Easy Ways to Customize your Financial Aid Process
October 19, 2022

At Clarity, we understand that every school is unique and has its own challenges when it comes to the financial aid process. That’s why we created a responsive application that can be customized by each school based on their individual needs. This means that schools have the flexibility to create their own “rules” to simplify the application process and align their awards with their market, mission, and value. For example, schools can customize their methodology so that: 

If a family doesn’t own a home, they won’t be asked about property taxes. 

If a family doesn’t own a business, they won’t see questions about business income. 

To give you a better idea of how this works, the Client Success Team put our heads together to come up with our “Top 5” most commonly used rules for families whose financial profiles fall outside the norm. Of course, it will be up to you to decide which rules best align with your school’s methodology.

  1. S-Corp Owners: If Owns Business Type includes S-Corporation, then require Form 1120S, with all schedules, statements, and K-1s, from S-Corp owners. 
  2. Partnership Owners: If Owns Business Type includes Partnership Agreement, then require Form 1065, with all schedules, statements, and K-1s, from Partnership owners. 
  3. Non-US Tax Filers: If Tax Filing Status equals Did not file US taxes, then require a letter from employer stating salary and benefits; some schools also require the Clarity International Supplement and/or a recent pay stub.
  4. New Families: If Family Status equals New, then require a recent pay stub.
  5. Returning Families: If Family Status equals Returning, then require 2020 1040s to provide additional context and keep multiple years of taxes in the same place; a similar rule could be written for new families if you wanted more than one year of taxes from them.

Clarity’s Rules functionality takes customization a step further by allowing schools to write conditional requests for any custom document they’d like from families. With more than 20 customizable methodology settings, the possibilities are endless. 

As we get deeper into the financial aid season, we will continue to share real-life examples of how our clients are removing barriers and streamlining the financial aid process with Clarity.

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About the author 

Molly Price

Molly is a Client Success Manager at Clarity, working with schools to ensure that they have the training, resources, and support they need to make the most of Clarity's financial aid software. She began filling out financial aid forms for her own education in the early 1990s, when she was in middle school, so she is particularly thrilled to work for a company whose mission is to remove enrollment barriers and increase access to schools. Molly comes to Clarity after 16 years in both boarding and day schools working in admissions, development, and financial aid. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, daughter, and dog Trevor, though they’re often found spending time in Massachusetts. She enjoys reading, biking, and traveling, and every spring looks forward to doing her family’s taxes.