We are committed to...
  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

Financial Aid

You understand the value of an independent school education, but you're wondering whether or not you can afford it. Families use a variety of strategies to pay for an independent school education. Here are answers to common questions to help you learn more about your investment in your student’s future.

What Is Financial Aid?

Monetary assistance that schools provide to reduce educational costs to families. Most financial aid typically takes the form of grants and scholarships.

What Is The Typical Timeline To Apply?

Be sure to ask each school for its unique deadlines. For schools that do not have rolling admissions, here are some approximate dates that many schools tend to follow:

  • September/October: Begin your search in the year before you want to start in the new school.
  • November/December: Begin the financial aid application process.
  • January/early February: Admission applications are due.
  • January/February: Financial aid applications are due.
  • Late February/early March: Schools send out admission decisions.
  • March/April: Schools send out financial aid decisions.

Where Does Financial Aid Come From?

Most is provided directly from the school's annual giving fund and operating budget. Funds are distributed on the basis of financial need.

What Does “Financial Need” Mean?

Need is the difference between educational expenses — especially tuition and fees — and your family’s ability to pay those expenses.

How Do Schools Determine Financial Need?

They ask you to fill out financial statements that give them a picture of how much you can afford to contribute toward education. Schools use a third party to calculate the difference between your resources and their tuition and fees, they then weigh the resulting financial need against their available financial aid funds and policies.

What Is The Income Level At Which a Family Is No Longer Eligible For Aid?

There is no specific income limit. If you feel you cannot pay all the costs yourself, it’s worth the effort to ask whether aid is available.

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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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