Accessible-To-All (ATA) Tuition Adjustment
Madison Waldorf School embraces an Accessible-to-All (ATA) tuition model for our grade school based on the ideal that Waldorf education should be accessible to all families who are committed to it, regardless of financial means. Acceptance of a child into our school is not contingent on a family’s financial resources; however, our ATA program requires us to honor appropriate constraints for balancing our budget.
For Children Entering an Early Childhood (EC) Education Program
We are able to offer limited tuition adjustment to children enrolled in the full day early childhood programs.
For Children Entering the Grades
If a family is unable to meet our tuition guidelines, parents can request a tuition adjustment, a two-step process which includes an online financial application and a meeting with two members of our ATA committee. For the first step, the parents are required to complete a Grant & Aid Assessment application with FACTS. MWS requires that separated or divorced parents requesting tuition adjustment each complete a Grant and Aid application. Once completed applications are received, parents will be scheduled to meet with two members of our ATA committee. During this meeting, the group will review both the school’s budget and the family’s budget for the coming year. The adjusted tuition will reflect an understanding of the school as a whole. Both the family and the school stretch to meet the needs of the other, and the ATA committee members and family take responsibility for reaching consensus on the tuition amount the family will pay for each enrolled child. This agreement will be adopted at the conclusion of the meeting and will be entered into the enrollment agreement.
Guidelines we use to determine ATA Tuition Adjustment
- The Tuition Adjustment Committee grants adjustments on the basis of demonstrated financial need and the availability of funds. The Committee must balance a family’s ability to pay tuition with standards that ensure equitable distribution of adjustments. Our decisions are based on an independent financial needs assessment by FACTS (see below for link). We use the recommendations of FACTS to guide the amount of assistance that will be awarded. The Committee gives strong favorable consideration to volunteerism and to demonstrated commitment to MWS as well as Waldorf education. Applications for Tuition Adjustment are only considered in cases where all balances and fees are current.
- Admission decisions are made independently of decisions to make a Tuition Adjustment. All applicants musts be accepted before there will be a review and determination of Tuition Adjustment.
- Applications for the renewal of tuition adjustment must be made each year.
- The Tuition Adjustment process is held in strict confidence and with deep respect for privacy. All Tuition Adjustment awards are considered confidential agreements. We ask the same of our Tuition Adjustment families. Please do not share or publish your Tuition Adjustment, in general or in detail, with your peers.
- Tuition Adjustment is awarded according to the application at the time of the award. Any changes in the enrollment application or a family’s financial circumstances, at any later time, may necessitate a change in the Tuition Adjustment. The school reserves the right to adjust any tuition adjustment awards when there is a deviation between the actual income reported on the prior year tax returns and that projected in the application. The school further reserves the right to revoke any tuition adjustment awards when a misleading representation of the family need is presented through incorrect information or through omissions.
- Fees of any sort are not eligible for Tuition Adjustment.
- No further discounts are applied to the adjusted tuition.
How to Apply for Tuition Adjustment
1) Fill out the FACTS Grant and Aid Assessment form online
The form is available online at www.factstuitionaid.com. Questions about completing the form can be addressed by phone at 866-315-9262 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Complete the Tuition Adjustment Packet and a Personal Letter and return it to Madison Waldorf School
Returning the completed Tuition Adjustment Packet starts the tuition adjustment process at Madison Waldorf School. You must include a concise personal letter (outlining your situation, stating any extenuating circumstances, and briefly summarizing your connection to Waldorf education), with your Tuition Adjustment Packet. It is important to highlight the unique details that you would want understood in the review process and would not show up on a generic form. Examples of items to include in the letter might be:
- How long do you plan to have your children attend MWS?
- In a few sentences, briefly summarize your connection to Waldorf education.
- Do you realize any income that is not reflected on your income tax returns?
- Are there expected changes in income or expenses in the year to come?
- Do you anticipate outside help from friends or family to meet the tuition amount not covered by Tuition Adjustment? We encourage families to look to these sources before stating your need.
- Is your financial need temporary?
- For a two-parent family, are both parents working? If not, why?
- Please address volunteerism as explained in Section 3 below.
Download the Tuition Adjustment Packet and return it to business office.
We hold the intention that the Tuition Adjustment relationship is primarily one of gratitude; gratitude for the donations that allow the school to serve families of different economic means; gratitude for the sacrifice that so many families make to create this opportunity for their children; and gratitude for the community that this program helps to form. There are 2 types of gifts that are vital to our school. One is financial contributions and the other is volunteer time. We will not be considering volunteerism for an employed single parent in the same way as a two-parent family with one or two non-employed parents. We ask that you articulate your commitment to volunteerism for the school in your letter.
4) For Two-Household Families
- We believe both parents retain the obligation to contribute what they can afford to the education of their children. Financial need is determined by a family’s ability to meet educational expenses, not on a willingness to pay these expenses.
- We require that non-custodial parents also complete the FACTS Grant and Aid Assessment forms by the deadlines listed above.
- If either parent has remarried, the financial information of the step-parent must be included on the FACTS Grant and Aid Assessment forms.
5) Retirement Plans, Savings and Other Assets
Many families at MWS make multiple sacrifices so that their children can enroll at our school. The FACTS analysis determines an appropriate asset value for each family based on your age and earning potential. We have found their evaluations to be fair. Some of your assets may be determined to be an available resource for your family to use for payment of tuition.
6) Complete Applications
The Tuition Adjustment Committee will not be able to proceed with a review of your application until all of the above information is complete. FACTS will follow up with you regarding any missing documents.
7) Changes in Circumstances
Tuition Adjustment recipients are required to notify the committee of any material changes in financial status at any time. Failure to report these changes may jeopardize future awards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a priority for Tuition Adjustment funds?
Yes, these awards are made to families of students who demonstrate financial need and have no outstanding balances due to the school.
In addition, priorities are given in the following order:
- Families currently enrolled at MWS
- Families new to MWS, with previous Waldorf experience
- Families new to MWS, without previous Waldorf experience
Is there a deadline for Tuition Adjustment?
Yes, Tuition Adjustment Phase I deadline is March 1, 2015. After this date, Tuition Adjustment applications are processed on a rolling basis.
Are both parents expected to work?
The Tuition Adjustment program seeks to assist families who have a financial need after all options for financial support have been explored. These options include both parents working or actively seeking employment or other income generating possibilities when all children in the family are beyond kindergarten.