Financial Assistance

The Buckley School is committed to sustaining a financial assistance program to enroll students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

We offer financial assistance to families with demonstrated need based on an evaluation by School and Student Services (SSS). The school’s Financial Aid Committee makes financial assistance awards to students who qualify for assistance on the basis of financial need and who, in the school’s judgment, are able to make a significant contribution to the Buckley community through their academic accomplishments, talents, and personal attributes. Our review process involves applying consistent principles across all applicants to determine the families most in need of a financial assistance grant.

SSS is an independent needs-assessment program used by thousands of independent schools nationwide. Families interested in applying for financial assistance may begin the process on November 1 each year by completing the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) online. Schools that subscribe to SSS can use the information collected on this form about your family size, income, expenses, etc., to help determine your family’s ability to contribute to educational expenses.

If you have questions about financial assistance, please contact the Admissions Office at or (818) 461-6719. We're here to help!

How to Apply

List of 2 items.

  • Step 1: Complete an online Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) with School and Student Services (SSS) by February 15, 2024

    Detailed information can be found on the SSS website. The deadline to submit all forms and supplemental materials to SSS is Thursday, February 15, 2024.
  • Step 2: File a completed Financial Aid Materials Cover Sheet

    File a completed Financial Aid Materials Cover Sheet and mail all supplemental financial assistance materials directly to SSS in order for documents to be matched with your PFS.

    You obtain the Financial Aid Materials Cover Sheet by logging onto your SSS account. All new families and those returning to Buckley who are applying for financial assistance will send all of their required documents directly to SSS’s highly secure server or processing center in order for their materials to be processed in a timely manner.

    You may also scan and upload all of your supplemental materials. Your materials will then be securely matched to your online PFS. Uploading documents does not allow schools to see your information instantly, but schools will be able to review your documents faster than if you mail them to the SSS processing center.

    Supplemental materials include:
    • A copy of your signed and completed 2021 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040), all schedules, and W-2 forms
    • The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), which should be filed online, is available here. Buckley’s school code for the PFS is 1947.

Fast Facts

  • A completed Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) should be filed online here no later than February 15, 2024.
  • Buckley’s school code for the PFS is 1947.
  • For assistance, please contact SSS Customer Service at (800) 344-8328 (Outside US/Canada: 952-967-9922) or Assistance is available in Spanish and English. 
  • Each family's application for financial assistance is reviewed annually.
  • In cases of divorce or separation, financial information is required for both parents and all documentation is kept strictly confidential.
  • If a family does not apply for financial assistance the year they apply for admission then, absent a significant, documented change in financial status, financial assistance is not awarded in future years.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • How is financial assistance awarded?

    Buckley is a member of School and Student Services (SSS), which assists independent schools in determining a family’s financial need. Families submit a Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) to SSS that contains detailed financial information. From the information provided on this form, SSS uses a standardized calculation nationally accepted by independent schools to compute a family’s tuition contribution. The PFS takes into consideration such things as gross taxable income, assets, liabilities, family size, and number of children attending tuition-charging schools. The information is reviewed by the Financial Assistance Committee at Buckley and is used as a guideline in determining financial assistance decisions. All awards are based on a family’s demonstrated financial need, and athletic scholarships are not available.
  • How much assistance is awarded each year?

    For the 2021-2022 school year, Buckley budgeted $6.4 million for financial assistance and Covid grants. 28 percent of students received financial assistance and Covid grants.
  • What if I do not apply for assistance the year I apply to Buckley? Is financial assistance automatically renewed each year?

    If a family does not apply for financial assistance the year they apply for admission or if they do not have a significant, documented change in their financial status, they will not be awarded financial assistance in future years. Buckley requires families receiving assistance to reapply each year. A change in income, family status, or the number of children attending tuition-charging institutions may result in increases or decreases in an award. Every application will be reviewed annually.
  • What happens if parents are divorced or separated?

    In the case of divorced or separated parents or parents that have never married, the Financial Assistance Committee considers the income and assets of both legal parents, if living, before making any award, and cannot be bound to the assertion that one parent has disclaimed, legally or otherwise, any responsibility for educational expenses. Buckley will not become involved in allocating the award on a proportional basis to the families involved, and the responsibility for all communications and payments ultimately lies with the custodial parent. If either parent has remarried, Buckley will also consider the income and assets of the step-parent, always bearing in mind the financial obligations of that step-parent to his or her own natural children. In view of this policy, it is required that parents to whom this situation pertains complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS), submit signed copies of their current year Form 1040, all W-2 forms, and all schedules and statements. Please be aware that if a noncustodial parent refuses to comply to submit the required documentation, the Financial Assistance Committee will determine if the family is eligible to receive financial assistance.
  • I never do my taxes until the April 15 deadline. How will this impact my financial assistance award?

    We recognize that preparing your 2023 IRS Tax documents by February 15 is challenging. Our financial assistance budget is limited, however, and those who meet the deadline have a distinct advantage. Your timely application means we can give your son or daughter the consideration he or she deserves. If your taxes cannot be completed by that date, taxes from the previous year should be submitted and a tentative award will be made subject to verification. The award, however, will not become finalized until we receive the tax information for the current year. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact our office.
  • When will I be notified of my award?

    If a student is admitted to Buckley and qualifies for assistance, a financial assistance award will be included along with the admission packet. Returning students will receive an updated award as the Financial Assistance Committee reviews any changes in their files.
  • What payment plans are available?

    It is the policy of The Buckley School that all tuition and fees are due by June 1, 2024. We offer different tuition payment plans. A non-refundable tuition deposit and new student fee are due with the Enrollment Contract, and the balance due may be paid in one of the different payment plans that will be outlined and disclosed at the time of the acceptance letter including a six- or eight-month payment plan from April (returning students) or May (new students) to December.

    If Buckley does not receive full payment or partial payment (as applicable to financial assistance families) by the close of business on June 1, 2024, Buckley reserves the right to forfeit your child's space. Parents/guardians who wish to use a time payment plan to meet school expenses may do so by applying to Blackbaud Tuition Management (866-441-4637 or here). Blackbaud Tuition Management does accept credit card payments with a 2.85% processing fee. A separate Truth in Lending Act Compliance Disclosure will be provided to parents/guardians who select the Blackbaud Tuition Management payment plan.
  • How is a financial assistance application handled if one parent does not work?

    If a family has children over the age of six, it is expected that both parents are employed. If one parent chooses not to work, then a full-time income at minimum wage will be imputed for that parent for the purposes of preparing a financial assistance grant.
  • How can I be assured that my information is kept confidential?

    Applying for financial assistance at Buckley is a private matter between the family and the school. The Financial Assistance Committee conducts a comprehensive review of a family’s personal financial situation, and that review is not discussed with any other person outside of the Financial Assistance Committee. In an effort to protect a family’s privacy, we expect all financial assistance applicants to exercise discretion during the financial assistance process by not discussing their financial assistance application or award with other families.

    In addition, School & Student Services (SSS) places a priority on collecting and processing a family’s documents in a safe and efficient manner. When documents are sent to SSS, families submit their information to SSS through a secure server. Families are able to track receipt of the documents sent to SSS through a unique password-protected account.
  • Do families have to pay back their financial assistance award?

    Every year, the school sets aside a portion of its budget in order to help families cover the educational expenses of attending school at Buckley for the year. Although financial assistance awards do not need to be repaid to the school, it is the expectation that all families will contribute to Buckley to the best of their ability so that the financial assistance program will be able to be sustained for future years.