“LifeWays has had so much to offer my family as well as my visions of a business. You and your life work are one of the greatest teachers of my life...I have been waiting for you since the day my daughter was born. I will always hold a dear spot for you in my heart.” Lots of Love, Shelby Downing
Admissions and Fees
How to Apply
Here is information on all fees and how to apply. Everything is available online, or 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. Contact information is available at Course Dates and Locations.
- Look at our Program Costs and our Payment Plans and Financial Aid information. Then Print our Application Form and the Payment Plan Form. If you will be paying upfront by check or credit card or if one of our standard plans meets your needs, proceed to step four. If you need a different financial arrangement from those suggested on the Payment Plan form, send only your application and check to the Training Director and then call the national office at (405)579-0999 to establish a plan that works for you. In this case, you will send the signed plan directly to the national office.
- Fill out our Application Form and the Payment Plan Form and mail them (see MAILING ADDRESSES) along with the non-refundable $50 Application Fee to the Director of your program. The Director will accept you into the program and send your Payment Plan form to the national office. The national office will process your payment plan and set up an invoice/billing for your payment(s).
- You will receive notification of acceptance from your Program Director and additional program information once your application and payment plan have been processed. We must receive your Application and $50 fee, Payment Plan, and initial payment before the training begins in order for you not to incur late charges described below.
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 $50 nonrefundable application fee. Tuition is $3995, the mentor fee is $500 and the supplies fee is $500 ($4995 total). Students 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 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.
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 or credit 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 “Relationship-Based Care” as a thank you.
If you need to pay by installments, half of the tuition is requested before the training begins and the remaining balance may be paid in two payments, quarterly payments, or monthly payments over twelve months. There is no extra charge for these standard plans; however, there will be a $100 service charge if you require a customized plan that goes beyond twelve months (please call Michael at the LifeWays office, 405-579-0999, as soon as you have sent in your application, to discuss).
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.
Payments may be made in one of three ways:
- sending us your credit card information for automatic billing
- mailing post-dated checks for all the payments
- setting up automatic bank payments in which your bank mails checks to us each month.
On your Payment Plan form you must check which one of these you will be doing and send the checks or the credit card information with your signed form to the Director who will send it to the national office. If you are doing automatic bank payments, they must begin before the training starts.
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.
- Seek a loan from an individual or organization interested in helping you.
- Set up an extended payment plan so that your monthly payments are less.
If you are unable to pay the full tuition by the time the course is completed, you may speak to us about an extended payment plan that continues for a brief period after the training is over. You will not receive your graduation certificate until you have paid in full. In the case of extreme financial circumstances, you may submit a Financial Assistance Form provided by the LifeWays office, and we will consider further options if possible.
Fees, Refunds and Cancellations:
Late Fee: Student must have an approved, signed payment plan and have made their first payment prior to the first day of training or a $50/week late fee will be charged.
Service Fee: There is no service charge if you select one of the standard plans described above and on the Payment Plan Form. If you require a customized plan that extends beyond twelve months after graduation, a one-time service fee of $100 will be assessed along with your initial payment. 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.
Returned check or declined credit 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 card payments.
Refunds: The $50 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.
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.