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 children's education at WNS; financial assistance is a supplement--it helps bridge the gap between the actual cost and what the family can reasonably afford.

Qualifying 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 program.

Determination of Awards

WNS determines each family's need by analyzing individual financial profiles: we review tax returns, income, assets & liabilities; back-up documents are required. The process, documents, and results are kept strictly confidential. Eligibility evaluations are made independently of admission decisions, but on a parallel time track. Returning families are notified of awards decisions in February. New applicants are notified in March, in the admission notification packets.

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 will be 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.

FAQs about Financial Assistance

List of 20 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the WNS Financial Assistance Mission Statement?

    A: Maintaining socio-economic diversity and accessibility is a cornerstone principle at Westside Neighborhood School. Tuition assistance is awarded each year on the basis of demonstrated need in keeping with our published tuition 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 children. 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 program provides partial tuition discounts for approximately 25% of our student body. 

  • Q: Who can apply for financial assistance?

    A: Anyone may apply for assistance. Financial assistance is based solely on demonstrated need. 

  • Q: What is demonstrated need?

    A: Need is by 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 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) 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. 

  • Q: If we try to make our finances work the first year or two and find it difficult, can we apply for financial assistance at that time?

    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. (A family could be considered for a TAP level award in the future.) 

    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. 

  • Q: How and when do I apply for financial assistance?

    A: Your application for financial assistance will be processed on a parallel timeline as your enrollment application. FA applications are accepted beginning December 1, 2016. Do not delay starting the financial assistance application process, but take time to provide the most accurate information possible. 

  • Q: Will my application for financial aid affect my child's chances for admission?

    A: The tuition assistance committee makes award recommendations independently of the admission department decisions. However, while there is a sizeable financial assistance budget, in the end there is a finite amount of assistance available. 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, ahead of new families. 

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

    A: Yes. All recipients must complete a financial assistance application 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. If your ability to pay educational expenses decreases, we will make every effort to increase the award.
  • Q: How am I notified of the Financial Assistance Committee's decision?

    A: We inform applicant families whether they qualify for tuition assistance, as well as the amount.  Preschool notifications go out on February 8, 2018 and DK-8 notifications go out on March 16th, 2018 (the same dates that enrollment acceptance letters are mailed).
  • Q: Is my award confidential?

    A: Yes. WNS and FAST keep every family's personal and financial information strictly confidential. 

  • Q: 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), tickets to school events, etc. Discount percentage are based on the percent of tuition assistance awarded. 

  • Q: Is financial assistance available for overnight trips?

    At WNS, fees for overnight trips are included in tuition. 

  • Q: I already have a full-pay child at the school, but do not have the resources to pay for a younger sibiling. What do I do?

    A: You must apply for assistance at the time the younger sibling applies for admission. The financial assistance application must be for both children, and if the younger child is admitted and you qualify for assistance, both children will receive financial assistance. 

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

    A: 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. 
  • Q: 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 FAST application and submit all required documents as we expect both parents will 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, application forms may not be required, but documentation will be required to verify this parent has no contact with the applicant. 

  • Q: What if I have remarried, have a significant other, or my child has multiple parents?

    A: Financial information is required of all adults, including stepparents, involved in the applicant’s life. The financial information submitted to FAST must include all household income and assets. 

    Remarriage of either parent creates a new family unit with new relationships, but we believe that natural (or adoptive) parents still have a responsibility for educational expenses.
  • Q: What if parents are divorced or separated?

    A: 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 children’s educational expenses. We take into account the assets and income of both natural 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. If either parent lives in a household with another adult, we may consider the assets and income of that person, depending on circumstances. 

  • Q: Are there any exceptions to the above policy?

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

  • Q: What if I lose my job or my source of income?

    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. 

  • Q: Who can I contact with additional questions?

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

Steps for Applying:

List of 4 items.

WNS Financial Assistance Awarding Guidelines and Instructions

Family Financial Profile (FFP)