Affording a WNS Education
The financial assistance program is one aspect of our commitment to making a WNS education accessible to as many qualified students as possible and to retaining our students once they are enrolled. We expect parents to assume primary responsibility for funding their child’s education at WNS; financial assistance is a supplement–it helps bridge the gap between the actual cost and what a family can reasonably afford.
Qualifying for financial assistance does not guarantee an award, and the amount of the award is at the discretion of the financial assistance committee. Decisions are based upon the availability of funds and the number of qualified applicants. WNS follows NAIS best practices in the administration of its financial assistance program.
Determination of Awards
WNS determines each family’s need by analyzing individual financial profiles: we review tax returns, income, assets, and liabilities. Backup documents are also required. The process, documents, and results are kept strictly confidential. Eligibility evaluations are made independently of admission decisions but on a parallel time track.
We strive to meet the legitimate needs of as many families as possible with our financial assistance funds. We build our budget based on the assumption that families offered financial assistance will receive financial assistance in future years at the same prorated rate. Tuition will go up incrementally each year, which means that the financial award and the family’s contribution will go up incrementally as well. If circumstances change dramatically, a family can make a request for an adjustment to this rate (e.g. new child/dependent, additional sibling in school, moving up a division to a higher tuition level). Similarly, if income increases significantly, we may lower the amount of financial assistance. Notification of award decisions occurs at the time that re-enrollment or new enrollment contracts are issued.
Renewals and Priorities
All recipients must complete a financial assistance application for each school year. Retaining current students and families is the school’s highest priority; therefore, returning families whose financial assistance applications are submitted on time are given first priority. Next, new families are considered. Applications received after the deadline are considered only if funds remain.
PLEASE NOTE: if you are applying to WNS through the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, you may already have completed the Parents’ Financial Statement (“PFS”) through the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (“SSS”). You must also submit the FAST online application to be considered for financial assistance at WNS.
The Steps For Applying
Download and complete the Family Financial Profile (FFP)
All applicant families must submit the Family Financial Profile (FFP)
Return the FFP to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Westside Neighborhood School
Attn: Financial Assistance
5401 Beethoven Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Current Families – January 27, 2020
Prospective Families – January 31, 2020
Send copies of W-2s to WNS
All applicants who have income taxes withheld and receive earnings statements from employers must send copies of their W-2s to WNS. If your W-2 is not available, send a copy of your final 2019 pay stub(s) instead. Send your W-2s to email@example.com or
Westside Neighborhood School
Attn: Financial Assistance
5401 Beethoven Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066
January 31, 2020
Upload 2019 Income Tax Return
All applicants must upload their 2019 Income Tax Returns to their FAST account by February 28, 2020.
February 28, 2020
Financial Assistance FAQ’s
Maintaining socio-economic diversity and accessibility is a cornerstone principle at Westside Neighborhood School. Financial assistance is awarded each year on the basis of demonstrated need in keeping with our published financial assistance guidelines so that qualified students and families have access to a WNS education. We recognize that many WNS families make difficult financial decisions and sacrifices to afford a private independent school education for their child.
We are committed to making enrollment possible through tuition discounts for qualified students who otherwise would not be able to attend our school. The great majority of WNS’s financial assistance funding comes from our annual operating budget; much smaller amounts come from targeted contributions and the Brenda A. Parker Endowment Fund. The financial assistance program provides partial tuition discounts for approximately 25% of our student body.
Anyone may apply for assistance. Financial assistance is based solely on demonstrated need. Need is determined by a committee of WNS administrators using the information provided by each applicant family through tax returns, confidential statements, information from the Family Financial Profile (FFP), and the analysis provided by FAST.
Demonstrated need implies that parents have taken all reasonable measures to provide for their child’s educational expenses, carefully considering their lifestyle decisions (homes, vehicles, vacations, club memberships etc.) and are willing to apply assets to tuition in addition to annual income before financial assistance can be considered.
Demonstrated need does not guarantee support. WNS’s resources are finite; the school’s inability to grant financial assistance or meet a family’s need is not a reflection on the validity of the family’s request.
If we enroll initially without financial assistance, can we apply for financial assistance in subsequent years?
A family who enrolls at WNS without the support of financial assistance will not be considered for future assistance unless a significant change in circumstances can be documented.
When a family enrolls without financial assistance, the school budgets accordingly and assumes that family will be capable of covering all educational costs for the upcoming year and the foreseeable future.
Your application for financial assistance is processed on a parallel timeline as your enrollment application. FA applications are accepted beginning December 1, 2019, and are due by January 27, 2020, for current families and by January 31, 2020, for prospective families. Give yourself sufficient time to submit the financial assistance application and provide the most accurate information possible. Please remember to complete your tax returns early as they are required to be submitted to FAST by February 28, 2020.
The tuition assistance committee makes award recommendations independently of the admission department decisions. However, while there is a sizeable financial assistance budget, there is a finite amount of assistance available. Retaining current families is the school’s highest priority; therefore, returning families whose financial assistance applications are submitted on time are given first priority.
Yes. All recipients must complete a financial assistance application, including required tax returns, for each school year at re-enrollment time.
In extending financial assistance to a family, our goal is to support the student’s attendance for the entire time he/she is enrolled, pending continued need. If your financial circumstances change and your ability to contribute to your child’s educational expenses increases, your award may be decreased accordingly. We will make every effort to increase the award if your ability to pay educational expenses decreases.
We inform applicant families whether they qualify for financial assistance along with the amount, if applicable, with their admission decision. Preschool notifications are emailed on February 27, 2020, and DK-8 notifications are emailed on March 13, 2020 (the same dates that enrollment acceptance letters are emailed).
Yes. WNS and FAST keep every family’s personal and financial information strictly confidential.
A: In addition to tuition assistance, there are also discounts for aftercare (ACE), after school enrichment (ACE Plus), the summer transition program, and tickets to school events. Discount percentages are based on the percent of financial assistance awarded.
At WNS, fees for overnight school retreats are included in tuition.
I already have a full-pay child at the school, but do not have the resources to pay for a younger sibling. What do I do?
You must apply for assistance at the time the younger sibling applies for admission. The financial assistance application must be for both children. If the younger child is admitted and you qualify for assistance, both children will receive financial assistance.
WNS will consider the tuition of siblings in private elementary or secondary schools; but in order to receive assistance from us you must apply for assistance at all schools your children attend. You should note that since loans are available for college, WNS does not make allowances for education expenses of college-age or adult dependents.
If parents are living separately, both custodial and non-custodial parents must complete a FAST application and submit all required documents. We expect both parents to contribute to the education of their child.
If a parent’s whereabouts are unknown or a claim is made stating there is no involvement in the child’s upbringing, a FAST application from that parent may not be required. However, documentation is required to verify this parent has no contact with the applicant.
Financial information is required of all adults, including step-parents, involved in the applicant’s life. The financial information submitted to FAST must include all household income and assets.
Divorced and/or separated parents are expected to submit independent financial information as part of a joint family application. We consider that both parents have an obligation to contribute to the extent they can to their child’s educational expenses. We take into account the assets and income of both parents. We cannot be bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed legally or otherwise any responsibility for educational expenses. If either parent has remarried, we will consider the income of the household.
Exceptions may be made in cases where the non-custodial parent has no contact or involvement with the child.
This information should be included on the FAST application with as much supporting information as possible.
A family whose circumstances change after submission of the FAST application and/or who wishes to request reconsideration of the award decision may file an appeal through FAST. If received in a reasonable time frame, we will review it and reply prior to the contract submission due date.
What if my family does not qualify for financial assistance? Are there other options available for financing a WNS education?
Yes. To apply for a student loan, please go to www.YourTuitionSolution.com.
Starting in 2018, 529 plans (formerly limited to college savings) are available to pay private school tuition. Parents can withdraw up to $10,000 per year from the fund for tuition for their beneficiary. We recommend that you discuss this with a tax advisor in order to determine whether this is a good option for your family.
Please contact Tanya Paxton, Business Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 574-8650, x405.