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Small class sizes and exceptional faculty offer individualized attention

Educating students to achieve their goals.

Merit Scholarships

Portledge School is a leader among independent schools for educating students of high ability and leaders of character. We believe in honoring the gifts and talents of students and have developed a process to distinguish and award incoming students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, exceeding talent in a co-curricular offering or characteristics of true leadership potential.

Portledge School values excellence in scholarship and has an academic environment that offers students the chance to Explore, Create, and Excel in all areas of their studies. The academic program is supplemented by co-curricular offerings in the visual and theater arts, music, athletics and technology providing students the opportunity to develop and pursue passions beyond the classroom. And at the core of our community are the Portledge Pillars of citizenship which we define as Kindness, Purpose, Honor, and Respect. Student applicants who demonstrate excellence in the above are eligible to be recognized with small merit scholarship awards to honor these traits that strengthen our community and further our scholarly endeavors.

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • The Process

    For those that are interested in being considered as a candidate for Merit Scholarships, please inquire with the admissions office. The Merit Scholarship Committee will review all applicants and examine each file focusing on demonstrated achievement in studies as evidenced in the student’s academic records, standardized testing, school recommendations, reviews from the interview, and potential for impact potential participation in co-curricular areas as they identify potential candidates for a merit scholarship. The Merit Scholarship Committee will determine recipients and communicate awards.
  • Awards

    Currently, 5% of the Portledge student body has been recognized as Merit Scholars based on excellence in scholarship, citizenship, co-curricular prowess and legacy. Awards range from covering 5% of tuition to the largest of awards, covering 50% of tuition (of which only one such award was offered for the 2021-2022 school year), with various increments in between.

    Awards are offered with the intent of covering the allocated percentage of awards through the student's time in the academic division in which they began, as long as key academic and behavioral standards are being met. The amount of merit awards dollars available to the large applicant pool fluctuates annually based upon the total budget, the number of merit scholars and dollars that are previously committed, and/or any specific areas of recruitment identified by the admissions office.

Financial Assistance

Portledge School is dedicated to supporting families from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The Financial Assistance program is used to attract qualified students that will enrich our school community and is based solely on a family's demonstrated need.

Portledge uses Blackbaud Financial Aid Management (formally known as Smart Aid) to process financial assistance applications and help determine need. 
If you have any questions regarding Financial Assistance please contact Kim Baratoff, Coordinator of Financial Assistance at kbaratoff@portledge.org.

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Overview

    • Every family carries the financial responsibility for a child’s education to the full extent they are able
    • Approximately 20 percent of our current student population receives a form of need-based awards
    • Financial Assistance awards are grants that do not need to be repaid
    • All interested families must apply/re-apply each year for
      Financial Assistance through Blackbaud Financial Aid Management (formally known as Smart Aid)
    • Families applying for Financial Assistance will need to meet with the Financial Assistance Coordinator
    • Only completed and verified Financial Assistance applications will be presented to the Financial Assistance Committee for a decision 
    • A Financial Assistance award to denial will not affect your admissions decision to Portledge
    • Financial Assistance awards will be reviewed annually
    • The Financial Assistance budget is limited and priority is given to current students
    • If you do not agree with your Financial Assistance award you have the option to appeal and will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee
  • Purpose:

    • Portledge School is an independent non-profit school that meets the charitable and educational definitions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such we receive no outside funding from federal sources and are not supported by any outside religious organizations.
    • Portledge is reliant upon the following funding sources to support its educational program: tuition, fees, private and planned gifts, fundraising proceeds, and corporate and foundational support. The school possesses finite financial resources. To this end, the school uses its Financial Assistance to help families attend even if their resources are not sufficient to pay full tuition.
    • While we do not grant educational loans, the primary criteria used to determine assistance to recipients is based upon the inability of academically qualified students to pay the necessary tuition to attend the school.
    • Blackbaud Financial Aid Management, an assessment management company will analyze and verify a family's financial need based on all required questions and supporting documentation.
      • Blackbaud Financial Aid Management requires a $35 Application Fee
      • Additional supporting documents may also be required by the Finance Assistance Committee and Smart Aid Blackbaud Financial Aid Management.
      • Blackbaud Financial Aid Management information required documentation, and application tutorial videos are available on their website.
  • Objectives:

    Enable families with a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds to attend.
    • Promote diversity and gender equity.
    • Fulfill the mission of the School.
    • Operate in a fair and equitable manner.
    • Optimize the use of staff and facilities.
    • Provides a reasonable financial benefit to the school
    Please Note: Awards are made without regard to a student’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age and in compliance with existing state and federal laws or regulations.
  • Process:

    Students receiving financial assistance are expected to maintain a good academic record (established during the admissions process) and to demonstrate commendable behavior, effort, and citizenship. Other issues to be considered:
    • Attendance
    • The long-term commitment of the family to the school
    • Participation of parents as volunteers
    • Family payment history
  • Financial Assistance Committee:

    • The Financial Assistance Committee consists of various Administrators, Faculty, and Staff that represent all Divisions of Portledge School.
    • The Committee will meet one month after the re-enrollment contract due date, (to be determined) through the beginning of school, but may call a meeting(s) as needed.
    • The first meeting will discuss returning students.
    • Applications will be divided by class.
    • Applications will be presented by the Admissions Office with input from the Division Director of the appropriate class regarding academics and overall student performance and a report from the Finance Department with payment history Meeting Schedule
    • Discussions and financial statements held by the Financial Assistance Committee are strictly confidential.
  • Applying for Financial Assistance:

    • Blackbaud Financial Aid Management, an assessment management company will analyze and verify a family's financial need based on all required questions and supporting documentation. The following documentation is required to complete a Blackbaud Financial Aid Management application. Applications submitted without documentation will not be processed.
      • Previous year's Tax Returns 
      • Most recent pay stubs
      • Most recent W-2 forms for all jobs.
      • Most recently filed federal tax returns: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ with all schedules.
      • Most recently filed business tax return: 1120, 1120S, 1065 (if applicable).
      • Supplemental income documentation: Social Security income, Welfare, Food Stamps, Child Support, 1099-M Forms, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment, Veterans Benefits, Housing Allowance, etc.
      • If you are unable to provide any of the aforementioned items, please submit a Special Circumstance Letter indicating which document(s) you are unable to provide and why. This information will be shared with your school for consideration.
    • Additional supporting documents may also be required by the Finance Assistance Committee and Blackbaud Financial Aid Management.
    • Blackbaud Financial Aid Application tutorial videos are available on their website.
  • Award Distribution & Notification:

    • The Financial Assistance Committee will review the Blackbaud Financial Aid analysis of the families' expected financial contribution and other submitted documents and then determine the award amount.
    • The Financial Aid Committee will use the Blackbaud Financial Aid Financial Report as an assessment tool; however, Financial Assistance decisions reside within the committee.
      • Current salary, net worth, and family circumstances will be considered when determining the award amount.
      • Competition for assistance is significant.
      • Limited funds may prevent the committee from offering assistance to all who qualify.
    • Families who are notified of a financial assistance award must typically accept or decline the award within two weeks of notification.
      • If the family fails to comply with this and other reasonable requirements or breaches the confidentiality of this legally binding letter of award with any party unnamed in the award, the school reserves the right to withdraw financial assistance at any time during the school year.
    • The School may prorate the award based upon:
      • Optimal use of staff and facilities
      • Allowing current children to remain at school
      • Allowing siblings of accepted families to enroll
      • The amount of financial benefit for the school
      • The timing of the financial assistance application
      • Attempts to meet the needs of all family members
      • Percentage of the award provided and Determination
    • Families will be notified of their awards for the next academic year only if their current tuition balance is paid and the enrollment deposit is received, assistance cannot be applied toward any tuition or fee balances from prior years.
    • Financial assistance applicants must still pay the enrollment deposit
    • Financial assistance grants are credited to the student's account at the beginning of the billing cycle for an academic year
    • The Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees will determine and approve the total amount of awards to be funded annually. The overall goal is based on the ability to fund the award without sacrificing programs or creating an operating deficit. Such funding decisions will be based on the total amount of funds available along with anticipated enrollment figures. Consumable books, school fees, testing, field trips, party fees, bus fees, lunch/snack expenses, and other incurred costs must be paid by the family and cannot be covered by the Financial Assistance award
  • Revoking Financial Assistance Rewards:

    • Students who are placed on disciplinary or academic probation or who violate the confidentiality agreement may immediately risk their Financial Assistance grant.
    • Parent/Student Confidentiality Breaching: When applying for Financial Assistance you acknowledge that you have applied for Financial Assistance at the Portledge School. Financial Assistance awards are not guaranteed for every applicant and is based solely on financial need. If awarded you will acknowledge that your Financial Assistance award will not be disclosed to any other family or student. When families share details of financial aid awards, false assumptions, and expectations are often created. Willful breaches of this confidentiality agreement may require a review and potential repeal of financial assistance awards.
  • Financial Assistance Wait Pool:

    A Financial Assistance Wait Pool is created for students whom we have accepted and are well qualified to attend Portledge but for whom sufficient financial aid is currently not available. The Financial Assistance Committee will regularly update families on their status during the spring and summer months, with final notification on September 1st
  • Hardship Contingency:

    • A family may experience an extenuating circumstance resulting in an unexpected need for financial assistance. These issues may arise after the application deadline has passed.
      • Examples may include a death in the immediate family, unexpected loss of employment, or serious or sudden illness.
    • The hardship contingency may consist of either tuition assistance or deferred tuition payments.
    • Those who wish to apply for a hardship contingency would be required to follow the same guidelines as those applying for financial assistance and provide the appropriate documentation.
  • Appeal Process:

    Families may appeal a financial assistance decision or award amount by appealing in writing to the Financial Assistance Appeals Committee.
    • Please email the Coordinator of Financial Assistance with your appeal request to kbaratoff@portledge.org
    • Appeal requests must be received within two weeks of the award decision date
    • Make sure to include your name, the student’s name and grade, and a detailed reason why you are appealing the decision.
    • Appeal decisions are given 7 to 14 days after request (Financial Assistance-Appeals Committee will re-review all documentation submitted)
  • Parent Confidentiality Agreement:

    All families applying for Financial Assistance at the Portledge School must acknowledge that they have read, understand, and agree with the “Parent Confidentiality Agreement” on Blackbaud Financial Aid Management. “Financial Assistance awards are not guaranteed for every applicant and are based solely on financial need. If awarded, each family acknowledges that their Financial Assistance award will not be disclosed to any other family or student. When families share details of financial aid awards, false assumptions, and expectations are often created. Willful breaches of this confidentiality agreement may require a review and potential repeal of financial assistance awards”.
  • Contact Information:

    Please contact Kim Baratoff, Coordinator of Financial Assistance, with any questions you may have regarding Financial Assistance via email at kbaratoff@portledge.org.

We’re pleased to get in touch at your convenience!


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Michael Coope

    Michael Coope 

    Portledge School
    Director of Admissions
    (516) 750-3202
  • Photo of Kim Baratoff

    Kim Baratoff 

    Portledge School
    Assistant Director of Admissions, Coordinator of Financial Assistance
    (516) 750-3203
  • Photo of Melissa Worth

    Melissa Worth 

    Portledge School
    Admissions Associate
    (516) 750-3104

With Us

Still have questions? Our team is happy to help you!
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Portledge School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to, but is not limited to, educational policies, admission, financial aid, hiring and employment practices, use of school facilities, athletics, and other school-administered programs.
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