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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

ISM's Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) online service is our chosen method for handling application processes, serving as the standardized submission format.

FAST's role is to conduct a need-based analysis for financial aid, recommending what a family could reasonably contribute towards tuition. It does not, however, make decisions on the awarding or amount of aid.

All FAST data is confidential and only shared with the CFO, who then advises the Finance Committee. The committee's approval triggers the dispatch of financial aid offers to families in line with the following year’s budget.

Financial Aid opens to Families on February 13, 2024
The closing date to submit the Financial Aid Application is March 17, 2024
The deadline to Submit the required Financial Aid documentation is April 1, 2024
The Financial Aid decision will be delivered by or on May 15, 2024

Financial Aid Applications Are Now Open and Will Close on April 1, 2024. 

To start the process:

STEP 1

Please click here to begin the FAST Application

Logo_ISMFAst.jpg
STEP 2

Click 'Start Application' to begin

STEP 3

The application process is self-guided. You may navigate in and out of the program, allowing you to partially complete an application and return to it at another time. FAST has a 24/7 helpline for any questions, available by calling 1-877-326-FAST (3278). Please do not contact the school with questions related to the FAST application

STEP 4

The application fee is $53.00, payable by credit card (Visa, MasterCard,
Discover, or American Express) upon completion of all sections. 
If you do not have a credit card, please call Arpy Mankerian at (818) 883-2428, ext. 108 for assistance in obtaining a Voucher.

  STEP 5

After completing the online application, you must upload your 2022 and 2023 tax documents
(Federal taxes including all schedules, State taxes, and W-2s) to FAST for verification purposes.
You may also mail the documents to the following address: 


Independent School Management 
Attn: FAST Processing Center
2207 Concord Pike #417 
Wilmington, DE 19803 

The online application submission deadline for all applications is Saturday, April 1, 2024

Your tax return must follow the submission of the online application and be submitted to FAST by Thursday, April 20, 2023, so be sure to make your tax appointment early.

The Financial Aid decision will be delivered by or on May 15, 2023 

FAST - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I have completed the application?

Once you have completed the online application and paid the necessary fee, this marks only the initial phase of the application process. The next critical step is to submit all required documentation promptly and thoroughly. This includes two additional forms specifically mandated by the school: the Credit Authorization and Release form and a Family/Household Monthly Form. It's essential to understand that your application will be deemed complete once all documentation requirements are fulfilled. Failure to provide the complete documentation will result in the nullification of your application. Please remain vigilant for any FAST or our school correspondence, as it may pertain to necessary documentation submission or follow-up inquiries. Your attentive response to these communications is imperative.

What is the timeline for the review of a completed application, including the required documentation?

The financial aid application deadline is March 17, followed by a secondary deadline of April 1st for the submission of all necessary documents. The ISM FAST team conducts a detailed review once all required documents are received. Applicants should expect their applications to be reviewed by the CFO beginning May 1st. Decisions will be finalized after the finance committee's mid-May meeting. Parents will be duly notified of the decisions.

What if I don’t understand how I should answer a question?

When you click on a field, there is a Help Bubble to explain what information is needed for that field. A summary of that information is listed in the downloadable worksheet on the Navigation bar. If you still have questions, contact our Call Center at
1-877-326-FAST (3278). If you are still not sure if you are including the appropriate information, write a short note to the school in the spaces provided at the end of each section.

Who can see my information?

The school’s CFO and FAST employees who need to handle your application are the only ones with access to your records.

Why didn’t I receive more financial aid?

Awards are based not only on need, but on the funds AGBU MDS has available. This means that even though you may qualify for more aid, AGBU MDS’s budget may limit what it can offer.

What if I make a mistake?

If you make a mistake before you have checked the Accept box at the end and before you have paid the filing fee, just go back and make the changes. Nothing is final until you have paid. If you discover an error after you have paid, you can log in to your account, where you can request a change. This request will go directly to the school’s CFO. The CFO has the ability to go into the program and revise your entry. Our Call Center does not have access to your file and cannot make a change for you.

How long will this take to complete? Do I have to complete this application at one time?

Gathering the necessary information to complete this form is similar to gathering information to complete your taxes. Once you have collected all your financial information, it should take approximately 30–45 minutes to complete this application. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You may log out and come back later selecting “Resume Application” and entering your username and password.

I filled in most of the page before I quit, but when I went back into the program, the information was gone. What happened?

FAST only saves information from completed sections. If, for example, you are working on Income, you need to complete the entire section for that information to be saved. If you do not know an answer at the time, you may use a “?” as a placeholder in order to save that section.

What are the accepted payment methods?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX. If you do not have any of these cards, you may contact the school’s CFO to obtain a payment voucher to use in place of a credit card.

My screen says “Cookies must be enabled.” What does that mean?

This refers to information that is stored on your computer by sites on the World Wide Web. To operate, FAST requires that your computer be configured to accept cookies. In most instances, this will already be done. However, if you get an error message, click on your browser’s Help menu and look for information about how to enable cookies.

Will I be spammed?

Absolutely not. Your email address will never be shared with anyone but the school to which you are applying.

What papers will I need to send?

You should be prepared to send your tax returns and your W2s. After you submit your payment, you will receive an email with a list of documents you will need to send.

I don’t have a computer or an email address. Now what?

Most libraries have computers with Internet access available for use. If this is not practical, ask your school if you may use a computer there to complete your application.

I forgot my password. What should I do?

On the login page, click on “Forgot username or password?” You will be asked to enter your email address. You will receive an email with your username and the ability to reset your password.

I need to explain something about our assets. How do I do that?

Line 512 gives you room to write about your assets. There are also spaces in Liabilities (Line 558), Income (line 610), and Expenses (line 718) for you to clarify any of your answers. Additionally, there is room in the Letter/ Agreement section to further explain your situation.

I have a Section 125 Plan and have pre-tax money withheld. Do I have to include that when I list my W2 income?

Yes, you do. On lines 601 and 601b we ask you to list your gross wages before any deductions are taken.

When is the application due?

The due date is March 17, 2024.

Regarding Taxes - Frequently Asked Questions

Why does AGBU MDS want to see my tax information?

The school has a financial aid budget set aside for deserving families who need help to pay their tuition. Verifying income is one way for the school to determine those who truly need assistance.

When are the tax forms due?

Deadline dates are listed on the main screen of the application under Start/Resume Application. We recommend sending in documents 1-2 weeks prior to the deadline date so that your process will be completed before the deadline. Document processing cannot be expedited, so it is important to ensure documents are submitted in a timely manner.

I need to wait until April 15 before I can send my tax forms

We suggest that you complete your taxes as early as possible to ensure that your application will be considered within the first wave of award decisions.

I have asked for an extension from the Federal Government and will be filing my taxes later in the year.

Generally, your completed tax forms must be submitted before the school can make an award. AGBU MDS requires the tax forms be submitted before deciding the actual award. If you are unable to provide your documents by the deadline date, we recommend contacting the school’s CFO directly to see how they would like to proceed. FAST cannot make exceptions to document requirements without school approval.

What tax forms are needed?
  • The Quick Processing Wizard will provide you with a detailed list of the required documents once an application is submitted.
  • The most common documents required are Federal Tax Forms (1040), State Tax Forms (for applicable states), W2 forms and Business Taxes (1120S, 1065 and coordinating K1s).
  • FAST will accept IRS transcripts of the Federal Taxes and W2 Statements; however, please ensure the Federal Transcript is titled Return Transcript (not Account Transcript).
  • If you have amended your taxes, please ensure that both the Amendment and the originally filed 1040 Forms are submitted.
  • If you have an amount on line 1 of your 1040 Federal Return Form and you are unable to locate your W2 forms, we recommend contacting your tax preparer or Human Resources department at your employer, to obtain copies of W2s.
  • International Families: Those who do not file U.S. taxes should have their tax forms translated to English and all financials converted to USD (US Dollars). Oftentimes, a letter from their employer(s) stating their annual income for the specific tax year the school is requiring, is also requested. Business owners should provide an annual statement for the required tax year (translated to English and US dollars). If a family is unable to provide these forms, which are required, the family would need to contact the school’s CFO to see how to proceed.
Where should I mail my tax information?

While you have the ability to upload taxes through your application once it is submitted, should you prefer to mail copies of your taxes, you may do so to the below address. Documents will be destroyed after five business days, once scanned into the verification system. Please do not send originals, as they will not be returned.

Independent School Management
ATTN: FAST Processing Center
2207 Concord Pike #417
Wilmington, DE 19803

How quickly will my forms be processed?

Typically, verification is completed within 3-5 Business Days, however, it can take up to 7-10 business days during peak season (January through May). Documents are processed in the order they are received and may not be expedited.

Can I fax my tax forms to FAST?

For security reasons, FAST does not accept taxes via fax machine. You may either electronically submit them through your application or send copies through the mail.

Contact FAST

  • Email: help@ismfast.com or Submit an Online Help Request
  • Phone: 1-877-326-3278. Our call center is open 24/7.
  • Please note that the response time may take 24-48 hours. Inquiries submitted via email or escalated by Call Center will be responded to on the next business day. 

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