Admission and Fees
How to Apply
Here is information on all fees and how to apply. Everything is available onlineor you can request that an Information/Application Packet be sent to you by mail.
- Check out our upcoming Course Dates and Locations and use the links to access the information available about those programs that interest you.
- Decide on a preferred program and contact the Director of that program to discuss your plans and to get more detailed information.
- Look at our Program Costs and our Payment Plans and Financial Aid information.
- Submit your Application and Payment Plan.
- Please fill out the online application form (click “Apply Now” above) and submit it with the Application fee ($75.00). We will forward it to the Student Services Director of the training you wish to attend. Or if you prefer, download a pdf version and fill it out to submit by mail (MAILING ADDRESSES here.)
- Complete the Contract and Payment Plan Form (or SF Bay Area Payment Plan Form) and mail it (with your signature) to Michael Aldinger, Student Financial Administrator, 9648 Linda Rio Drive Sacramento, CA 95827. If you need a customized plan to attend, please call to discuss this with Michael, Student Financial Administrator (405-343-7211), as soon as you have sent in your application.
- The Student Services Director will contact you to accept you into the program. Your payment plan will be processed and you will be set up with an invoice/billing for your payment(s).
- We must receive your Application and fee, Payment Plan, and initial payment before the training begins in order for you not to incur late charges described below.
Discounts, Fees, Refunds and Cancellations
Early Registration Discount: Each training has an early registration date listed on its web page. Enrolling by this date means you can receive $225 off your tuition. In order to qualify for the Early Registration Discount, your registration must be complete by the deadline for the discount. A completed registration includes:
- Application received and accepted by the Student Services Director
- Application fee received by the Student Services Director
- A contract and payment plan that have been approved by Michael Aldinger, Student Financial Administrator, signed by you and returned to him
Only when all of these conditions have been met by the deadline will the discount be applied.
Late Enrollment: Student must have an approved, signed contract and payment plan and have made their first payment prior to the first day of training or they may not attend.
Returned check or declined credit/debit card: Please know what your bank balance or credit card limit is, as there will be a $25 charge for returned checks or declined credit/debit card payments, or for any payment more than five days past its due date.
Refunds: The Application Fee is nonrefundable. If a student must drop out of the program, the other fees will be prorated as follows:
- Prior to the first session: Full refund less a $100 processing fee.
- During or after completing the first session: Partial refund based on a $100 processing fee and a prorated amount for the days attended.
- After attending half of the training sessions, no refund or credits will be given on the amount owed for the complete training. Trainings are undertaken based on students’ agreements, so payment commitments will continue. Students may complete the training at any future time in any location.
Cancelled Trainings: In the unlikely event that a training series must be cancelled or rescheduled, the student may attend a training in another location or request a refund in full, including the Application Fee.
Starting Late: It is sometimes possible to start a training with the second session, but the student understands that it may be necessary to make up missed session(s) in another location if the next training in the original location is postponed or cancelled.
Course Dates and Locations
To make the training accessible for as many students as possible, the on-site classroom time is spread over the course of a year. LifeWays is known for its generous financing plans, and all sincere applicants are encouraged to apply.
There is a $75 nonrefundable application fee. Total program cost is $5,250 (tuition is $4000, the mentor fee is $600 and the supplies fee is $650). Cost for the SF Bay Area program is slightly higher ($5,750 – Tuition $4,400, mentor fee $600, supplies fee $750). Students also reimburse their mentor’s travel expenses for their mentor visit. Other expenses may include the purchase of books and a pentatonic kinderlyre or kinderharp. Daily organic lunches and snacks are provided during the training at no added cost; lodging is not included. Auditing students pay the tuition and supply fee only and do not have a mentor and do not complete the Independent Study Requirements; thus, no graduation certificate is awarded or graduate benefits offered.
Options for Payment
Paying in Full: The Payment Plan form has several options. We encourage you to pay the full amount up front when possible. This may be done by check, money order, credit card or debit card. We appreciate your paying in full in advance and will send you a complimentary copy of the LifeWays book Home Away from Home and the LifeWays DVD Home Away from Home as a thank you.
Paying by Installments: If you need to pay by installments, a minimum of 25% of the tuition is requested before the training begins and the remaining balance may be paid in monthly payments over twelve months. There is a $100 service fee for installment plans, reduced to $50 if half of the tuition is paid before the training begins. If unable to pay this way, it is also possible to arrange customized plans (e.g. less money upfront or going longer than twelve months–but there is an additional $100 service charge for going beyond twelve months). If you need a customized plan to attend, please call to discuss this with Michael Aldinger, Student Financial Administrator 405-343-7211, as soon as you have sent in your application.
Installment Payments may be paid with a credit card or from your checking account by debit card. Other options for payment include PayPal, your bank’s Billpay, ACH (direct bank transfer), and Postdated Checks. Please arrange to have recurring payments set up automatically. Simply fill in and sign the Payment Plan and send with your initial payment to the Director of your training, who will send it to the national office.
Paying months before the training begins: More of our students are seeing the advantage of starting their installment payment plans as soon as they enroll, even if it is well before the training begins. A major advantage of this is that when your payments are stretched over eighteen months or more, then your monthly payment amount is smaller. It also makes it easier to have paid in full by the time you graduate. We encourage you to consider this option. If you choose the option to start paying in advance and have completed all payments by the time of graduation, the $100 service charge for a customized plan will be waived.
If you feel you cannot afford the tuition at this time, we suggest a few options:
- Seek support from friends or family who are eager to help you take steps toward setting up your own early childhood business or deepening your own parenting practices. Several students have been successful using an online campaign such as GoFundMe with family and friends. Remember to tell them why this training is important for you and what you will do with it!
- Seek a loan from an individual or organization interested in helping you.
- Consider crowdfunding. Click here to see an article by one student who was successful with this approach
- Set up an extended payment plan so that your monthly payments are less. You will not receive your graduation certificate until you have paid in full.
- In the case of extreme financial circumstances, you may download and submit a Financial Assistance Form and we will consider further options if possible.
Our goal is to do all we can to make it possible for you to take this training, while at the same time being respectful and responsible to the needs of our organization. We want more children and families to experience the simplicity, grace and joy in life that the LifeWays training encourages. We look forward to working with you.