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JLB-PRC1

Financial Assistance Program

JLB-PRC1

HOPKINTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

The Hopkinton Public Schools recognizes that at times parents or guardians may have difficulty paying district fees due to their financial circumstances. The district therefore provides financial assistance through fee waivers or reductions. Fee waivers are available to families earning less than one and one-half times (150%) the Federal Poverty Guideline and fee reductions are available to families earning less than two times (200%) the Federal Poverty Guideline.  

Waivers or reductions are offered to eligible families for district-level fees, which include transportation, athletics, parking, and preschool tuition.  

Financial assistance for school-level expenses may be available for optional field trips and student travel programs (not including trips abroad); instrumental music; class dues; dances; and yearbooks.  Financial aid at this level is at the sole discretion of the school principal based on (1) eligibility determined by the Business Office and (2) the availability of funds, which are typically limited. Parents must check with the principal on the availability of funds for each fee reduction or waiver request.

The Hopkinton Public Schools has created a centralized financial assistance application process, which should be noted, is separate from the school lunch program governed by the USDA National School Lunch Program. Parents or guardians seeking financial assistance should complete the Financial Assistance Determination Application (JLB-FRM1 available at the Parent Link on the district webpage) and return the form only to the district’s Business Office to ensure confidentiality of sensitive financial information. (If parents have submitted a Free and Reduced Lunch Application, please see the last paragraph for an information sharing option which eliminates the need to complete the rest of this application.)  

The district’s Financial Assistance Program is based on the US Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines posted at their website (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty). The US Department of Agriculture also uses these guidelines to determine the Free and Reduced Lunch eligible income levels. The district expanded the poverty level by a multiplier to better match Hopkinton’s income level and assist families whose income is greater than those established by the Free and Reduced Lunch Guidelines.   The guidelines are:

 
Hopkinton Determination Status
Income Level over HHS Poverty Guideline for Household Income
Fee Waiver
Less than 150%
50% Fee Reduction 
Between 150% and 200%

 

As federal income guidelines are updated, the Hopkinton Financial Assistance Program guidelines will be adjusted accordingly and the chart below will change. There are two additional income levels used that are higher than the Free and Reduced Lunch Guidelines to determine reduced fees in Hopkinton: 

Household Size

Federal Poverty Guideline

Free Lunch 130%

Reduced Lunch 185%

HPS Free Fees 150%

HPS Reduced Fees 200%

1

$13,590

N/A

N/A

$20,385

$27,180

2

$18,310

N/A

N/A

$27,465

$36,620

3

$23,030

N/A

N/A

$34,545

$46,060

4

$27,750

N/A

N/A

$41,625

$55,500

5

$32,470

N/A

N/A

$48,705

$64,940

6

$37,190

N/A

N/A

$55,785

$74,380

7

$41,910

N/A

N/A

$62,865

$83,820

8

$46,630

N/A

N/A

$69,945

$93,260

Each Add

$4,720

N/A

N/A

$7,080

$9,440

*The 2020 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 12, 2022.  The Federal Register
 notice for the 2020 Poverty Guidelines was published January 12, 2022.
 

Process for Applying for Financial Assistance

The Business Office processes applications (Form JLB-FRM2) as they are submitted.  Financial assistance applications are available for each school year in the March/April timeframe in the Business and School Offices and online through the district’s website. Due to the volume of applications at registration periods and the information required, it can take up to two (2) weeks to have an application processed from receipt of the application to final notification of parents and principals.  

 
To apply for financial assistance, parents/guardians must:
  • Complete the application and provide copies of documentation requested;
  • Submit the completed forms to the Business Office-Financial Assistance Coordinator at the following address:
Hopkinton Public Schools Administration
Financial Assistance
89 Hayden Rowe St.
Hopkinton, MA  01748

 

Upon receipt of a completed application, the Director of Finance reviews the application, makes a determination, sends a notification by letter to the family, and notifies appropriate School Department personnel of any fee reductions granted.

 

Determination of Income and Income Verification

Hopkinton’s Financial Assistance Program determinations are based solely on household income and do not take into account mortgage payments, property value (unless zero income is reported), college tuitions, or household expenses.  

Documentation of household income includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Internal Revenue Service Form 1040, Pages 1 and 2 of all adults residing in the household;

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Income;

  • Unemployment Compensation and severance pay;

  • Alimony and child support agreements;

  • Transitional Assistance Letters and Benefits; and

  • Pay stubs if there has been a decline in income from the previous tax year.

Foster children are not included as a member of the family with which they reside or in the household income of the custodial parent.  Non-custodial parent income is considered when that parent receives the tax deduction for the dependent and there is no record of child support.

The program requires documentation of income from parties who do not reside with the household but who are providing financial support. Documentation of guardianship and foster child status must also be provided.

All application information is kept confidential and not included in any student file.  All documentation submitted with the application is kept for three years and then shredded.

 

Free and Reduced Lunch 

Those parents and guardians who intend to apply to the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program must complete a separate application with the Food Service Department. USDA National School Lunch Program guidelines prohibit any use of the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch application for any program other than the school lunch program unless the Information Sharing Agreement is signed.  Parents who sign this agreement do not need to complete the Financial Assistance Application (JLB-FRM2) to apply for fee reductions.

 

School Committee Policies