Need-based tuition assistance is available for students enrolled in kindergarten through 8th grades. Families requesting financial aid must complete both an on-line application through FACTS Grand & Aid Assessment and an internal TDSA supplemental application. The deadline for applying for financial aid is February 28, 2017. Applications not received by the due date may be denied consideration for financial assistance.
FACTS is an independent service which provides TDSA and the Tuition Assistance Committee with an analysis of the applicant's tuition assistance needs. Tuition assistance forms are renewed annually. All applications will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. Requests for tuition assistance are not considered factors in admissions decisions.
TUITION ASSISTANCE FAQS
FINANCIAL QUESTIONS DESERVE CLEAR, SIMPLE ANSWERS.
Our tuition assistance application process was designed with input from the TDSA Finance Committee and Board of Trustees. It is implemented by the Tuition Assistance Committee (TAC), comprised of anonymous lay volunteers and professional staff from the business office. Careful deliberation is given to each case to achieve the appropriate award so that optimal support is provided within the framework of the available funds. Compliance with all deadlines and documentation provision is required to be considered for tuition assistance.
Q: AM I A CANDIDATE FOR TUITION ASSISTANCE?
A: There is no fixed income threshold for tuition assistance at TDSA, as every family is different. For example, a household with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 and one child has different financial needs than a household with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 and four children. Here are some questions we'd like you to ask yourself before applying for tuition assistance:
• Can I fit the tuition into our household budget without giving up essentials like food, health care, philanthropic activity and moderate recreational and extra-curricular activities for my family?
• Are there people in my extended family who could and would help us to afford the full tuition?
• Are there items in my household budget that I can do without in order to make room for tuition? Would doing without these items compromise my family's core values?
Q: HOW DO I APPLY FOR TUITION ASSISTANCE AT TDSA?
A: There are two requirements for applying for financial assistance at TDSA:
1) Complete the FACTS online application and upload your tax documentation.
2) Complete the TDSA Financial Aid application found on the TDSA website.
Q: WHAT IS FACTS?
A: FACTS is a service of Nelnet School Solutions that evaluates parents' financial information to determine the amount of tuition a family could reasonably afford. FACTS uses information you provide through its online application as well as supporting tax documentation to make its determination. TDSA considers the FACTS determination as one factor when allocating tuition assistance. Other factors considered include total need, family circumstances as included in the TDSA Tuition Assistance Application and the school's total tuition assistance budget.
Q: WHAT IS THE FACTS "FORMULA"?
A: FACTS looks at a family's cash flow. They identify this by subtracting core expenses from Adjusted Gross Income. Core expenses include housing, transportation, childcare, philanthropic donations, retirement investment, student loan debt, insurance, and medical expenses. Also included in core expenses is a set amount (based on local cost of living data and the size of your family) for food, clothing, and recreation.
The money that is left after this calculation is considered discretionary income. FACTS allocates a percentage of this income to tuition.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BEGIN APPLYING FOR TUITION ASSISTANCE?
A: You can begin the application process after January 1, 2016. Log on to FACTS to get started. You may also want to schedule a meeting with your tax advisor or take the necessary steps now to ensure that all required supporting documentation will be ready by May 6, 2016 deadline. Please note a $30 fee, payable to FACTS, is part of the tuition assistance application.
Q: WILL CONFIDENTIALITY BE MAINTAINED?
A: Absolutely. The names of families who apply for and/or receive tuition assistance are not shared with school faculty or administration, board members or committee members, other parents, or community members. Information provided in tuition assistance applications and supporting documentation are only seen by the Director of Finance & Operations, the Chief Financial Officer and the members of the TAC. FACTS maintains all documentation in a highly secured environment.
PLEASE NOTE: TDSA asks that families who apply for and/or receive tuition assistance maintain the same level of confidentiality and refrain from sharing information about their tuition assistance with anyone. Sharing information about your tuition assistance status could result in a revocation of your tuition assistance award.
Q: I AM DIVORCED. WHICH PARENT SHOULD APPLY FOR TUITION ASSISTANCE?
A: TDSA requires both parents to complete the application process with FACTS and provide supporting documentation. If there are extenuating circumstances that would prevent this, please contact the Chief Financial Officer, Michael Toddings, to discuss your particular circumstances. Additionally, in a situation of divorce, we require a copy of your divorce documents pertaining to the custody and educational responsibilities for your children.
Q: I AM NOT CERTAIN THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO SEND MY CHILDREN TO TDSA NEXT YEAR FOR FINANCIAL REASONS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A: You should apply to FACTS as early as possible, even if you are unsure about whether your child will return to TDSA next year. Tuition assistance will be processed on a first come, first served basis (based on demonstrated need). If you believe you will qualify for an increased tuition assistance award next year, applying as soon as possible will allow us to consider that.
Q: WHAT IF I CANNOT PROVIDE MY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
A: Please note that tuition assistance will be determined based on your most recent tax return and current year W2, both of which should be provided by the deadline of May 6, 2016. If there are extenuating circumstances concerning availability of your documentation, contact Michael Toddings to discuss. If you are self employed or invested in partnerships, please contact Michael about supporting documentation for your 2015 (or last year's) income.
Q: WHAT IF I DO NOT MEET THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
A: We require returning families to meet this deadline so that we can first allocate tuition assistance to families who are already in our school. Every year, we also entertain tuition assistance requests from new families who would like to attend our school. If you have not provided adequate documentation by the deadline, you risk receiving a reduced tuition assistance award or possibly not receiving an award at all, as we must adhere to our tuition assistance guidelines and budget limitations.
Q: WHEN WILL I KNOW WHAT MY AWARD IS?
A: Assuming applicants have met the May 6, 2016 tuition assistance application deadline, the business office will issue a tuition contract following the decision of the committee. The tuition contract will communicate the granted assistance (if any) and total tuition obligation. Tuition assistance requests are prioritized on a first come-first serve basis.