Financing your future

Financial Assistance

The goal of Cate’s financial assistance program is to attract and enroll students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and to offer a unique educational opportunity to deserving students to make such an experience possible. We are committed to making Cate accessible to families of all income levels by offering need-based financial assistance awards ranging from several thousand dollars to the full cost of tuition. Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $66,800 for boarders and $52,700 for day students.  In order to fully utilize our financial assistance budget and to assist as many deserving families as possible, it is expected that families will make their children’s education a financial priority.

For the 2020-21 school year, 25% of the student body shares $4,500,000 in financial assistance.

How Awards are Calculated

Our financial assistance committee administers need-based awards and follow the guidelines of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Financial assistance decisions are based on a family’s ability to finance their child’s education as demonstrated by the methodology of the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) of Princeton, New Jersey. Within the limitations of our budget, and according to our own financial assistance policies, Cate uses the SSS recommendations as a guideline in determining individual awards.

Although the admission and financial assistance programs at Cate are separate processes and an applicant must first be admitted to Cate and only then be considered for financial assistance. We notify all new students and their families of our financial assistance decisions at the same time that we notify them of our admission decisions.

Steps to Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Apply to Cate for the 2021-22 school year. A student should apply to Cate before starting the FA process. These are two separate processes and each one must be thoroughly completed to be considered for admission and assistance. Click here for steps on how to apply to Cate:


  • On or after October 1st please visit the School & Student Services (SSS) website at: to complete the Financial Assistance application known as the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS).

Filling Out Your Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS)

The PFS is a comprehensive online form that allows School and Student Services (SSS) to estimate the amount your family can contribute towards your child’s tuition. SSS reports that estimate to any school or schools you indicate on your PFS. If your child is applying to more than one school, you only need to fill out your PFS once. If you have multiple children applying, only one PFS application is needed for all schools for all of your children.

The PFS opens each year on October 1st. The PFS is due February 1, 2020 for both returning and new prospective families. To begin your financial assistance application for the coming school year, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit and click on “Complete your PFS”.
    • A login and password are required to complete the PFS. If you are a first-time user, you will be asked to create an account. If you applied for financial assistance in the previous school year, login as a returning family, using the email and password you created last year.
    • Begin your PFS for the 2021-22 academic school year, be sure to add our school code so that Cate will have access to your PFS.  Cate School’s Code is 2170. 
    • You can log out of the PFS website at any time and return later to complete the form.
  2. Submit your completed PFS.
    • Please note that there is a nonrefundable processing fee. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you will be automatically notified on the processing fee page.
    • Once you submit, your PFS cannot be withdrawn from the SSS system.
  3. Upload required documents in the “Manage Documents” section of SSS. Required documentation includes:
    • A copy of your 2019 tax return (IRS Form 1040)
    • A copy of all 2020 W2 Forms as soon as available
    • Cate School FA Request Form

If you are not a U.S. Citizen paying U.S. taxes, you will need to fill out the International Student Financial Aid Profile (also available within the PFS website)

Additional Information

Download the Family Guide to Financial Aid (English)
Descarga el Cuaderno de Trabajo y Manual de Instrucciones (Spanish)

For more information / Para mas información:

Questions about the PFS or the financial assistance process in general? The SSS provides helpful information on the “Learn” section of its website. Or, call the SSS Helpline at 800-344-8328 (open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST).

For all questions related to Cate’s Financial Assistance Program contact Vanessa Cruz-Santana ’06, Director of Financial Assistance at