Inspire. Dream. Achieve.

Age 3 through 8th grade

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

kathy neal

Meet Kathy Neal, Business Manager at Independence. Mrs. Neal is responsible for working with families applying for our Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and can be reached via email (kneal@tisde.org) with any questions.

Tuition Assistance is not a loan but rather a reduction in tuition. It gets granted one year at a time, and recipients reapply each year. Independence uses the online service of Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), an affiliate of Independent School Management (ISM), to process financial aid applications. FAST does not decide whether tuition assistance will be given or how much to give; rather, FAST provides a need-based financial aid analysis service that includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential. The TAP Committee reviews each application and notifies families of the award decision.


Tuition Assistance is available for students in Early Childhood I through eighth grade, and all awards are distributed in a fair and equitable manner. As a reminder, you must reapply each year. To start the process, please do the following:

  • Click the logo below to access the FAST Application.
  • The application process is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program, allowing you to partially complete an application and go back to it at another time. Online email support (help@ismfast.com) and a 24/7 helpline (1-877-326-FAST) are provided.
  • The charge for the application is $45, to be paid by credit card at the end of the session. If you do not have a credit card, please call the school Business Office (302-239-0330) for assistance.
  • After completing the online application, you will be required to mail your 2018 tax returns for both state and federal taxes with all schedules and W-2's to:

FAST Processing
ISM
1316 North Union St.
Wilmington, DE 19806-2594

  • Including the school's name on the outside of the envelope will ensure faster processing of your application.
  • While TAP applications are welcome any time, you are encouraged to submit yours as early as possible. In order to be considered for the first round of Tuition Assistance awards, it is important to submit your TAP application by Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. We continue to consider TAP applications throughout the year and hope to provide need-based Tuition Assistance to as many qualifying candidates as funds allow.
  • Your 2018 tax return must follow the submission and be postmarked by Sunday, March 31, 2019.

For a checklist of needed documents, click here.