Tuition Support at Gann Academy: A conversation with Amy Chandler-Nelson, Director of Business Operations

Gann Academy recognizes that choosing to send a student to an independent high school reflects an enormous commitment for every family in our community. Our school is devoted to making a Gann education affordable by providing tuition support programs to all those seeking a pluralistic Jewish education.  
Our school is devoted to making a Gann education accessible by providing tuition support programs to all those seeking a pluralistic Jewish education.  
Today we share a conversation with Amy Chandler-Nelson, Director of Business Operations at Gann Academy. Amy manages Gann’s tuition support programs process. With our tuition support deadline fast approaching on February 16, Amy is prepared to help answer your questions about tuition support.  
Conversation with Amy Chandler-Nelson, Director of Business Operations at Gann Academy 
Thank you for talking with us, Amy! How many tuition support programs does Gann offer? How do I know which program I am eligible for?   
I appreciate the questions. I know the tuition support process can seem daunting or confusing, but I am here to support you! At Gann, our goal is to help each family find an affordable path to a Jewish education. Our programs are designed to create an economically diverse student body.  In fact, over half of our families receive tuition-support.  
Our tuition support program offers two tracks, needs-based and non-needs-based. I’ll review each track with you.  
As you read about the different tracks, there are a few things to keep in mind.  
  • Thanks to our generous donors, Gann is honored to have awarded more than $4 million in tuition-support for the 2020-2021 school year.  
  • Please don’t self-select out of the support process. If you don’t apply, we can’t offer tuition support to you! It’s our job to review your request, and if possible, to provide a tuition support award. If you do not apply, we can’t award support. 
  • You can apply for more than one type of award.  I always encourage incoming families to apply for as many programs that pertain to you. Ultimately, Gann will place your family in the program that offers the most tuition support.  
  • If you have questions around if you qualify or where you would best fit, please ask me. I know financial conversations can be hard, but I am here, as a confidential resource, to answer all questions.  
Each of our programs are centered around affordability. Needs-based programs require tax information, while non-needs-based programs consider community affiliation.  
Need-based Tuition-Support  
Gann offers two need-based programs: 
Non-needs-based Tuition-Support 
Gann offers two non-need-based programs: 
Don’t forget, you can apply for more than one program. For example, traditional financial aid and the pioneer program, and you will be placed in the one program that offers you the most tuition support.  
Can families who are aren’t sure if they qualify for tuition support still apply? 
Yes! I strongly advise families not to self-select out of applying. Our programs are designed to support families in a variety of ways - from income derived needs, to students joining us from public school, and even to families involved in the professional Jewish community. At Gann, our goal is to help each family find their path to a Jewish education. Our programs are structured to create an economically diverse student body and over half of our families receive tuition-support.  
Why is Gann so committed to ensuring tuition support? 
We believe that pursuing a Jewish education should be available to all students and our generous donors ensure we have the means to support the community. Gann and our families work together to build relationships based on trust, communication, and confidentiality. We have great respect for our families who are committed to Jewish community, values, and education. No family should have to compromise a Jewish education because of affordability. 
Are Admissions applications to Gann need-blind? 
It’s important to remember that applications to Gann for admissions and applications for tuition support are two separate applications. We are a need-blind school, meaning that students are admitted regardless of their family’s finances. The committee which reviews tuition support applications is separate from the committee that reviews Admissions applications. 
How can families talk to you to learn more about Gann’s tuition support? 
I am here to help you. Families can feel vulnerable expressing a need for tuition support and all conversations receive my strictest confidentiality. I’m proud to say that over 50% of Gann families receive some measure of tuition support. Families should feel assured that we are here to help find a way to make a Gann education feasible.  No family should ever worry about how to access a Gann education. 
I am always available by email or phone (781.642.6800, ext. 113), and here to work with you on your specific needs. I believe in clear communication and transparency with families, there will be no surprises during our tuition support process.   
Thank you, Amy! Finally, what are the four most important things families should know about tuition support at Gann? 
Here are some good tips: 
  1. Apply! Don’t self-select out of the support process.  
  2. Families are encouraged to apply for multiple programs, if appropriate, and will be placed in the program that offers the maximum support. 
  3. Tuition support applications are reviewed by a small committee separate from the Admissions committee. Information shared with Gann is confidential. 
  4. Tuition support applications are due on February 16, along with 2020 tax returns! 
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions. Our goal is to help you make Gann a financially accessible option for your family.  
  • 333 Forest Street
  • Waltham, MA 02452
  • P: 781.642.6800
  • F: 781.642.6805