Tuition Assistance FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Tuition Assistance


How do I apply?

  • Apply online through TADS at TADS.com (when prompted to search for our school, remember that our school is located in Fair Oaks, CA.)

Does it cost money to apply?

  • Yes, the fee for the application process is $34 per family.

What information will I need to supply?

  • The application will ask for details of income, savings, assets, home mortgage or rent, and other factors relevant to a family’s ability to meet tuition, including details from the previous tax year.

What if I haven’t done my taxes yet?

  • You do not have to have all of your tax documents to submit your application. Complete your application and then provide supporting documentation as soon as it is available.

What happens after I apply?

  • TADS reviews all pertinent information, sends you a request for supporting documentation, and offers a summary report and recommendation to Sacramento Waldorf School. The school determines the final award.

Can I provide more information than TADS requests?

  • Families may also submit a letter detailing additional information about their financial status or circumstances that may impact their ability to pay the full tuition. Send the letter to SWS Operations Manager.
    Email:  operationsmanager@sacwaldorf.org

Who looks at my application?

  • TADS data is reviewed by a small committee within the school, including the operations manager and a representative of the Board of Trustees. All Tuition Assistance information is treated with complete confidentiality.

Will I talk to anyone about my application?

  • On occasion, a follow-up interview may be required by the school before determining the final award.

If I get Tuition Assistance, will I still get a sibling discount?

  • Tuition Assistance awards are calculated after deducting any relevant sibling discounts.

We are a continuing SWS family, does this affect our application?

  • Priority is generally given to continuing students or to those for whom a sudden change in family circumstances will affect the child’s ability to complete his or her education at Sacramento Waldorf School.

What is the Sibling Discount?

  • Full tuition is charged for the oldest child
  • 10% discount for the second and subsequent children

How do you make Tuition Assistance decisions?

  • Our guidelines reflect a commitment to allowing currently enrolled students to complete their lower school or high school Waldorf education.

My circumstances are exceptional, what should I do?

  • If there are special circumstances (for example, a serious medical condition), we request that applicants add a letter to their application, clearly describing the circumstance, its impact, and likely duration. Exceptional awards (those outside of grade guidelines or usual maximum award amounts) will be offered only after a candid interview with members of the Tuition Assistance Committee.

Is the Sibling Discount calculated on full tuition?

  • Awards are made on net tuition, after the application of sibling discount or any other adjustments.

How much Tuition Assistance can we be awarded?

  • Awards typically range from 10% to a maximum of 40% of tuition.

What if we need Tuition Assistance every year?

  • That’s fine. We generally expect families receiving financial aid to increase their actual contribution each year, reflecting our increasing costs and the expectation that families will make their children’s Waldorf education a priority.

I have other children attending school that also use TADS, do I need to go to TADS twice?

  • No, TADS’ application allows you to choose all of the schools your children attend or are applying to.

Who can I talk to about Tuition Assistance?


What is your discrimination policy?

  • Tuition Assistance is based solely on a family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses. Tuition Assistance is offered without regard to race, gender, religion, or national origin.

Can you explain more about the whole process?

  • TADS runs an initial analysis based on the financial data you submitted. This analysis considers your income, investments, debt, and reasonable cost of living expenses for your family. It also factors in any unusual circumstances. TADS gives the school a summary report based on this analysis. A confidential Tuition Assistance Committee at SWS determines the award offer based on the TADS analysis and several additional factors.

What “additional factors”? Can you describe what my award is based on?

Your award was based on these factors:

  • Demonstrated need (your income, debts, and reasonable expenses)
  • Your child’s grade level (we generally offer the lowest awards in the kindergarten and the highest awards in the high school, based on tuition levels)
  • Exceptional circumstances (for instance, unusual medical expenses)
  • Parents’ support of the school, demonstrated through volunteer work, attendance at class meetings or other school events, and adherence to school policies
  • Student’s standing with the school (upper grades only): citizenship, adherence to policies, respect for the school. We do not offer performance-based awards and academic ability is not considered.

I had hoped for a larger award. Are there any other steps I can take?

  • If you believe there are circumstances that may have been overlooked, or your child will be unable to attend the School with the award that has been offered, we encourage you to submit a written appeal. We regret that our resources are limited and we are unable to provide scholarships to cover the full costs of attending Sacramento Waldorf School. We strive to provide some level of assistance for all qualified applicants.

What are my responsibilities as a recipient of Tuition Assistance?

  • Please know that we want your child and your family to be here and we hope that your award will support you in being here. Inform the school in writing (operationsmanager@sacwadlorf.org) of any changes in your circumstances that could impact the level of your award. We ask that you make timely payment of tuition a priority. In fairness to all parents, any offer of an award is contingent on your tuition account from the current year being in good standing. We will not carry an unpaid, unresolved balance forward. We may offer an award if there is an approved payment plan in place for an unpaid balance and a demonstrated ability and intention to honor the plan’s terms. Many of our award recipients are active volunteers and although this is not a requirement, we truly appreciate this type of giving back to the community.

How is Tuition Assistance funded?

  • Awards are financed from our operating budget through revenue from our Annual Giving donation campaign.

The Tuition Assistance deadline has passed, can I still apply?

  • Yes, however, Tuition Assistance is available on a very limited basis once the deadline has passed. Because we offer as much tuition assistance as possible with the funds available each budget year, after the deadline the resources are very limited.