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College Counseling

College Funding

Tabor’s college counseling staff is committed to providing students and families with the resources necessary to fund college in a timely, intentional way.

Tabor has partnered with SMARTTRACK® College Funding to provide our families with comprehensive services from the nation’s leading college funding specialists.

This partnership allows our families to tap into the expertise and wisdom of a company that has helped over 250,000 families to better pay for college since 2000. Tabor Academy is providing these resources - there is no cost to you but you must use the link available on the College Counseling Resource Board in myTA.

(For families who already have a SMARTTRACK® account, you can login or reset your password, but DO NOT use this link to create your account:
Licensed financial advisors will focus families on how to pay for college and help answer the following questions:
  • How do we pay for and afford college?
  • How do we pay less for college?
  • How do we make sure our retirement goals stay intact through the process?

Steps to Applying for Financial Aid

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  • Necessary Documents

    • Signed copies of the student’s and parents’ 2019 federal tax returns with all schedules and W2s. NOTE: If parents are divorced, a signed copy of the noncustodial parent’s 2019 federal tax return with all schedules and W2s is also necessary.
    • For parents who are business owners, a copy of the most recent partnership or corporate tax return.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA)

    • Although the FAFSA cannot be filed until after October 1, it must be filed by the college’s deadline date.  Check the school’s financial aid web page for important filing deadlines; the Early Decision deadline is earlier than the Regular Decision deadline.  
    • The FAFSA is used by all colleges to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your eligibility for federal and state aid, including subsidized student loans.  Most colleges also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for institutional aid.
    • The FAFSA must be filed for every year the student is in school. Submit your FAFSA online at A FAFSA requires a signature from both a parent and the student applicant. There is no fee involved in filing the FAFSA and all families are encouraged to apply regardless of their family circumstances.  
  • Submit the CSS Profile and other financial aid forms (if applicable)

    Some private independent colleges require you to file a CSS Profile application--using your College Board username and password--or an institutional financial aid form to determine your eligibility for their own sources of financial aid. The CSS Profile can be completed as early as October (our colleagues at Smart Track recommend filing no earlier than October 10) and is available here. Make sure you understand if you need to file any additional forms and that you submit them by the school’s specified deadline.
  • Apply for Scholarships

    Millions of dollars are available each year. Start your search online by visiting any of the scholarship websites included in Naviance; this includes local opportunities. Simply click the “Colleges” link and “Scholarships and Money” will appear at the bottom of the list. Use scholarship search tools to search for national scholarships (see below). Scholarships are a great way to help pay college tuition, books and living expenses and can reduce the amount you need to borrow. You should always maximize the amount of free money you use to pay for college before borrowing. Keep in mind that national scholarships are much more competitive and oftentimes much harder to attain than local scholarships. Even though the awarded amounts on national scholarships may be higher, you have a better chance of getting a scholarship from a local business or organization.
  • Review Your Student Aid Report

    • After filing the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Correct any mistakes by logging into your student aid account. Also, add additional colleges where you would like your information to be sent.  
    • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) information on your SAR will be sent to the financial aid office at the colleges that you indicated on your FAFSA form. Each college then takes that amount and subtracts the EFC from their total cost of attendance. That figure is your family’s demonstrated financial need for that particular college. Financial need will be different for each college you apply to because each college’s total cost of education is different.
  • Compare Your Award Letters

    • Each college’s financial aid office then determines what aid it has available to help meet your demonstrated financial need. Schools will aim to meet as much of your need as possible, but not all schools can afford to meet 100% of your financial need. The financial aid office will put together a financial aid package or award letter for you. The aid may come in the form of grants, work-study, scholarships, and student loans.
    • When your financial aid package arrives, read it over carefully. Decide if you want to accept any of or the entire award. Pay attention to the instructions the college gives you. You may have to complete additional paperwork to fully accept the award. Accepting your award by the college’s specified deadline will safeguard it. However, if the award does not fully meet your financial needs or if your needs have changed due to illness, unemployment or for some other reason, you can try appealing the award. You must include documentation that supports your request. Many colleges will take a second look at your package if asked.
    • If you receive multiple financial aid packages, take note of which expenses are included in each college’s total cost of attendance when you compare. Also, pay attention to what kind of aid each school is offering your family. One college might meet a higher percentage of your need but may do so with a great proportion of loans. Some colleges with higher stickers prices may cost your family less in the long run due to a better net price.
    • Your financial aid package may or may not cover your total financial need. If financial need is not entirely met, this unmet need is called a “gap.” This means that resources must be found in order to meet the full cost of education. In many cases, this may mean additional parent and/or student loans.
  • Apply for Loans (if necessary)

    A college may include federal student loans on your award letter. If these loans are not listed on your award letter, you may still be eligible to borrow. To accept your federal loan awards, you will need to complete a Master Promissory Note.


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Admissions Office: 226 Front Street, Marion MA 02738 | Mail: 66 Spring Street, Marion MA 02738 | 508.748.2000 |