We understand that this process can seem confusing or overwhelming – we aim to simplify it as much as possible! To take you through the process step by step, here are our answers to your frequently asked questions about financial aid:
West Hills offers need-based financial aid only.
West Hills Christian School’s financial aid program is administered following the guidelines of the School & Student Services (SSS) by National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). SSS is a national financial aid reviewing organization for independent schools. Financial aid is awarded based upon availability of West Hills Christian School funds. West Hills does not receive federal money and relies on fundraising efforts to increase available dollars for financial aid. All financial aid awards are confidentially and discreetly administered by the WHCS Financial Aid Committee.
We use the Parents’ Financial Statement designed by the SSS to help us determine a family’s contribution to educational expenses. Parents complete the online financial aid application by logging in to the Family Portal on the SSS by NAIS website.
Our WHCS Financial Aid Committee uses the standardized calculation derived by the SSS as an initial guide in allocating assistance. This system considers gross taxable and non-taxable income, assets, liabilities, family size and the number of students in tuition-charging schools or colleges. After an allowance for basic necessities and required taxes, the remaining funds are considered available for education on a sliding scale by SSS.
Although West Hills works to keep tuition at a reasonable level, most families adjust their spending priorities, maximize both parents’ earnings, and carefully manage assets to afford tuition. Although we would like to provide guidelines to help parents decide whether to apply for assistance, we have found that each family’s circumstance is unique. The most helpful guideline comes from a parent’s own knowledge of their family’s finances.
A family must reapply for financial aid each academic year. If the family’s financial circumstances remain the same, the school will make every effort to provide assistance at the same level of aid as the previous year. All tuition and fees must be current to be considered for the upcoming year’s financial aid. Financial aid awards are also dependent on funds available, which can vary from year to year.
In addition to the SSS application, you will be required to submit:
- A copy of your final tax returns for the previous two years, including all schedules and attachments for both parents or sets of parents.
- A copy of your W-2 form(s) for the previous two years for both parent(s) or sets of parents.
- A copy of student(s) tax return (if applicable).
- A copy of student(s) trust fund agreement(s) (if applicable).
- A copy of business/farm income tax forms if you are a sole proprietor or are involved in a partnership(s) (if applicable).
- Additional information as requested.
Please upload these documents to the NAIS website per their instructions with your SSS application. Your final award is dependent on receiving these required documents.
Please call our Accounting office at 503-977-5505 for assistance.
If you submit your complete application before February 2nd, you will be notified of your award during the week of February 12th. If you submit your application later in the year, you will be notified of your award after all documents have been received by SSS and we have reviewed the SSS award recommendation.
Please add a note to your SSS application, or upload a letter to the “Documents” section of the application describing your situation.
Financial aid is allocated according to the tuition plan a family chooses. For example, if a family chooses a 10-month plan, the aid award is divided over 10 months and the family pays the remaining tuition due.