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Understanding FA

Understanding Where Financial Aid Comes From and How Financial Aid Awards are Determined

The financial aid budget at The Wesley School is created each year by The Board of Trustees. It is a part of the School’s mission to provide a Wesley education to a diverse community of students in order to enrich the learning environment for all of our students. These funds are not a donation from an outside entity, rather a percentage of tuition paid by parents, many of whom are both working full time and being conservative in their expenditures in order to pay their child(ren)’s tuition.

Every child’s family has a unique set of circumstances under which they live - some children have a single parent and some have four parents. Some families have one child, some have several. Some households have the responsibility to provide support for grandparents or children with special needs. These are all things that the Financial Aid Committee considers when reviewing a family’s request for tuition assistance.

The Financial Aid Committee at Wesley has also established thresholds for expenses. For example, we recognize that living in Los Angeles is more expensive than living in Phoenix! However, for those families seeking tuition support, there is an expectation that these families are managing their expenses and living within their means so as to maximize what they can contribute towards tuition before seeking aid from the school. We have established thresholds for housing (mortgage or rent), car expenses, savings and philanthropic contributions, food and entertainment expenses, and other budgetary items that make up the living expense profile for families. When families choose to spend over the thresholds, these are choices families have made that then leave less discretionary income for private school tuition. It is not the School’s position to tell families how and where to spend their money. However, these are items that are reviewed and that may impact award considerations.

Applying for financial aid requires disclosure of a lot of financial information in order for the Financial Aid Committee to make a decision about tuition assistance. The financial aid application process has very firm deadlines in order for the Committee to have time to review all requests. The Committee then works to meet as many families’ needs as possible within the budget the Board has set for that year. During the review of an application, a family may be asked to provide answers to questions that come up or to provide more detail for clarification.

For families applying to The Wesley School for admission who have also applied for financial aid, financial aid award information will be provided if they receive an offer of admission. When families receive their award information, they may call the school for further explanation as to the award determination.

Below is a table to provide a few scenarios with base information that might help families get a sense of the outcome for some hypothetical situations:

Obviously every family’s situation is different and the School will work with each family individually to provide assistance working through this process. Please contact Verena Denove, Associate Head of School and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, at or call 818-508-4717 with any questions you may have.