Financial Aid

Friends of Raintree Tuition
Assistance Application Process

Friends of Raintree provides limited tuition assistance for toddler through 8th graders who wish to attend Raintree Montessori School. There are two types of tuition assistance: (1) short-term or emergency, which address financial needs of six months or less and (2) long-term, which address financial needs of more than six months. There are different procedures, deadlines and requirements for each type.

Both types of tuition assistance are based on financial need, not academic performance.

Short-term Tuition Assistance

This type of tuition assistance is designed to cover short-term financial needs for current Raintree families. Examples include, but are not limited to, parental job loss that is temporary, or family medical issues that result in a short-term financial hardship, such as a cancer diagnosis. In addition to tuition assistance, support may be provided for a student medical issue that requires more one-on-one attention than Raintree teachers can provide.

Families may apply for short-term tuition assistance at any time. Friends of Raintree may provide assistance depending upon the need, long-term plan for the student, and available funds. Friends of Raintree will endeavor to provide a response to the application for funds within 30 days of the request.

There is no application form for short-term tuition assistance. Families should submit the following information:

  • Family name, address, contact information (including phone number and email)
  • Child(ren) names and grades
  • Requested scholarship amount
  • Description of financial need/emergency

Short-term support is capped at $2,000 per student. After that much support is provided, Friends of Raintree will review any additional requests for support.

Long-term Tuition Assistance

This type of tuition assistance is designed to cover longer-term financial needs for students who wish to attend Raintree. They are intended to cover an academic year. Because the Montessori “cycle” is three years, Friends of Raintree will give preference to students who have already received tuition assistance for part of a cycle (primary, lower elementary, upper elementary or the Erdkinder).

Friends of Raintree strongly encourages families from diverse backgrounds to apply.

There are two required parts and one optional part to the long-term tuition assistance application for new applicants:

  1. Statement of interest. This can be a short description of your family or your child’s interest in or experience with Montessori education. You do not have to have any Montessori experience to apply for tuition assistance. However, we want to make sure that applicants are familiar with the Montessori method so that their child or children are successful in school. As such, we encourage families to learn about Montessori education and especially encourage families to attend parent/caregiver information sessions provided by Raintree Montessori.
  2. FAST application. This is a financial aid application form available online. This is the link to apply: ismfast.com. Friends of Raintree is dedicated to equality and fairness in awarding financial aid. Accordingly, FOR uses a need assessment tool called FAST (Financial Aid for Student Tuition), which is administered by Independent School Management (ISM). Families complete the FAST application online by clicking the Financial Aid Application link.
    ISM charges a small fee as part of the FAST application; this fee is paid by credit card online. Parents who do not have a credit card or cannot afford the fee should contact FOR (Gina Spade at [email protected]) for an electronic voucher. The application includes information about income, assets, debt, and specific family circumstances. Once parents complete the application, ISM provides FOR a report with a suggested award.
  3. Divorced/Separated/Non married Parents. FOR requests that both parents or guardians, whether married, separated, divorced, or non-married, and regardless of custody arrangements, be responsible for the financial obligations of tuition and fees. Divorced, separated, or non-married parents or guardians make separate FAST applications, and each submits a current tax return. Neither parent has access to the information provided by the other. An applicant’s financial aid file is not considered complete if both parents have not completed the FAST application. In the event of a history of non-support on the part of one parent or outright refusal to complete the FAST application, FOR has discretion to waive the noncustodial parent requirements.
  4. Optional financial information. Families that believe their financial documentation is not fully reflective of their financial situation may submit additional information regarding their financial situation.

Financial Assistance Awards

After receiving the FAST report(s), tax returns and the optional family financial report, the FOR Board will meet to make a financial aid award. The Board will make a fair financial aid allocation, basing its decision on all information in the file and the financial aid budget. All family and financial information in the student’s file will remain confidential, except to the extent it has to be reviewed to validate and provide the award.

Please note that FOR is a new organization and our funds are limited at this time.

Awards may cover tuition, additional fees, before and after school care and school lunch.
Families will be expected to contribute some amount towards tuition. That is, we do not anticipate any award to cover 100 percent of expenses.

FOR will contact the family with its financial aid award. Should the family choose to accept the award, it must reply with its acceptance. The funds will be distributed directly to Raintree on behalf of the family. Note that each family that receives financial aid must complete this process every year in order to continue to receive financial aid. FOR cannot assure that families will maintain the same award from year to year.

Deadline to Apply for Financial Assistance

Current students on financial aid receive preference in allocations of financial aid for the next school year. Current students on financial aid or who want to apply for it for the next school year should submit FAST applications and any optional financial information by the priority deadline of January 15th. Award decisions for applications received after this deadline will depend upon remaining funds available. Returning students do not have to submit the statement of interest.

New students may apply for financial assistance at any time. Families are encouraged to apply early. In general, returning students have priority in the event that need exceeds available funds.

Raintree Admittance

The Raintree admissions process is separate from financial aid. All families wishing to apply for financial aid must also be accepted by Raintree. Please contact Raintree directly for more information. Raintree Montessori and Friends of Raintree are two separate organizations.