Financial Aid FAQ

Many families have questions about financial aid or about the financial aid application process. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have additional inquiries, please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions and we would be happy to assist you.

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. How does financial aid work at CSW?

    The CSW Financial Aid Office awards grants to students once they have been admitted to the school, based on demonstrated financial need.
    The Financial Aid Committee furthers the school’s mission by enabling as many qualified students as possible to attend the school and by supporting the school’s commitment to the diversity of our student population. Because funds are limited and many families of our new applicants and returning students qualify for assistance, the committee cannot aid every qualified family, nor can it meet demonstrated need in every case. 

    All financial aid information is confidential. The committee does not release information submitted to it under any circumstances. Reciprocally, it is the school's expectation that each family receiving a financial aid award keep the grant amount and related details in confidence.
  • Q. Does applying for financial aid affect admission to CSW?

    No, a student's financial need does not influence admission to CSW. Financial aid applications are processed after admissions decisions are made, so that financial circumstances do not affect a student’s admission to CSW.
  • Q. Who should consider applying for financial aid?

    Financial aid is designed for families who need assistance with tuition after they have incorporated all other resources into their planning for educational costs. Financial aid is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent, “green card” residents.

    It may be helpful to review our Family Contribution Chart, which provides a snapshot of income ranges and the number of families paying a variety tuition amounts.
  • Q. How does the Financial Aid Committee determine need?

    Along with about 2,300 other U.S. independent schools, CSW evaluates all data received through a nationally standardized system for analyzing need offered by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS). In addition, the school reviews the data supplied by the family, and balances its own determination of financial need with available funds when allocating grants.
  • Q. How and when do I apply for financial aid?

    To apply for aid, both custodial and noncustodial parents* must complete a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). The PFS should be completed and submitted online to the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) at, and list CSW as a recipient. SSS will process your information and send us their estimate of your family’s expected contribution for education. Parents of returning students must submit a PFS by January 15, while parents of applicants are required to submit it by February 1.

    When beginning your online PFS at, you will be given a username and password that will allow you to return to your PFS at a later date before submitting it.

    Once you have completed your PFS, you will be given instructions about submitting verification documents. CSW requires that you submit copies of original, signed federal tax form 1040, all schedules, 1099s, and W-2 forms (for parents and student). Please submit tax information for the prior, prior year preceding the financial aid application (applicants for aid for the 2019-20 school year would submit 2017 tax documents). You should submit these forms directly to SSS, not to CSW. For new families, these forms must be uploaded by February 1.

    When all deadlines have been met, new students are notified of the Financial Aid Committee’s decision by letter soon after March 10, which is the CSW Admissions Office’s earliest notification date for newly accepted students. Returning students’ families will be notified during the re-enrollment process.

    * If the parents of the student are separated, divorced, or never married, additional information can be found under the FAQ: "What about financial aid if I am separated, divorced or never married?"
  • Q. What about applying for financial aid after February 1?

    The Financial Aid Office acts on late financial aid applications once it receives your Report of Parental Contribution from SSS and your tax data. Available funds quickly become depleted as the spring and summer progress, and many families must be placed on our financial aid waiting list.
  • Q. What is the likelihood of receiving financial aid?

    Completing a financial aid application is the only certain way to learn if your family qualifies for assistance and, if so, for what amount. The school’s financial aid awards amount to approximately 18 percent of the school’s gross tuition revenue. About 25 percent of our families receive financial aid.
  • Q. What about financial aid if I am separated, divorced or never married?

    CSW views financial responsibility for education as a matter of both parents’ ability to pay, not their willingness to do so. The Financial Aid Office considers the financial resources and obligations of all living parents, stepparents, and domestic partners, and requires that all parties submit required information before it makes financial aid decisions. In determining financial aid grants, the Financial Aid Office is not bound by disclaimers of financial responsibility or by legal arrangements that may bind either parent.

    The CSW Financial Aid Office asks that the custodial parent communicate with the noncustodial parent about all financial aid matters. CSW does not act as an intermediary between parents.
  • Q. Will my financial aid continue in subsequent years?

    To maintain the integrity of the financial aid process and to meet standards of federal and state tax codes, the family must reapply each year. If the family’s financial position remains constant, the Financial Aid Office makes every effort to support approximately the same level of educational costs from one year to the next. Financial aid grants may not be renewed if the family’s school account is not paid in full.
  • Q. How can I obtain further financial aid information?

    For further information, please see the complete Financial Aid Policies and Procedures or call the Financial Aid Office, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 781-642-8650.
The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.