Financial Assistance

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.

Please note, 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.

Read WNS's Financial Assistance Mission Statement and Policies

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.

Click here for the Financial Assistance Guidelines and Instructions.

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.

Returning families may also be interested in our Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP provides a financial bridge designed to cover a portion of a tuition increase or a portion of the increase in tuition when moving from one division to the next, or both. The TAP award is capped at $3,000. Click here for information about and instructions to apply for TAP in OnCampus.

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 Clarity online application to be considered for financial assistance at WNS.

The Steps For Applying

Step 1

File the Clarity application online (opens December 1).

Submit Clarity Application

Due Date:
Current Families – January 19, 2025
Prospective Families –  January 31, 2025

Family Application GuideClarity Application Quick Reference Guide

Step 2

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 2023 pay stub(s) instead. Send your W-2s to or

Westside Neighborhood School
Attn: Financial Assistance
5401 Beethoven Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Due Date:
January 31, 2025

Step 3

Upload 2024 Income Tax Return

All applicants must upload their 2024 Income Tax Returns to their Clarity account by April 15, 2025.

Due Date:
April 15, 2025

Financial Assistance FAQ’s

What is the WNS Financial Assistance Mission Statement?

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.

Who may apply for financial assistance?

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, and information from the analysis provided by Clarity.

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 the family will be capable of covering all educational costs for the upcoming year and the foreseeable future.

When do I apply for financial assistance?

Your application for financial assistance is processed on a parallel timeline as your enrollment application. FA applications are accepted beginning December 1, 2024, and are due by January 15, 2025, for current families and January 31, 2025, for prospective families. Give yourself sufficient time to submit the financial assistance application and provide the most accurate information possible.

Will my application for financial assistance affect my child's chances for admission?

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.

Do I need to reapply each year and will WNS support continue in future years?

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. 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.

How am I notified of the Financial Assistance Committee's decision?

We inform applicant families whether they qualify for financial assistance along with the amount, if applicable, with their admission decision. Preschool and DK notifications are emailed on February 29, 2024, and K-8 notifications are emailed on March 8, 2024 (the same dates that enrollment acceptance letters are emailed).

Is my award kept confidential?

Yes. WNS and Clarity keep every family’s personal and financial information strictly confidential.

What other expenses are covered by financial assistance at WNS?

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.

Are there additional fees for overnight retreats?

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. 

What if I have children at other tuition-charging schools?

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.

What if I am a single parent, never married, separated or divorced?

If parents are living separately, both custodial and non-custodial parents must complete a Clarity 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 Clarity application from that parent may not be required. However, documentation is required to verify this parent has no contact with the applicant.

What if I have remarried, have a new legal partner, or my child has multiple parents?

Financial information is required of all adults, including step-parents, involved in the applicant’s life. The financial information submitted to Clarity must include all household income and assets.

What if parents are divorced or separated?

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.

Are there any exceptions to the above policy?

Exceptions may be made in cases where the non-custodial parent has no contact or involvement with the child.

What if I lose my job or my source of income?

This information should be included on the Clarity application with as much supporting information as possible.

A family whose circumstances change after submission of the Clarity application and/or who wishes to request reconsideration of the award decision may file an appeal through Clarity. If received in a reasonable time frame, we will review it and reply prior to the contract submission due date.

Can I use my 529 plan toward WNS tuition?

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.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Please contact Tanya Paxton, Business Manager, at or (310) 574-8650, x405.

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