For the 2020-2021 school year, the majority of budgeted tuition assistance funds will be awarded to those who complete the FAST application by the Feb. 28, 2020 due date.
What is Woodinville Montessori School’s tuition assistance policy?
The WMS Board of Trustees is committed to building and maintaining a diverse student body, so it devotes significant funds to tuition assistance. The WMS Tuition Assistance Committee offers aid to qualified students, based on school policies, demonstrated financial need and available funds.
Are there any special obligations for students who receive tuition assistance?
No. Each student is expected to maintain the high personal and academic qualities shown at the time of admission to the school.
Who is awarded aid?
WMS does not discriminate in the administration of our tuition assistance policies on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, gender, sexual identity, disability, age, national or ethnic origin, or other legally protected status. Using a uniform methodology, we annually assess each family’s ability to pay for education. Financial need is not a consideration in determining a student’s eligibility for admission, as all financial award decisions are made independently from admission decisions. Providing all deadlines have been met, applicant families will be notified of tuition assistance decisions before they are expected to give a binding reply to the school with an enrollment agreement.
How are awards determined?
The Tuition Assistance Committee attempts to ensure that each family is subject to the same guidelines by evaluating the needs of every applicant family relative to the needs of other applicants. The committee also reviews any appeals or requests for changes in aid awards. The committee comprises key administrative staff and non-parent members of the Board of Trustees. The committee maintains strict confidentiality, accessing only information that is necessary and relevant to its mission.
How is a family’s need determined?
WMS subscribes to Independent School Management’s FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) program. ISM’s FAST does not decide whether financial assistance will be given or how much to give; FAST provides a need-based tuition assistance analysis service. FAST provides the school with a report, which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential. Applications and FAST reports are reviewed by the Tuition Assistance Committee, who then determines awards.
When should I begin the online application process?
Families begin online application for the 2020-2021 school year as early as Jan. 1. The application process takes time, so start early! FAST will allow you to save your work as you go, returning to it later until completed. Please note that if you begin the online process before mid-January, the tuition amount that you see will be for the current school year; we will post updated tuition rates for the next school year when the Board of Trustees approves them in mid-January.
In order to be eligible when the greatest amount of financing is available, and to receive award information for the 2020-2021 school year by mid-March, the following deadlines must be met:
- Postmarked mailing of hard copies of all 2019 tax documents—no later than Feb. 28, 2020
- Online submission of completed FAST application—no later than Feb. 28, 2020
Families may still apply after these deadlines, and awards will continue to be made to eligible families until tuition assistance funds are depleted.
How do families apply for tuition assistance?
All families, including those who are currently receiving tuition assistance, must annually submit a new application for financial assistance. Families must apply each year so any changes will be accurately reflected in the assessment of financial need.
- Click on the “FAST” button at the top of the page.
- At the FAST website, click the “Start Application” button at the bottom of the first page. The application process is self-guided. All your financial information should be entered directly through the secure server. Space is also provided to fill out additional information that may be pertinent to your application. You may navigate in and out of the program, allowing you to partially complete and save an application, then return to it at another time. FAST offers online email help and a 24/7 helpline is provided. Please do not call the school with questions. You can find the FAST User Guide here.
- The nonrefundable fee for the application is $45 (as of Nov. 1, 2019) and is to be paid for at the end of the session by the applicant, using a credit card (VISA, MC, AMEX).
- After completing the online application you will be required to mail or scan all of your 2019 tax documents for both state and federal taxes, with all schedules and W-2’s, to:
- Independent School Management
- Attn: FAST Processing
- 1316 North Union Street
- Wilmington DE 19806-2594
Include the school’s name on the outside of the envelope to ensure faster processing of your application!
Is the application process different for separated or divorced parents?
As a general rule we require financial disclosure of all parents regardless of status by which they have filed their taxes, to include both natural parents as well as any stepparents where a divorced parent has remarried. The same is true for civil unions as well as “common law” couples. “Deadbeat” dads or moms are not exempted, and in fact their refusal to complete disclosure forms may impair the child’s chances for assistance. The only exceptions tend to be when we cannot identify a responsible party. Custodial financial arrangements often do not have a bearing on aid eligibility as we consider all parents to share responsibility for the child’s development and educational success. Please refer to the FAST website for further information.
What if MY aid award is not enough?
Your Tuition Solution provides low, fixed-rate loans to parents of K-12 accredited independent school students. You may contact them at 1-800-920-9777 or visit www.yourtuitionsolution.com for more information.
What is the appeal procedure?
To appeal a tuition assistance decision, a family should address the Tuition Assistance Committee in writing and include any additional information and/or special circumstance that has occurred since the submission of the application that would warrant reconsideration. It may also be helpful to submit additional information that may not have been included on your original application, such as monthly expenses, copies of recent pay stubs or unusual expenses. However, because offers will already have been made to other families, WMS cannot guarantee that funding will be available to modify offers based on information received after the deadline. The school’s inability to supply tuition assistance or a family’s not qualifying for tuition assistance does not excuse families from honoring the terms of their signed enrollment agreement(s) with the school.
What if my financial circumstances change during the year?
Should you need more aid due to job loss, etc. or need less aid due to an increase in resources you should contact the Tuition Assistance Committee via the WMS Business Manager.