The Whitby School (Whitby) is an independent non-profit school which meets the charitable and educational definitions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax Identification Number: 81-0661502). As such, Whitby receives no outside funding from state or federal sources and is not supported by any religious organizations.
The operating budget of Whitby is dependent on various funding sources to support its educational program, including tuition, fees, private and memorial donations, annual benefit/auction fundraising, and corporate and foundational support. The operating budget ensures that Whitby meets its commitment to provide a competitive student/teacher ratio and a highly qualified IB and Montessori trained faculty.
Whitby has established a financial aid program, which comprises tuition remission as well as need-based financial aid. Whitby’s Board of Trustees (the Board) reviews and approves the policies governing the financial aid on a regular basis. As part of the annual budget process, the Board approves the overall financial aid budget. The Board reserves the right to revisit the policies and implementation of financial aid at any time deemed appropriate. No educational loans will be granted at Whitby.
The criteria used to determine financial aid recipients are based upon the inability of an admitted student and his/her family’s inability to pay the full tuition and fees to attend Whitby. As is the practice of other private schools, Whitby outsources information collection and data analysis to the School and Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), which is a financial aid management service owned and administered by Independent School Management (ISM). Families requesting financial aid must submit an application through FAST. Additional supporting documents may also be required by the Whitby Financial Aid Committee (WFAC).
In accordance with equal opportunity standards, awards are made without regard to a student’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability or age and in compliance with existing state and federal law or regulations. The financial aid program information will be made available to current and prospective students. Furthermore, information will be posted on Whitby’s website, included in academic program brochures, and distributed at public outreach events (e.g., Open Houses).
In order to administer financial aid, the Board established the WFAC, which consists of the Head of School, Dean of Business Affairs/CFO, Financial Aid Administrator, and the Upper and Lower Heads of School. The Director of Children's House and Lower School Admissions and the Director of Upper School Admissions & Secondary School Placement serve on the WFAC in an advisory role. The WFAC has the discretion to administer the financial aid budget as outlined below in the Financial Aid Guidelines.
The CFO and/or the Head of School will report to the Board Treasurer and Chair (the Finance Committee) the allocation of financial aid awards following the end of the normal financial aid process, normally in May or June of the academic year.
Whitby recognizes that the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education rests with his/her family. A family is defined as consisting of both natural parents of the applicant, any stepparent, plus any children from the original marriage along with any children born during the current marriage. Whitby will not be necessarily be bound by the assertion of a parent, including statements in a divorce decree, that he/she is not responsible legally for educational expenses, but will retain the sole discretion to determine on a case-by-case basis whether the financial circumstances of a divorced parent justify the providing of financial aid by Whitby. Thus, both parents must provide the information that is requested on the FAST online application. Non-custodial parents are also required to complete an online application and submit the appropriate supporting documentation.
In accordance with guidelines from FAST, Whitby holds that for those applying for financial aid, both parents in a two-parent household should be employed. Exceptions include families with children younger than kindergarten age, other dependents in the home requiring full-time care, or a documented physical or health problem that prevents gainful employment. If one parent is not employed, and there are no extenuating circumstances, the Whitby Financial Aid Committtee (WFAC) will use the FAST guidelines for imputing income for this parent. Any necessary childcare costs will be considered. If multiple children attend tuition-charging schools, it is expected that the family will apply for financial aid at all schools. Whitby should not be expected to subsidize tuition at other schools or colleges.
Financial aid is offered to a family for the purpose of providing tuition assistance only. It does not reduce any other costs associated with attending Whitby, e.g., Parents’ Association dues, trip fees, Tuition Refund Plan insurance, laptop computer costs, after school activities. Please contact the Financial Aid Administrator if you would like a breakdown of likely additional fees.
Financial aid awards for students attending Whitby in the year the application is submitted are contingent upon the student successfully completing the school year and the payment in full of all financial obligations set forth in the Enrollment Contract for the year. For students not currently attending Whitby, Whitby's Enrollment Contract authorizes Whitby to contact the applicant's school to determine the applicant's successful completion of the school year and the financial status of the student's account.
The Finance Committee will determine the annual budget for financial aid and submit it for the Board approval as part of the annual budgeting cycle. With careful consideration of the financial aid budget, the WFAC will review a “blind” FAST analysis of the family’s expected financial contribution and other submitted documents.
After considering all timely applications the WFAC determines the award amount. The WFAC uses the FAST report as an assessment tool; however, final award decisions reside within the WFAC. Current salary, net worth, and family circumstances will be considered when determining the award amount. Financial aid awards are made on the assumption that the family is allocating the maximum amount of resources within its capacity to fund their child’s or children’s education. It is expected that each family has prioritized educational costs after necessary living expenses.
Financial aid decisions apply only to the year for which an application and supporting documentation are submitted to FAST and Whitby as previously described. When there are dramatic changes in a family’s financial situation due to a significant setback, Whitby will do what it can to make it possible for the child to remain at Whitby. At the same time, Whitby expects a family in this situation to make other adjustments to their family expenditures, in addition to seeking financial aid, to help cover the cost of tuition. Likewise, when a family’s situation improves greatly, Whitby reserves the right to adjust the financial aid award to reflect the positive gain.
A family may experience an extenuating circumstance resulting in an unexpected need for financial assistance. These issues may arise after the application deadline has passed. Those who wish to apply for a hardship contingency would be required to follow the same financial aid guidelines and process.
The WFAC reserves the right to review extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The financial aid contract will be sent to both parents, who must then decide how to divide the family contribution. It is the responsibility of both parents to ensure that Whitby receives payment for educational services.
Families will be notified of their awards for the next academic year only if their current tuition balance is current and clear. Financial aid cannot be applied toward any tuition or unpaid fees from prior years. Financial aid applicants must still pay the enrollment deposit when submitting the enrollment or re-enrollment contract. In 2019-20 the deposit will be computed as 20% of the tuition amount net of the financial aid award. This deposit is refunded if the family submits a formal request to withdraw the student from Whitby within two weeks of notification of the financial aid decision.
Families who are notified of a financial aid award must accept or decline the award within two weeks of notification. If the family fails to comply with this and other reasonable requirements, the WFAC reserves the right to grant the award to another applicant. If sufficient funds are unavailable to meet the demonstrated need of all qualified candidates, priority goes first to returning students and then to new students.
Awards will not be automatically renewed for subsequent years. Every year, families must complete the required forms and provide the necessary documentation to be considered for financial aid.
Families may appeal a financial aid decision or award amount if they can provide supplemental information to the WFAC pertinent to the award computation. Financial aid awards are credited to the student’s account at the beginning of the billing cycle of an academic year.