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Agree. If you can get in for the same as it would cost for a CC school, you are doing well.
Actually, he's correct. ISL bylaws prohibit member schools from offering non-need-based financial aid. That is why LA was hit with sanctions in 2011 (see http://archive.boston.com/sports/schools/football/articles/2011/04/21/lawrence_academy_hit_with_isl_sanctions/) and also why SPS withdrew from the ISL (see https://www.sps.edu/page/news-detail?pk=848785). If you want an athletic scholarship then look at schools in the other leagues. Seriously though, if your kid is good enough for an athletic scholarship then the school will find you.
Some posters on this site have difficulty with statistics. The "average" is not the same as the "mode." A school might give a few full/nearly full scholarships and a lot of very small awards to arrive at the average award. Also, the average tuition for a boarder is pushing $60k, not $40k. You will also be on the hook for about $5k per year of mandatory expenses.
The way FA works with independent schools is you submit an FA application to the school through SSS by NAIS. The website is here https://www.solutionsbysss.com/parents/apply/. SSS will take all of your income and savings info, and details about all your family expenses (including how much you spend on vacations, car loans, hockey camps, booze, prostitutes and so on). You will also provide tax returns, pay-stubs, bank statements, 401k statements and other supporting docs. The skirt is lifted up nice and high. SSS calculates your expected parent contribution and that is sent to the school. However, that is usually not the number that the school will use to calculate your award. The school will offer you less than SSS calculates you should get by at least a few thousand.
Another really nice thing that happens when your kid is a new applicant is that you get "the call" from your coach/admissions person before March 10th. When you answer the call you are told that they would love to have your son come to the school next year but sadly there is no FA available for him. Remember, they have seen your tax returns, bank balances, 401k statements and everything else by now so they know you could raid your savings to pay for school. They will advise you that the FA wait-list is just a rejection using nicer words. After the awkward pause they will ask, "which letter should he get on March 10th, accepted or wait-listed?"
Pro Tip: Don't let your kid get his hopes up too high because a lot of great kids are disappointed on March 10th. If you are a FP applicant then the world is your oyster.
Then I misunderstood your post. Most fingers of suspicion seem to point to LA. Looks like the football team is on a roll this year. Heard they are BIG.
$25,000 of financial aid is on the low end for the kid they "Must Have". If you look at the avg aid package at most schools for the general student or student /athlete is typically more then that.
Don't get me wrong, going to elite academic/athletic school at almost half off is nothing to sneeze at. Just saying, I know parents who have there kids ( not game changers) going for $15k or less because they truly cannot afford more.
A couple of Preps used the top priced CC schools as a benchmark when they put the numbers out.
For those of you who have gone through the process, what was your backup plan? Kid gets accepted, not enough aid..what is the backup plan, public school and FS club team, Catholic HS?
My son is in Isl upper mid class we pay 10,000.