Phone: (831) 425-0519

Tuition FAQs

Tuition FAQs

2017/2018 Financial Adjustment

The Santa Cruz Waldorf School intends that Waldorf education be available to as many families as possible, regardless of their economic status. We strive to provide appropriate support to the greatest number of families in need, while still being able to deliver the entire community with quality education. Tuition supports the bulk of our operating budget, with fundraising activities making up the difference. The community as a whole is providing this gift and in return we ask that each family strive to provide the school with as much as they can.

Financial Adjustment is offered proportional to need, and we use an independent company (TADS) to provide an analysis which establishes a working guideline that reflects this need. Priority is given to returning students and siblings. We do not discriminate in the administration of our policies on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or any other characteristic protected by law. Financial Adjustment decisions are made independently of the admissions process.

The entire financial aid process, including grants and applications, is confidential. We will take great care to protect your financial information and we also expect that you will not share any financial details about your assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply?
    • Apply online through Tuition Assistance Data Service (TADS) at
  2. Does it cost money to apply?
    • Yes, the TADS fee for the application process is $39 per family.
  3. What information will I need to supply?
    • The application will ask for details of income, savings, assets, home mortgage or rent, and other factors relevant to a family’s ability to meet tuition, including details from the previous tax year.
  4. What if I haven’t done my taxes yet?
    • We rely on your past year’s taxes to help make a Financial Adjustment determination. Please provide your tax documents with your application. If you have not yet completed your current year taxes, please provide all pertinent earlier tax year information and then submit your current year taxes as soon as possible.
  5. What happens after I apply?
    • TADS reviews all pertinent information, sends you a request for supporting documentation, and offers a summary report and recommendation to the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. The School determines the final award. You will receive an offer letter via email asking you to sign your financial agreement.
  6. Who looks at my application?
    • TADS data is reviewed by the Finance Director and may be reviewed by the Board Treasurer and Administrative Director. All Financial Adjustment information is treated with complete confidentiality.
  7. Will I talk to anyone about my application?
    • On occasion, a follow-up interview may be required by the School before determining the final award.
  8. If I get Financial Adjustment, will I still get a sibling discount?
    • Yes.
  9. We are a continuing SCWS family, does this affect our application?
    • Priority is generally given to continuing students, those who complete financial aid applications on time, and those for whom a sudden change in family circumstances will affect the child’s ability to complete his or her education at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School.
  10. What is the Sibling Discount?
    • Full tuition is charged for the oldest child.
    • 20% discount for the second Grades child and 25% for subsequent children in the Grades only.
    • 7% discount for the second Kinder child and subsequent Kinder age children.
  11. How do you make Financial Adjustment decisions?
    • TADS runs an initial analysis based on the financial data you submitted. This analysis considers your income, investments, debt, and reasonable cost of living expenses for your family. It also factors in any unusual circumstances. TADS gives the School a summary report based on this analysis. A confidential Financial Adjustment Committee determines the award offer based on the TADS analysis and several additional factors.
  12. My circumstances are exceptional, what should I do?
    • If there are special circumstances (for example, a serious medical condition), we request that applicants add a letter to their application, clearly describing the circumstance, its impact, and likely duration. Exceptional awards (those outside of Financial Adjustment guidelines or usual maximum award amounts) will be offered only after an application by letter to members of the Tuition Assistance Committee and additional input.
  13. How much Financial Adjustment can we be awarded?
    • Awards typically range from 10% to a maximum of 40% of tuition.
  14. Do awards vary by grade?
    • Yes. Kinder maximum is 10% and the Grades is 40%.
  15. What if we need Financial Adjustment every year?
    • We generally expect families receiving financial adjustment to increase their actual contribution each year, reflecting our increasing costs and the expectation that families will make their children’s Waldorf education a priority.
  16. Who can I talk to about my award?
  17. What is your discrimination policy?
    • Financial Adjustment is based solely on a family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses. Financial Adjustment is offered without regard to race, sex, religion, or national origin.
  18. Do you offer any discounts on Registration fees?
    • Yes. For grades K-8th, if you choose to pay your registration in full by the deadline, you will have a $200 credit applied to your registration fees.

Questions with More Detailed Answers

  1. What are “additional factors”? Can you describe what my award is based on?
    • Your award is based on these factors:
      • Demonstrated need (your income, debts, and reasonable expenses)
      • Your child’s grade level (we generally offer the lowest awards in the kindergarten and the highest awards in the upper grades)
      • Exceptional circumstances (for instance, unusual medical expenses)
      • Student’s standing with the School (upper grades only): citizenship, adherence to policies and respect for the School. We do not offer performance-based awards and academic ability is not considered.
  2. I had hoped for a larger award. Are there any other steps I can take?
    • We regret that our resources are limited and we are unable to provide financial aid to cover the full costs of attending the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. We strive to provide some level of assistance for all qualified applicants. If you believe there are circumstances that may have been overlooked, or your child will be unable to attend the School with the award that has been offered, we encourage you to submit a written appeal. Appeals will be reviewed by the Tuition Assistance Committee.
  3. What are my responsibilities as a recipient of Financial Adjustment?
    • Please know that we want your child and your family to be here and we hope that your award will support you in being here. Inform the school in writing of any changes in your circumstances that could impact the level of your award. We ask that you make timely payment of tuition a priority. In fairness to all parents, any offer of an award is contingent on your tuition account from the current year being in good standing. We will not carry an unpaid, unresolved balance forward. We may offer an award if there is an approved payment plan in place for an unpaid balance and a demonstrated ability to honor the plan’s terms. Many of our award recipients are active volunteers and although this is not a requirement, we truly appreciate this type of giving back to the community.
  4. How is Financial Adjustment funded?
    • Awards are financed from our operating budget through revenue from Annual Giving and tuition paid by those parents who are able to pay the full amount.



Phone: (831) 824-2161
Address: 2190 Empire Grade
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Location: Next to UCSC,
10 minutes from downtown
Aftercare: After 1PM, Aftercare can be reached at (831) 425-0346
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