Tuition Adjustment

Portland Waldorf School is pleased to offer tuition adjustments to over 35% of our students.

Tuition adjustments (TA) are based on demonstrated need. Once a TA application is submitted by a family, Smart Aid verifies the application and submitted financial documentation and sends a report to PWS. The TA Committee then reviews the report and makes an award determination. For early childhood students, awards range from 0-50% of full tuition. For students in grades 1-8, awards range from 0-50% of full tuition. For high school students, awards range from 0-59% of full tuition.


We are pleased to announce that the Tuition Adjustment application period is now open for the 2021–22 school year. PWS uses a software program called Smart Aid. Click below to begin your application.

Please be sure to complete all of the questions and upload all of the required financial documentation. PWS will then make an award determination and send an Enrollment Agreement. Financial documentation requirements include: Latest tax returns and current verification of income such as W-2 forms, pay stubs, 1099 forms. Please read the Parent Instruction sheet for the Smart Aid program.

If you have any questions, please contact Crystal Lawrence in the Business Office.

Please note that your Enrollment Agreement and all registration forms must be completed and signed before the student’s first day of school.

Learn More about TA

The Tuition Adjustment program assists in the overall health and growth of PWS by seeking to balance the economic needs of the family with the economic needs of the school. Tuition contribution amounts are adjusted for families for whom the current tuition amount would be a significant financial hardship, and amounts granted are based on a family’s ability to pay by considering all funds available to the family outside of core cost-of-living expenses.

Application to the TA program is an annual process, and awards are made based on family need, balanced with needs of other families and with the resources that PWS currently has available.

Admissions decisions are made independently of decisions to award a tuition adjustment. Student admission is determined by the class teacher and Admissions office prior to TA review. The TA Committee reviews family requests only after the student(s) have been admitted to PWS.

The tuition adjustment amount is based on a number of factors including PWS resources and need demonstrated by TA-applicant families, as well as annual family income, savings, property holdings, investments, and family size. Applying is much like applying for a bank loan or a home mortgage. You need to submit all of the documents that provide an accurate summary of your family’s finances. Eligibility cannot be determined unless you provide all requested information. If there are two households involved, each household needs to apply.

We cannot provide an estimate of tuition adjustment prior to completion of the process; however, we encourage all families for whom tuition is a hardship to apply as early as possible as we earnestly work to meet the need of each family.

PWS does not receive funds from the government or other outside sources. Tuition Adjustment funding is drawn from a percentage of the school’s operating budget.

Divorced or separated families: the Tuition Adjustment program requires all custodial parents or guardians to submit financial information so that we have a full picture of the resources that support the financial needs of the student and family. Parents or guardians may decide to apply separately or jointly.

Families with one income: There are many wonderful reasons for being a stay-at-home parent, and this decision is one deeply rooted in family values and a lifestyle choice. When all children are school-aged and there is no clear reason for a parent not to be working, PWS will impute a pre-determined income figure into the household income. This allows us to treat stay-at-home parent families equitably with a family in which both parents work. We do not impute income if one parent is disabled and cannot work, or if the parent is caring for an infant/toddler, or a disabled child in the home.

The Tuition Adjustment process is held in strict confidence and with a deep respect for privacy and understanding of each individual family’s striving to contribute the highest amount that they are able. Enrollment Agreements are also considered confidential.

Tuition Adjustment applications are only reviewed when all balances and fees are current. Please speak with the Business Office if your account is past due.

PWS fees, tuition deposits, and other class costs are collected in addition to the adjusted tuition amount, and families will need to budget for these annually. Information about these costs can be found on the Tuition & Fees page.