What is our philosophy on tuition assistance?
The original Waldorf school established in 1919 was made possible by the gift of an affluent industrialist committed to social renewal. As part of this social renewal, the early Waldorf school pioneers envisioned a new approach to economics based on brotherhood rather than self-interest. Today Waldorf schools attempt to carry this ideal forward.
While Pine Hill Waldorf School relies on tuition and donations to support our infrastructure, we share Rudolf Steiner's goal of making a Waldorf education available to those who desire it. For this reason, we set aside at least 12% of the operating budget each year for tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is available to all students in Nursery through 8th grade.
Tuition assistance and an affordable education
Tuition assistance comes directly from the school's limited budget. The tuition that families pay, the salaries that faculty receive, and the programs that the school is able to offer, are directly affected by the overriding desire to make the school affordable to as large a segment of the population as possible.
Thus, assistance the school provides is not intended to subsidize discretionary lifestyle choices. While assessing true need is always a challenge, examples of lifestyle choices that would not be supported with the school's limited resources would include considerably higher family income in relation to the pool of families applying, owning a second home, high-priced family vacations, etc.
Tuition assistance and the admission process
It is our policy to conduct a “needs blind” admission process. After a child has completed the enrollment process and been accepted to the school, our Tuition Assistance Committee reviews the application and makes a decision. Tuition assistance applications are always held with the strictest confidentiality and are only reviewed by the Tuition Assistance Committee. Class teachers do not make decisions concerning tuition assistance and are not told which families in their class receive assistance.
How to apply for tuition assistance
FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment conducts financial need analysis for tuition assistance applicants at Pine Hill. Online applications are preferred, or paper applications are available in the business office. FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment can provide a self-addressed envelope for you to mail the following information:
- Signed and completed paper application
- Payment of the FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment application fee (non-refundable)
- Copies of your prior year tax forms including all supporting tax schedules.
- Copies of your prior year W-2 forms for both you and your spouse.
- Copies of supporting documentation for Social Security Income, Welfare, Child Support, Food Stamps, Worker’s Compensation, and TANF.
After FACTS Grant & Aid has assessed your financial need, Pine Hill's Tuition Assistance Committee makes a decision based on that assessment. The Tuition Assistance Committee is guided by the following policies:
- Tuition assistance is awarded annually on the basis of need.
- Tuition assistance awards are limited in total by the amount of funds available for tuition assistance. Because the grades tuition is higher than early childhood tuition, the majority of our funds are directed towards grades families. For early childhood students, the maximum award will not exceed 25% of tuition. For grades students, most tuition assistance awards range between 10% and 50%. A limited number of awards above 50% are made in view of special circumstances. These limited awards will not exceed 80%. Most families do not receive the maximum award.
- Applications for tuition assistance must be timely and complete. No application will be processed without a completed Application for Tuition Assistance and a copy of the previous year’s tax return with accompanying W2 forms.
- The Committee will not consider the applications of families who have past due balances for current year tuition unless satisfactory arrangements have been made with the business office.
- The Committee considers all aspects of a family’s financial situation, including the income and assets of both parents in cases of divorce or separation.
- The Committee does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, or national origin.
- If there are additional circumstances within your family that would not be apparent within the required application process, please include a letter of explanation to the Tuition Assistance Committee with your application.
- All information submitted is held in strict confidence and is reviewed by the Committee only.
The Committee tries to accommodate all applications, but rarely has enough money to fully satisfy all requests. Once awards are announced, any applicant may appeal to the Committee for review. Sometimes the Committee is able to offer additional assistance at a later date or provide more information about the reasons for its decisions.
In the event that your tuition assistance award does not meet your financial needs, all Pine Hill fees will be refunded except your initial application fee.