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SSS and TADS introduce groundbreaking single financial aid application for K-12 private and independent schools

Community Brands offers first consolidated financial aid portal for families with the choice between two methodologies for schools

March 18, 2021 — St. Petersburg, FL — Community Brands, the leading provider of cloud-based software for schools, associations, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations, today announced two of its brands, TADS Financial Aid and School and Student Services (SSS), will come together on a single software platform to create greater access for families seeking to afford a private or independent K-12 education.

Schools can select to use either the TADS needs-based approach or the SSS methodology, developed and maintained by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), to calculate need in alignment with their philosophy and mission, but the single experience increases families’ access to schools and aid with one application. Community Brands becomes the only financial aid provider in the market to offer a modern, innovative financial aid platform that also is part of a single technology suite, including the full enrollment experience across admissions, enrollment, financial aid and tuition management.

To achieve this unparalleled offering, the Community Brands team built a brand-new TADS Financial Aid portal on the commercially available Salesforce platform, the same software platform that has supported the SSS financial aid solution for the past seven years. Previously, families applying to schools using both TADS and SSS would have to complete two separate applications and pay duplicate application fees. With this new single-platform approach, TADS and SSS further advance their mission of making private education accessible to all families by requiring that families only pay a single application fee to apply for aid.

“At Community Brands, our core mission is to help families find, apply for and afford a private or independent school education. By bringing our two financial aid assessment solutions onto the same powerful Salesforce platform, we’re able to make our partner schools more accessible to those families who may not otherwise have access to private education,” shared Bethany Little, Managing Director of Education and Non-Profit at Community Brands. “It is more important than ever to engage families with education options, particularly as we continue to manage through COVID-19. Schools that use our financial aid platform will extend their reach and also could capture first-time applicants to private school, potentially increasing their enrollment during a time of uncertainty.”

With the adoption of a single application for families also comes the ability for all schools, whether they use SSS or TADS, to offer the Means-based Waiver (MBW), a truly unique fee waiver that has been exclusive to SSS for the past six seasons. This revolutionary program has been proven to quickly and discretely help the families who need it most. The MBW automatically identifies families who meet certain criteria (including qualifying for free lunch) and then automatically waives the application fee for those families. And schools that want to grant extra fee waivers at their own discretion will have the ability to purchase additional fee waivers directly through the SSS and TADS portals.

In addition to reducing the financial burden, the new and improved TADS Financial Aid portal makes the application process much easier for new and returning families with built-in help text, how-to tools, carry-forward functionality, and easy access to world-class support. Schools utilizing the new TADS Financial Aid portal will gain tremendous benefits from the modern, innovative tools made possible by the move to the Salesforce platform including:

  • A proven, automated, and lightning-fast document verification process that harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to provide schools verified documentation within just 48 hours.
  • Powerful self-serve functionality that will give schools greater access and control over their data and applications.
  • The ability to adjust applications and settings and run various scenarios whenever and however they like, without needing to pick up the phone or wait for a support team member.
  • Access to a team of financial aid experts, resources, and professional development throughout the financial aid process to improve the quality of their financial aid assessments.
  • A seamless integration with TADS’s best-in-class Tuition Management offering that will let schools apply financial aid awards to families’ billing accounts with just the push of a button.

About TADS
TADS has been helping schools for nearly 50 years deliver a better experience for administrators and families by automating the most critical school management functions. Schools and organizations large and small across the nation use TADS to manage their admissions, enrollment, aid assessment, billing and much more. From Archdioceses to the smallest rural schools, TADS schools realize cost savings and service levels that are simply not available elsewhere.

About SSS
For more than 50 years, School and Student Services (SSS) has helped connect hundreds of thousands of students with an exceptional education. SSS provides a comprehensive need-based financial aid solution for schools to collect the data they need with a time-tested, fair, and equitable approach, so they can reach the families that most need help. SSS integrates directly with Community Brands’ leading admission and enrollment solution, Ravenna.

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