Tuition and Tuition Assistance Policies and Procedures
The Kimberton Waldorf School values and actively seeks a student body that reflects the ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of the area. Our program of tuition assistance supports this diversity by making the School more accessible to families of varying economic backgrounds. While demonstrating this commitment by dedicating approximately 30% of the gross tuition income of the annual budget to need-based support reflected in discounted tuitions, the School also recognizes that the primary responsibility for financing a student’s independent school education rests with his or her family. Tuition assistance is granted on the basis of need which is determined by comparing the income and resources of applicants against their assets and liabilities. It is expected that parents applying for tuition assistance will first assess their financial status and turn to other sources before asking Kimberton Waldorf School for assistance. While our aim is to assure the possibility of Waldorf education to all of our students, our ability to do so is limited. Assistance comes in the form of tuition reduction and is supported by other families’ tuitions. As a result, the school is not in a financial position to support lifestyle choices that have a negative impact on the family’s ability to pay tuition. We expect all parents to contribute honestly toward tuition, including seeking employment in order to help defray school costs.
Tuition fees at Kimberton Waldorf School are considered as support to the functions and operations that support the mission of the school. Tuitions rates are set by January each year. Student Enrollment Agreements are sent out by the beginning of February and are due back by the beginning of March. These agreements state the tuition rate and the conditions of payment. Families who apply for financial aid are required to have their applications sent online to School and Student Services (sss.nais.org) and their tax returns submitted to KWS by April 1st. Financial Aid award letters are sent out before the end of April reflecting the amount of the award and the consequential tuition payment. Appeals to awards are accepted by May 15th.
Tuition payment plans are arranged in a one-pay, two-pay or ten-pay agreements. One-pay payments must be paid by August 1st. Families who choose the one-pay arrangement may choose to purchase tuition insurance or opt out of it and sign a waiver. Two-pay payments are made by July 1st and January 1st; it is required that tuition insurance be purchased through the school at a rate of 3.2% of full tuition. Ten-pay payments are made by the 1st or the15th of each month from July through April; there is a 3.2% charge for tuition insurance.
Delinquent accounts are addressed in the following way. A notice is sent when an account is 15 days delinquent. If there is no payment received, a second letter is sent within a week as a reminder of the due amount and the consequences of student dismissal for not paying the student’s tuition. If no payment is received within one week after the second letter is sent, a third letter is sent by the Board of Trustees and a telephone call is made. If payment has not been received or mutually agreeable payment arrangements have not been made at that time, the family is notified of dismissal of the child(ren) verbally and by certified letter.
All tuition assistance at Kimberton Waldorf School is need based, and amounts awarded are based solely on demonstrated financial need. Admission decisions are made separately from decisions regarding tuition assistance. Awards are determined by the Financial Aid/Tuition Assistance Committee. In determining awards, the Committee relies upon the expected family contribution as calculated by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), the family’s submitted tax returns, and any special financial considerations communicated by the family. Final assistance decisions are based on the Committee’s assessment of the family’s needs, the number of applications, the needs within specific classes, and the overall needs of the School as reflected in the budgeted funds available. There is always a greater demand for assistance than there are resources. Because the demand for assistance is high, families are advised that they may need to seek additional resources to supplement the grants they receive from the School’s tuition assistance program. In many cases, the School can meet only a portion of a family’s need as calculated by SSS.
The membership of the Tuition Assistance Committee consists of faculty, staff, and alumni parents. Members are kept confidential. The criteria for membership include knowledge of financial matters, the capacity for objective decision making and a willingness to uphold the philosophy of the School’s Tuition Assistance program. The Tuition Assistance Committee makes need-based assistance awards using required financial documentation provided by parents.
The range of need-based assistance is generally between 5% and 60% of tuition. Tuition assistance must be applied for annually. While the School cannot guarantee the same level of financial support beyond any single year, the goal is to continue offering an award consistent with a family’s demonstrated need whenever possible.
Information related to tuition assistance is kept in strict confidence and students receiving assistance are not held to different academic or behavioral standards. The School allocates tuition assistance systematically, with priority given first to returning students, followed by new students. In order to be considered for tuition assistance, the payment of open tuition balances must be current. Families requesting need-based support are not required to make a binding commitment to the School until a decision has been reached regarding their tuition assistance application.
Appeals of tuition assistance awards must be made in writing to the Tuition Assistance Committee and must include additional information and/or description of special circumstances that occurred since the submission of the original application. An interview may be arranged by members of the Tuition Assistance Committee to fully understand the family’s financial situation, including personal and lifestyle choices.
- Families with an income of up to $120,000 may be eligible to apply for tuition assistance.
- New families are eligible to apply upon acceptance to the School. Mid-year acceptances will be considered if funds remain.
- Applications must be received on or before April 1st. Late application will be reviewed when the process for timely application has been completed. Any remaining funds will then be awarded to qualified late applicants.
- It is not possible for the Tuition Assistance Committee to become involved in any financial arrangements between parents. Non-custodial parents are expected to contribute financial documentation to the Tuition Assistance Committee.
The deadline for submitting all required items, as outlined below, is April 1st for families currently in the School.
- Complete Parent’s Financial Statement (PFS) appropriate for your family’s circumstances and submit it directly to School and Student Services (SSS) online at sss.nais.org. Self-employed individuals are required to complete the Family Farm & Business Form, which is also available online at www.sss.nais.org.
- Submit to the Tuition Assistance Committee of Kimberton Waldorf School the following additional information:
- Copy of the current year Federal Tax Return, including all schedules. For self-employed individuals, copies of both business and personal tax returns are required.
- A written explanation of any special circumstances you want the Financial Aid/Tuition Assistance Committee to be aware of.
Please note that incomplete or delayed information regarding any of the above items may result in a reduction in the amount of tuition assistance offered. Requests for tuition assistance are reviewed only after the enrollment agreement and commitment deposit have been received. If the amount of tuition assistance awarded is insufficient to meet a family’s anticipated need, an appeal may be submitted or the student enrollment agreement may be withdrawn and 80% of the commitment deposit refunded for up to 30 days after notification of the tuition assistance award.
If no assistance is granted or the award is less than required, a written letter of appeal may be written to the Tuition Assistance Committee. This letter should outline any expenses or financial obligations which were omitted from the original application. The amount of addition assistance in order to make it possible for enrollment in the School should be included. The possibility of appeal grants depends on the availability of funds. The Business Office notifies a family of the most recent decision within two weeks of receipt of the appeal letter. Acceptance of final awards made by the School must be received in the Business Office within 14 days of the notification date; if there is a lack of written acceptance, it is assumed that the award was denied and the funds are returned to the tuition assistance ‘pot.’