Westminster School (the “School”) offers financial aid to assist students who could not otherwise afford to attend. Financial aid awards are based on the underlying assumption that parents and guardians have an obligation to finance their children's education to the extent they are able. In the administration of its financial aid program the School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national and ethnic origin, or physical disability. The School’s financial aid funds are limited. Funds are reserved for families who have no alternative to requesting aid.
Financial aid may be requested to apply toward payment of tuition and, for a student in the primary or lower division, toward payment of after-school program fees. Financial aid is not provided toward payment of any other fee, such as fees for enrollment, field trips, electives, books, and supplies.
Any financial aid award is based on a family’s demonstrated need. The most significant factors in determining need are family income and assets. Family income includes both parents, stepparents, guardians and any other adult wage earners who may be living in their home(s). Several other factors are considered in evaluating a family's financial strength including home equity, investments, and educational expenses of all family children and extraordinary expenses.
The School requires all applicants to submit an application form through the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), as well as submitting completed IRS Form 1040, including all attached schedules and W-2s for the year immediately preceding re-enrollment or new admission. New applicants are required to submit two years of tax returns with the initial application. If self-employed, you will be required to submit business information. Assets held in trust may require additional documentation and the School may require other information as requested at the discretion of the Financial Aid Committee. Financial aid is not automatically renewed. A new application must be submitted each year. However, if financial circumstances do not change between years, families can expect to receive comparable aid each year. If the family’s financial situation changes after the application and other supporting materials have been submitted, then the change must be disclosed and additional documentation concerning the change must be submitted.
The final decision regarding financial aid awards is made by the Financial Aid Committee. The School reserves the right to review each application on a case-by-case basis. All applications and awards are confidential.
ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION FOR PARENTS WHO ARE SEPARATED, DIVORCED, OR NEVER MARRIED
In its financial aid deliberation, the School considers the income and assets not only of the custodial parent but also the noncustodial parent. Both parents, as well as spouses of remarried parents or other adult wage earners living in the home, should provide financial information as part of the financial aid application.
If the custodial parent cannot locate the non-custodial parent, or the non-custodial parent has provided no support and has had no contact with the family for at least two years, forms may not be required. However, a letter of verification from a disinterested third party (DHS, minister, attorney, etc.) or other appropriate documentation may be required to support the financial aid application. All information submitted is confidential and will not be shared with either family. The School will not be able to review an application until all required information is complete. Notwithstanding the foregoing guidelines contained in this section, Westminster School reserves the right to review these situations on a case-by-case basis.
FINANCIAL AID POLICIES
1. All families will be required to furnish the Financial Aid Office a copy of the following:
- Parents’ Financial Statement(PFS) filed with SSS
- Completed and signed tax return (Form 1040 with all supporting schedules) for the year immediately preceding re-enrollment
- Copies of W-2s and 1099s
- Two current pay stubs from each wage earner
- WS Financial Aid Information Form
- IRS Form 4506T
New applicants are required to submit completed and signed tax returns (Form 1040 with all supporting schedules) for the two years immediately preceding the initial application. The above information is required before a financial aid award is credited.
* Wage earners who are self-employed will be required to furnish current business tax information. For those having formed partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, or other business entities, the School will need copies of the applicable business tax returns and supporting schedules. The School reserves the right to request any additional financial information such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, monthly budgets,etc.
* A copy of the student's tax return (1040 with all schedules) will be required, if applicable. Student assets reserved for college will still be included in the calculations.
* If a wage earner or student has assets in a trust fund, a copy of the trust agreement and financial statement will be required.
* All wage earners will be required to sign a release to allow Westminster to obtain a copy of their tax return from the IRS (Form 4506T). This form is required even though copies of tax returns are furnished.
2. The School will not consider most ordinary business or rental depreciation or loss in calculating financial need. Losses on second homes and hobby businesses are also disallowed.
3. Unexplained debts and/or consumer debt will not be allowed in the calculations.
4. When a parent or guardian does not have earned income, the School will impute earnings equivalent to a full-time job of 2,080 hours per year based on the minimum wage rate of the preceding year.
5. If a family has children in other independent schools or in college, the family is expected to apply to those institutions for financial aid as well. A copy of the financial aid letter may be requested.
6. Should discrepancies be discovered in the information provided to Westminster School's Financial Aid Office, the School reserves the right to withdraw or revise financial assistance at anytime during the school year.
7. Financial aid recipients will be required to pay a $200 enrollment fee.
8. Westminster School reserves the right to review each situation on a case-by-case basis and to request additional information as considered necessary.