Financial Aid

At Bright Water Waldorf School we hope to make Waldorf education accessible to families committed to its values and philosophy regardless of their financial circumstances. Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about applying for financial aid at Bright Water Waldorf School.  We hope this will help you in determining if you should apply for financial aid.

Financial Aid Application Instructions

Application Deadline: February 9, 2017.

  • Fill out the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) online with the School and Student Services (SSS) of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) at http://sss.nais.org. The Bright Water Waldorf School code is 4425. 
  • Upload a copy of your 2016 tax return, including all schedules, directly to SSS. If you are unable to provide your current tax return please contact Julie Jetland.
  • The PFS provides space to list any unusual expenses and provide further explanation.  You may also attach additional documentation you think may be important for the school to know in order to make a financial aid decision. If applicable, upload documentation of unusual expenses or circumstances directly to SSS.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered for financial aid unless all applications received by the deadline have been processed and there are funds still available.

  • Re-enrolling families will be notified of financial aid awards by TBA
  • Newly accepted families will receive financial aid award letters with admission decision letters on TBA

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is financial aid?
2. Who can apply?
3. Should our family apply for financial aid?
4. How is Financial Aid determined?
5. How much do you usually award to qualified families?
6. Will applying for financial aid affect my child’s application?
7. Are there other options if our family’s full need is not met?
8. If we qualify for financial aid, do we have to re-apply each year?
9. What about separated or divorced parents?
10. What about non-working parents?
11. How much does it cost to apply for financial aid?
12. What is the application process?
13. What if I have other questions about financial aid?

What is financial aid?

Financial aid at Bright Water Waldorf School is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need, and is defined as the difference between a student’s tuition expenses and a family’s resources.  All financial aid awards are made in the form of grants that are not repaid to the school. There are no athletic or academic scholarships.  For the 2015-16 school year, Bright Water Waldorf School provided to 24% of our students.

Who can apply?

To the extent that our funds permit, financial aid is available to qualified students from preschool through eighth grade. Financial Aid is not available for Parent & Child classes at this time.

Should our family apply for financial aid?

We recognize that private education is a matter of choice and significant financial sacrifices are made by families to support this choice. We expect families to take the time to fully analyze their finances (income, assets, discretionary spending, savings, and other possible sources of funding) to determine how much they can afford to pay towards tuition.  Families should exercise their best effort to use their own financial resources first before applying for financial aid.

How is Financial Aid determined?

Bright Water Waldorf School uses the School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS) offered by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to process financial aid requests.  Using information provided by the applicant family, SSS provides Bright Water Waldorf School with an evaluation of what a family has available to contribute toward their child’s education. The family includes, but is not limited to parents (natural or adoptive) stepparents, guardians, and non-married domestic partners. Factors that are taken into account are income, assets (home equity, savings, etc.), expenses, indebtedness, family size, age of parents/guardians, and the number of children in the family attending tuition-charging schools.

How much do you usually award to qualified families?

Financial aid awards are based on each family’s unique circumstances and, thus, award amounts vary.  Please note that Bright Water Waldorf School expects all families to contribute a minimum amount toward their student’s education.  Because a family’s circumstance may change from year to year, the level of financial aid may also change from year to year.

Will applying for financial aid affect my child’s application?

Bright Water School follows a “need-blind” policy — meaning we don’t take your family’s financial situation into consideration when considering your child’s application for admission. However, admission is no guarantee that you’ll receive financial aid. The amount of aid depends on (1) your family’s eligibility and (2) the amount of funds the school has available

Are there other options if our family’s full need is not met?

We offer several payment plans that may help to make payments easier on your family’s budget.  You may also look for other forms of financial assistance that may be available through your place of employment, community organizations, or local foundations.

If we qualify for financial aid, do we have to re-apply each year?

Yes.  Because of annual variations in the number of financial aid applicants and the financial aid fund, qualifying families must re-apply annually for financial aid.

What about separated or divorced parents?

Bright Water School considers both parents, natural or adoptive, responsible for their student’s tuition.  Financial aid is based on ability, not willingness, to pay and is not bound by the assertion that one parent has disclaimed responsibility for educational expenses. As a result, both natural/adoptive parents will need to complete a financial aid application.  No information will be given by the school to either parent regarding the other parent’s finances.

What about non-working parents?

If a parent/guardian does not work and all children in the household are in grade levels above kindergarten, an income based on full time employment at Washington State’s current minimum wage is input in calculating the family’s income.

An absence of income due to unemployment will be considered for one annual tuition cycle only.  After the first year of unemployment, the school will assign an income equal to full time work at minimum wage to the unemployed parent.

How much does it cost to apply for financial aid?

If you complete the SSS application on-line, the fee is $42 regardless of the number of schools to which you apply.  If the fee presents a true hardship, a limited number of fee waivers are available. Please contact us at dbergler@brightwaterwaldorf.org.

What is the application process?

The application process involves several steps and requires the applicant family to provide financial documentation, including the family’s most recent income tax return.  Please plan accordingly in order to meet the application deadline.  Incomplete financial aid applications cannot be considered.

To start the application process, go to www.sss.nais.org to fill out a Parent’s Financial Statement (PFS).  Step by step instructions are offered on-line and there is a toll free helpline, 1-800-344-8328.  A copy of the family’s most recent tax return must be included with the PFS. 

After Bright Water Waldorf School receives the evaluation from SSS, a financial aid decision is made and applicants are notified by mail of the school’s decision.

What if I have other questions about financial aid?

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Office at (206) 624-6176 or dbergler@brightwaterwaldorf.org.