Affording an Elisabeth Morrow School Education

Elisabeth Morrow School

The Elisabeth Morrow School is committed to enrolling the most qualified students, regardless of financial circumstances. 

One in four students receives some form of need-based financial aid. Tuition assistance is awarded on the basis of financial need and is distributed as equitably as possible based on an analysis of each family’s income, assets, and other relevant financial criteria. ​​While we try to be as generous as possible, we maintain that each family bears the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education costs. As such, we expect that each family will fund the child’s education to the extent that they are able and our financial aid program is designed to assist families after they have considered all of their own resources. This expectation is in keeping with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Principles of Good Practice.

Applying for Financial Aid

EMS uses a service called SSS that provides need-based tuition assistance analysis, including a recommendation of what a family can reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information provided to SSS on the financial aid application is kept strictly confidential.

Each application is given individual consideration by the Financial Assistance Committee, based on information that parents provide on their SSS Financial Aid application.  Admission and tuition assistance decisions are made independently of each other, but the process happens simultaneously. 

Please note that if you don’t receive financial aid in your child’s initial year, you will need to wait two years before applying again, as it can be difficult to allocate financial aid in our budget once we have already committed support to families. We will strive to make exceptions in the event of any unforeseen hardships that result in a significant change in a family’s available income or assets.

  • Nov. 1, 2021 — SSS financial aid application for the next academic year becomes available.
  • Jan. 8, 2022 — Financial aid application deadline. Applications may be filed even if taxes are not complete.
  • April 30, 2022 — Final prior year tax forms must be filed with SSS.

Applications received after Jan. 8, 2022 will be considered on an individual basis. Qualified families who complete their files after the deadline may not receive an award due to the limitations of the tuition assistance budget.

How do I apply?

Complete and submit the SSS Financial Aid Application with supporting documentation listed below prior to the Jan. 8 deadline. Additional documents may be required depending on your family’s circumstances.

  • Household members’ most recently completed federal tax forms (personal and business owned)
  • W-2s from each job held by household members
  • Most recent pay-stub from each job held by household members
  • Documents that establish the amount of additional monthly or yearly income you currently receive

Financial assistance decisions are awarded upon acceptance.

When will I find out about my financial aid award?

Financial assistance decisions are awarded upon acceptance. New students will receive notification of their award with their acceptance letter.

What is the cost of an EMS education?

Grade LevelTuition
Early Childhood programs (Ages 2–4)$29,500
Kindergarten$31,300
Grades 1–2$39,675
Grades 3–4$41,585
Grades 5–8$43,600
Other Fees:
Parents Association Dues: $330 per family
Tuition Refund Plan: 0.90% of tuition
Yearbook: $80 per student
Basic School Photo Package: $35
Grades 5–8 Textbooks/Supplies: $400
Grade 6–7 Extended Overnight Trip: $500 (health and safety conditions permitting)
Grade 8 Extended Overnight Trip and D.C. Trip: $1,000 (health and safety conditions permitting)
Optional Fees:
Lunch Program: Prices vary by selected entrée.
After School Child Care: $15/hour (up to 6 p.m.)
Other extracurricular activities and bus transportation are available for an additional fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for financial assistance?

EMS will consider all families who have demonstrated financial need. Financial need is defined as the difference between what it costs to attend EMS and a family’s demonstrated ability to pay. Requests for tuition assistance must be indicated at the time of application for admission.

How will my financial assistance award be determined?

SSS collects the family’s financial information on our behalf and makes a recommendation for a financial assistance award. The EMS Financial Assistance Committee evaluates each family’s recommended award based upon the demonstrated financial need of a family and the school’s budgetary constraints. 

When will I receive a financial assistance award?

Families of new students will receive notification of their award with their acceptance letter. Returning families applying for financial assistance will be notified by Feb. 1, in advance of their re-enrollment contract deadline.

If I miss the financial assistance deadline, can I still apply?

Applications received after Jan. 8 will be considered on an individual basis. Qualified families who complete their files after the deadline may not receive an award due to the limitations of the tuition assistance budget.

Will my financial assistance award be renewed each year automatically?

Families that enter EMS on tuition assistance will remain on tuition assistance unless there is a change in the family’s financial situation.

How do I request financial assistance for multiple children?

Parents need to file only one SSS application in the name of the oldest child applying to or attending EMS and should list the other children in the proper place on the SSS Financial Aid Application. The Financial Assistance Committee will consider all children in the household when making tuition assistance determinations. 

What is the process for parents who are divorced or separated?

EMS holds both parents financially responsible for their child’s education and is not bound by any divorce/support agreement specifying a parent’s responsibility for educational expenses, or any assertion that one parent has disclaimed, legally or otherwise, any responsibility for educational expenses. The Financial Assistance Committee will consider the assets of both parents, if living. If either parent has remarried, the committee will also consider the income and assets of the stepparent.  In light of this policy, both parents must fill out separate SSS Financial Aid Applications in order for the student to be considered for financial assistance.

What if I have not filed taxes prior to the financial assistance deadline?

In most cases, current Income Tax Returns will not be prepared by our application deadline. We, therefore, ask you to estimate your tax information on the SSS application and submit your Form 1040 by April 30 to SSS. If there is a significant discrepancy between your estimate and the actual amounts, the committee will reevaluate and potentially revise your financial assistance award.

Can I receive a waiver for the SSS fee?

If you are unable to pay the SSS application fee due to financial hardship, please contact Caitlin Read, Director of Enrollment Management, at 201-568-5566 ext. 7212. Please note that we have a limited number of waivers available and, therefore, it is not possible to honor every request.

What if I still have questions about the admissions or financial aid process?

The partnership between home and school is a hallmark of the EMS experience, and it begins during the admissions process. We want to get to know your child and family in order to provide an experience that meets your specific needs and to support you throughout the process. It is by learning about your aspirations for your child and their interests and abilities that we are able to explore the specific ways that EMS will enable your child to thrive intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and artistically within a supportive and rigorous environment.

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