Independent Pre-K to 12 School in Atlanta

The Paideia School

Financial Aid

Making Paideia Affordable

Paideia’s financial aid program is an important means of promoting socioeconomic diversity within our school community.

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Who receives financial aid at Paideia?

One of the objectives of the financial aid program is to help increase socioeconomic diversity at Paideia. Consequently, all financial aid is based on need and is awarded to students who would not have an opportunity to attend Paideia without assistance. Unfortunately, Paideia does not have sufficient funds to provide financial aid to all eligible families who apply.

For 2019-2020 we provided more than $3.3 million in financial aid to 80 high school students, 43 junior high students, and 43 elementary students. Financial aid awards are heavily weighted towards students in the high school, junior high school, and upper elementary school. Children in the half-day program are not eligible for financial aid, and there is very limited aid available for students in grades K-4.


Where do the funds that are earmarked for financial aid come from?

Our financial aid program is internally funded from such sources as tuition, charitable giving through the Annual Fund and the Endowment, Georgia’s Financial Aid Tax Credit program, and fundraising events like the auction, BPO sponsored Eat Lunch with your Child Day and the Slither. Given our commitment to maintaining a family’s financial aid award from year to year, the majority of the money for new awards becomes available when enrolled financial aid students graduate.

How do I apply for financial aid?

If you are applying for admission to Paideia this year, you will first need to create a Ravenna account and complete and submit an admissions application before you can apply for financial aid. Next, please read carefully the step-by-step instructions we have posted to our Ravenna hub and give yourself ample time to complete and submit all required documents

For families with students currently enrolled at Paideia, if you are considering submitting an application for financial aid, please read the step-by-step instructions we have posted here and give yourself ample time to complete and submit all required documents.

Contact Nancy Isom, financial aid director (, with any financial aid questions.

How will you assess my family’s financial information?

We use the Financial Aid for Student Tuition (FAST) assessment service to process applicants’ financial information according to a standard set of procedures. To the extent possible this methodology assesses the financial resources individual families have available to contribute to tuition with the idea that parents should finance their child’s education to the best of their ability.  By providing standardized, impartial, and confidential processing, FAST promotes consistency in financial aid procedures among schools. FAST does not provide the financial aid funds; Paideia School does.

Contact Nancy Isom, financial aid director (, with any financial aid questions.

What information does FAST use to determine an estimated family contribution?

FAST takes into account many factors, including:

  • Income (both taxable and nontaxable) and expenses
  • Assets (home equity, other real estate, savings, investments, etc.) and indebtedness
  • Age of parent(s)
  • Family size
  • Number of children attending tuition-charging schools
  • Debt

FAST considers these and other factors when determining a family’s discretionary income. A portion of this discretionary income is then suggested as the family’s contribution to education: the more discretionary income available, the higher the stipulated contribution.

Who decides how the financial aid is awarded?

Our Financial Aid Review Board makes these decisions. The Review Board consists of five or six members of the Paideia community. The information they receive is held in strictest confidence, and there is no discussion about anyone’s situation beyond this small group.

How does the Financial Aid Review Board make its decisions?

The Review Board uses the FAST calculation as a guideline in determining awards. However, Paideia generally expects a family to pay more than the FAST calculation suggests. This is because we are trying to spread our limited funds among as many eligible families as possible. We also believe that a high percentage of a family’s discretionary income should be used for educating their children. For these reasons it is crucial that we have an accurate and detailed picture of every applicant’s financial circumstances. If information is incomplete or inconsistent, the Review Board may not be able to give the application full consideration.

What additional factors does the Financial Aid Review Board weigh when determining awards?

To get a complete picture of a family’s financial situation, the Review Board must receive accurate information from all the adults residing in the applicant’s home. The Review Board also considers lifestyle choices. A family who chooses to have a stay-at-home parent and to invest in expensive vacations, a second home, boat, or luxury car, and therefore appears to have limited funds will not receive the same consideration as parents who work at full capacity, live frugally, and still have limited funds available to cover tuition costs.

How do I determine whether my family should apply for financial aid?

We welcome financial aid applications from families who, after giving careful consideration to all the resources that are available to them, feel they cannot afford our full tuition. If you are uncertain if it is appropriate for your family to apply for financial aid, please contact Nancy Isom, our financial aid director, at

Will applying for financial aid affect my child’s chances of admission to Paideia?

The admissions committee makes its initial decisions without regard to financial need. However, because our school does not have unlimited resources, we may be forced on occasion to make difficult decisions about the number of financial aid applicants we can accept within the limits of our budget. All of our financial aid awards are allocated when we make our admissions decisions. Additional funds are rarely available after these decisions have been made.

If my child is referred by the A Better Chance program, will we automatically receive financial aid?

Our financial aid program is based on financial need. Some students from A Better Chance do not qualify for financial aid.

How much can we expect to pay?

All parents are expected to contribute according to their means, taking into account total income, assets, number of dependents, and other appropriate information. For the 2019-2020 school year, financial aid awards range from 16 percent to 99 percent of tuition. Every family receiving aid is asked to pay some portion of the tuition.

Does financial aid cover anything besides tuition?

Financial aid students receive the same percentage assistance as their tuition award for such things as high school textbooks, aftercare, class trips, athletic expenses, and other required school activities. Please refer to our Additional Expenses chart for more details.

Will financial aid continue each year?

It is the policy of the Financial Aid Review Board to continue providing assistance as long as a family’s financial situation remains relatively unchanged. Recipients must re-apply for financial aid every year.

What happens if our situation changes after the financial aid award is made?

When financial circumstances change significantly, it is the family's obligation to make that known to the Financial Aid Review Board through our financial aid director Nancy Isom (

When will we hear from the Financial Aid Review Board?

Award decisions are mailed out the first week in April. Financial aid tuition payments are made in 10 monthly installments from April to January.

Are loans available?

If you would like to explore alternative payment options, we can suggest Your Tuition Solution (, which offers low fixed-rate education loans to qualifying parents. For more information about our tuition policies, please contact our financial aid director Nancy Isom (


Request Information

If you have any questions about Paideia's financial aid program, feel free to contact our financial aid director Nancy Isom at

Mailing address:
Nancy Isom
Financial aid director
The Paideia School
1509 Ponce de Leon Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307