Tuition Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
2015/2016 Tuition Assistance
Frequently Asked Questions
Sacramento Waldorf School is a community of shared values within an economically diverse campus. There are two ways to receive tuition discounts: Sacramento Waldorf School’s Tuition Assistance Program, and Sibling Discounts. Aid may be offered to families experiencing short-term crises or setbacks or to those who could not otherwise afford to be here. We believe that our entire community benefits from this practice. Tuition Assistance is made possible through the generosity of those families who are able to pay the full tuition and through gifts and donations.
2015/2016 Key Dates for Currently Enrolled Families
Last day to apply for Tuition Assistance February 13, 2015
Families notified of Tuition Assistance awards March 11, 2015
Last day to pay Re-enrollment Fee of $250 March 27, 2015
Enrollment fee is $450 for Lower School, $550 for High School March 27, 2015
How do I apply?
- Apply online through Tuition Assistance Data Service (TADS) at www.TADS.com.
Does it cost money to apply?
- Yes, the fee for the application process is $34 per family.
What information will I need to supply?
- The application will ask for details of income, savings, assets, home mortgage or rent, and other factors relevant to a family’s ability to meet tuition, including details from the previous tax year.
What if I haven’t done my taxes yet?
- You do not have to have all of your tax documents to submit your application. Provide supporting documentation as soon as it is available.
What happens after I apply?
- TADS reviews all pertinent information, sends you a request for supporting documentation, and offers a summary report and recommendation to Sacramento Waldorf School. The School determines the final award.
Can I provide more information than TADS requests?
- Families may also submit a letter detailing additional information about their financial status or circumstances that may impact their ability to pay the full tuition. Send the letter to Laura Poch, SWS Business Manager.
Who looks at my application?
- TADS data is reviewed by a small committee within the School, including the Business Manager and a representative of the Board of Trustees. All financial aid information is treated with complete confidentiality.
Will I talk to anyone about my application?
- On occasion, a follow-up interview may be required by the School before determining the final award.
If I get Tuition Assistance, will I still get a sibling discount?
- Tuition Assistance awards are calculated after deducting any relevant sibling discounts, another form of financial assistance offered by the School.
We are a continuing SWS family, does this affect our application?
- Priority is generally given to continuing students or to those for whom a sudden change in family circumstances will affect the child’s ability to complete his or her education at the Sacramento Waldorf School.
What is the Sibling Discount?
- Full tuition is charged for the oldest child
- 20% discount for the second child
- 30% discount for the third and subsequent children
How do you make Tuition Assistance decisions?
- Our guidelines reflect a commitment to allowing currently enrolled students to complete their lower school or high school Waldorf education; grade guidelines reflect an increase in assistance levels as students advance through the grades. There may be occasional exceptions to these guidelines, based on individual circumstances.
My circumstances are exceptional, what should I do?
- If there are special circumstances (for example, a serious medical condition), we request that applicants add a letter to their application, clearly describing the circumstance, its impact, and likely duration. Exceptional awards (those outside of grade guidelines or usual maximum award amounts) will be offered only after a candid interview with members of the Tuition Assistance Committee.
Is the Sibling Discount calculated on full tuition?
- Awards are made on net tuition, after the application of sibling discount or any other adjustments.
How much Tuition Assistance can we be awarded?
- Awards typically range from 10% to a maximum of 40% of tuition.
Do awards vary by grade?
- Not strictly, but we follow these grade guidelines:
o Kindergarten, 10%; Kindergarten awards are generally reserved for the second year of enrollment
o 1st grade 15%
o 2nd – 4th grades 20%
o 5th-6th grade 25%
o 7th-8th grade 30%
o 9th -12th grade 35%
o Preschool: tuition assistance is not available and is not applicable for sibling discounts.
What if we need Tuition Assistance every year?
- That’s fine. We generally expect families receiving financial aid to increase their actual contribution each year, reflecting our increasing costs and the expectation that families will make their children’s Waldorf education a priority.
I also have kids at Camellia Waldorf / Live Oak Waldorf, do I need to go to TADS twice?
- No, complete only one application as Camellia and Live Oak also use TADS.
Who can I talk to?
- Laura Poch, Sacramento Waldorf School Business Manager, 916-860-2507 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your discrimination policy?
- Tuition assistance is based solely on a family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses. Tuition Assistance is offered without regard to race, sex, religion, or national origin.
Questions with More Detailed Answers
Can you explain more about the whole process?
- TADS runs an initial analysis based on the financial data you submitted. This analysis considers your income, investments, debt, and reasonable cost of living expenses for your family. It also factors in any unusual circumstances. TADS gives the School a summary report based on this analysis. A confidential financial aid committee determines the award offer based on the TADS analysis and several additional factors.
What “additional factors”? Can you describe what my award is based on?
- Your award was based on these factors:
o Demonstrated need (your income, debts, and reasonable expenses)
o Your child’s grade level (we generally offer the lowest awards in the kindergarten and the highest awards in the high school, based on tuition levels)
o Exceptional circumstances (for instance, unusual medical expenses)
o Parents’ support of the School, demonstrated through volunteer work, attendance at class meetings or other school events, and adherence to school policies
o Student’s standing with the School (upper grades only): citizenship, adherence to policies, respect for the School. We do not offer performance-based awards and academic ability is not considered.
I had hoped for a larger award. Are there any other steps I can take?
- We regret that our resources are limited and we are unable to provide scholarships to cover the full costs of attending Sacramento Waldorf School. We strive to provide some level of assistance for all qualified applicants. If you believe there are circumstances that may have been overlooked, or your child will be unable to attend the School with the award that has been offered, we encourage you to submit a written appeal.
What are my responsibilities as a recipient of financial aid?
- Please know that we want your child and your family to be here and we hope that your award will support you in being here. Inform the school in writing (email@example.com) of any changes in your circumstances that could impact the level of your award. We ask that you make timely payment of tuition a priority. In fairness to all parents, any offer of an award is contingent on your tuition account from the current year being in good standing. We will not carry an unpaid, unresolved balance forward. We may offer an award if there is an approved payment plan in place for an unpaid balance and a demonstrated ability to honor the plan’s terms. Many of our award recipients are active volunteers and although this is not a requirement, we truly appreciate this type of giving back to the community.
How is financial aid funded?
- Awards are financed from our operating budget through revenue from Annual Giving and tuition paid by those parents who are able to pay the full amount. We are also blessed by several private sponsors.