-23 application for financial assistance will be available through Clarity by October 15, 2022. The application deadline is November 15. (Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed only if there are funds still available.) The online application for financial aid is separate from the admission application but should be completed concurrently. Families who complete the financial aid process by the necessary deadline will receive notification of an award within a few weeks of their letter of acceptance or re-enrollment agreement.
A: Any family in grades K-12 can apply for need-based financial assistance. In the 2021-2022 school year, approximately 20 percent of Oak Knoll students received financial assistance. Oak Knoll expects families applying for aid to use all available financial resources to contribute to their child’s education. These resources include, but are not limited to discretionary income, student assets, and support from relatives.
A: Oak Knoll uses the calculations provided by Clarity as a starting point in determining the financial aid award. Factors used in the calculation include, but are not limited to, income, assets, debt, medical expenses, educational expenses, retirement plans, alimony/child support, daycare/eldercare expenses, and other annual expenses. All adult family members are expected to participate in paying for tuition. This expectation is regardless of any legal agreements including custody, prenuptial, alimony, or child support. Please note that Oak Knoll is not able to fund the full financial need of every applicant, and families can expect to pay some portion of the tuition, even if they qualify for the full amount of tuition.
A: Any family in grades K-12, who feels they need financial assistance, is invited to apply.
Q: How does this process work for children with multiple households or who have only one parent/guardian?
A: In the case of parents/guardians who do not live together (e.g., divorced, separated, never married), each parent/guardian household must complete a Clarity application in order to be considered for a financial aid award. Oak Knoll expects that both parents and all adults who are financially responsible for a student contribute to the cost of a student’s education regardless of legal agreements. Resources from both parents and stepparents, regardless of custody or other legal issues, are considered when determining a family’s ability to pay. Oak Knoll awards a single grant to the student; it is the responsibility of the parents to determine a payment schedule.
A: As part of its calculation, Clarity takes into consideration any children at other tuition-charging schools and gives some allowance for those expenses. Oak Knoll expects families to apply for anyl financial funding available to them from schools their other children attend, including college/university. Oak Knoll excludes the cost of a parent’s schooling or siblings seeking graduate degrees from the determination of financial need.
A: Oak Knoll expects a family to use all available financial resources to contribute as much as they can to tuition. All parents are expected to be employed with the exception of a family with children under the age of five or caring for an elderly parent in their home. Oak Knoll will impute a salary for a non-working parent who does not qualify to be at home full-time.
A: In order to make fair, informed, and timely decisions for all families it is critically important to adhere to the established deadlines. However, when a family is unable to obtain all necessary tax information by the financial assistance deadlines, a provisional Form 1040 may be submitted. Of course, all awards will be subject to verification of the official Form 1040 information. Families who submit late applications for assistance may receive reduced awards, reflecting the remaining budget at that time.
Q: Do I need to reapply for financial assistance each year? Will my award be the same from year to year?
A: Every family must reapply for financial aid each year and meet all stated deadlines. If the current financial picture for a family changes, or if a family does not meet the application deadlines, it is possible that the amount of assistance awarded may be adjusted.
A: All financial aid information is highly confidential, and only seen by the Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid and members of the Financial Aid Committee. Members of the Financial Aid Committee know which families apply and will see the final award amount. Faculty members and other School employees are not privy to any financial materials, nor are they aware of which families apply for and receive financial assistance.
A: Families of enrolled students who do not currently receive financial aid should contact the Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Ais to inquire about applying for assistance if financial circumstances have changed.
A: Families who apply for assistance but do not qualify have several options, including a variety of payment plans. Additionally, low-interest loans are available. Please visit our Tuition webpage for more information.