Don’t let misconceptions about affordability discourage your family from exploring Saint Stephen’s! We strive to maintain an affordable yet appropriate tuition structure and appreciate the financial commitment our parents make to send their student(s) to Saint Stephen's. Three different payment plans are offered in order to provide flexibility and choice for families as they budget. We also encourage all interested applicants, regardless of financial status, to explore the various tuition assistance information and affordability options offered. To supplement tuition payments made by our families, SSES annually makes more than $1-million in financial aid available to qualified students.
Students requesting needs-based financial assistance must first successfully complete the application process and be offered admission to Saint Stephen's. Admission is determined without regard to a student's application for financial aid. If there is a need for financial assistance, Saint Stephen's is an independent, college preparatory school and we recommend applying through the FAST financial assistance program. For those who have a parent who is a first responder we welcome applications for the First Responder Scholarship in the 8th-grade year.
Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST)
In order to allocate resources wisely and fairly, Saint Stephen’s uses the online Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) service as the standard submission format and processor for all tuition assistance applications. The application process is self-guided, and parent guides are available in English and Spanish on the FAST website. You may navigate in and out of the program, allowing you to complete an application partially and go back to it at another time. Customer service is available only from FAST through online email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a 24/7 helpline (1.877.326.FAST).
FAST does not decide whether tuition assistance will be given or how much will be given; rather, FAST provides a need-based financial aid analysis service, which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. Saint Stephen’s uses the analysis provided by FAST to make financial aid determinations. All information from FAST is confidential. Because need is assessed annually, a new FAST application must be submitted each year.
How to apply through FAST:
Provide a complete copy of your current year’s tax return(s), including W-2s and all schedules, directly to: FAST Processing, ISM • 1316 North Union Street • Wilmington, DE 19806-2594. Be sure to include Saint Stephen’s name on the outside of the envelope to ensure faster processing of your application. Mailing envelopes are available in the Business Office.
If there are any special circumstances of which the School’s Tuition Assistance Committee should be aware, you may explain these circumstances on the FAST application. The Saint Stephen’s Tuition Assistance Committee reviews the completed FAST application and any related information and determines financial aid awards at the beginning of April.