Tuition Assistance Policy
The Sharon Cooperative School is a 501c3 non-profit school offering an affordable preschool education. All tuition collected is applied directly to the cost of staff, equipment, supplies and other daily operational expenses and reserves.
The school provides tuition assistance to qualifying families in need of financial support as budgets allow for the academic year. The Sharon Cooperative School uses Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), an online service, to calculate the level of need of applicants based upon applications. FAST considers a number of factors and requires supporting documentation to determine need.
The Board of Directors oversees all funds and makes assistance awards based on demonstrated need from completed applications. The Executive Director alone will know the identity of the applicants and full confidentiality will be maintained at all times during the application and award process. However, any award authorized by the Board will need to be disclosed to the school’s accountant and CPA firm.
- Families whose children have been accepted to and enrolled in the school are eligible to apply for tuition assistance for the academic year.
- Thoroughly completed applications for assistance must be submitted to FAST in accordance with provided deadlines. Applications for assistance received after the application deadline has passed will be reviewed and considered for any remaining funds.
- It is necessary to reapply for tuition assistance each academic year. If you are a current recipient, it will not be assumed that you will need or receive assistance in subsequent academic years.
- Applications for assistance will be reviewed at defined periods in accordance with deadlines.
- The Executive Director will review an assessment of demonstrated need for each applicant from the FAST system and present it with a recommendation for consideration to the Board of Directors at their next meeting. Full confidentiality will be maintained at all times.
- Written notification reflecting the Board’s decision will be sent to the requesting family. If requests can be accommodated, tuition contracts will accompany this notification.
- Families may request in writing a meeting with the Executive Director at any time for questions or assistance in this process.
- All families who receive tuition assistance will have their application fees refunded.
- Tuition Assistance is available through our Thinking About the Needs of Others Fund. If you know of anyone interested in contributing to this fund, please see more information on http://sharoncoop.org/caring-about-the-needs-of-others-fund/
- Tuition assistance for the Summer Program is available subject to availability of funds. Please see the Executive Director for more information.
More information on FAST
This year we will utilize the online service of ism’s Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) to process applications for tuition assistance. FAST will be the standard submission format for all applications.
FAST does not decide whether tuition assistance will be given or how much to give; rather FAST provides a need-based financial aid analysis service which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential. The Board of Directors makes recommendations based on next year’s budget and on the information presented by the Executive Director received through FAST. Upon approval by the Board of Directors, offers of tuition assistance for the academic year are then sent to families.
As a reminder, you must reapply each academic year. To start the process, please do the following:
- Click on “FAST”. Click ‘Start Application’ to begin.
- The application process is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program allowing you to partially complete an application and go back to it at another time. FAST has a 24/7/365 helpline available to you should you have any questions, which can be reached by calling 1-877-326-FAST (3278).
- The charge for the application is $45.00 and to be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) after all sections have been completed. If you do not have a credit card, please call Abigail Marsters for assistance.
- After completing the online application you will be required to scan or mail your 2017 tax documents (Federal taxes including all schedules and W-2’s to FAST for verification purposes:
Independent School Management
Attn: FAST Processing Center
1316 N. Union Street
Wilmington, DE 19806
The online application submission deadline for all applications is February 1st, 2019. Your tax return must follow the submission of the online application and be submitted to FAST by February 1st, 2019.
The goal is to have an award determination made by the first week in February 15th, 2019. While no tuition assistance procedure can be entirely equitable – there are simply too many individual factors and extenuating circumstances – this new process that has been selected should serve our School community well. Among its many features will be the ability to further secure your financial data, and maintain the high degree of confidentiality that past recipients most appreciated.