Frequently Asked Questions

My family does not qualify financially for SMART. Can I still apply?

No. We follow the strict guidelines of The Basic Fund to accept our students. However, we encourage you to apply directly to the independent schools you are interested in, and we can provide you with a list of alternative resources available.

How much is the family responsible for each year?

Depending on your family income and the number of family members you support each year, tuition to schools range from $500 to $2100 per student, per year payable in installments to SMART.

Our student lives in two different households. How is my eligibility calculated?

SMART and our partner schools will calculate financial need based on income from BOTH families who are financially responsible for the student. SMART will require tax information from both parents and households, and will determine eligibility. As each family situation is unique, should you have any questions specific to your household, please contact a SMART Staff member.

I thought this was a “free” program. What happened?

SMART believes in the importance of the affordability of an excellent education for all families, despite their financial circumstances. At the same time, we changed our policy in 2008 to reflect the values of our partner schools, in that families should have financial investment into their student’s education. We are asking all SMART families to contribute between 2% - 5% of the entire tuition of your child’s school (tuition ranges from $13,500 to $29,000 a year).

Woud it be cheaper if I applied directly to the school?

Each school's financial aid package is different, but all look at family income and assets as a way to measure family contribution. Rarely is a private school "free" for any family. When you are enrolled into SMART, students also receive over $197,000 worth of support over the course of 8 years (5th - 12th grades), including academic tutoring support, individualized attention, family advocacy, summer and after-school programs, standarized test preparation (SSAT, ACT, and SAT), and many others.

What happens if my family can no longer afford the tuition payments?

SMART is fully committed to the students and the families upon acceptance to our program. Should unusual circumstances arise, we can discuss individually to determine payment plans or work with the school to make your tuition portion as affordable as possible.