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Scholarships

Purpose

Affordability is critical for middle-income Catholic families who may not qualify for other need-based scholarships. The purpose of The Education Fund scholarship program is to contribute to meeting the needs of middle-income families seeking a Catholic education for their children. -Read More

The scholarship program will support middle-income families with tuition support for Catholic Elementary and High Schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The initial target will be Catholic families registered in one of the Archdiocesan parishes. Families who are not Catholic will be considered if funding is available after meeting Catholic family needs.

Support will be for tuition; families will be responsible for all fees.

The scholarships will be given in two cohorts, K-8 and 9-12. A commitment that begins in elementary and or middle school will extend through 8th grade. A commitment in high school will extend through 12th grade.

Students may reapply for the 9-12 program at grade 9, but decisions about awardees will be made separately from K-8 support. Given the cost difference between K-8 and 9-12 schools, this will allow the Fund to more closely manage its resources, and also allow for an additional screening point for scholarship participants, aligned with the Fellows Program concept for grades 9-12 described below.

9-12 Fellows Program

The program for grades 9-12 will be called the Beyond Sunday Fellows Program. The objective is to align the tuition support with continued Catholic community-building among high school students which extends throughout their lives. Scholarship recipients will be named Beyond Sunday Fellows. The goal is to have Beyond Sunday Fellows in every Catholic high school.

As part of a Beyond Sunday Fellows network, these awardees will participate in an annual service project together and attend an annual retreat sponsored by the Foundation, which will build their identity as a group of young Catholic leaders. After graduation, the Foundation will continue to communicate with Fellows, perhaps coordinating annual reunions to ensure that they have the opportunity to continue to support one another in their Catholic faith. We hope the Beyond Sunday Fellows become volunteers and leaders in the parishes, schools, and agencies of the Archdiocese in the future.

Criteria

In collaboration with the Today and Tomorrow Education Foundation (TTEF), each year moving forward, the Fund will consider new applications for grades K-8 and separately for grades 9-12. Assistance will be spread across all ten Deaneries. Awards at all levels are attached to the student. If students change schools, so long as the school is a Catholic school in the Archdiocese, the award is transferable.

The Fund will rely on data from the U.S. Census Bureau for the income definition of middle- income households in the Eastern Missouri region. Applicants must demonstrate earned household income between the lower limit of the 3rd quintile and the upper limit of the 4th quintile for the region, as established by the U.S. Census Bureau. Continued support will require annual demonstration of income qualification at the stated levels.

Families with students in Archdiocesan, parish, and private Catholic schools are eligible to apply for both the K-8 and the 9-12 programs. In all cases, the award to a private Catholic school student will be capped at half the amount of the level set for Archdiocesan and parochial schools.

For the 9-12 Fellows program, consistent with the added intent to create a committed community of young people through Catholic education, additional applicant documentation will include a) the endorsement of their parish pastor or a leader of a Catholic program or organization (e.g., youth group) of which the applicant is a member of, and b) a letter of endorsement by a teacher or principal regarding the applicant’s commitment to his/ her academic achievement. Continued funding will require recipients to engage in service activities each school year, preferably through a Catholic Charities program or other Catholic services initiative.

Application and Disbursement Process

Every year the Foundation will announce the schedule for scholarship applications through social media, parishes, schools, and other Catholic media and networks.

The Foundation will establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the TTEF to manage the K-8 and the 9-12 application and scholarship disbursement process. TTEF has a well-established system for tuition support management, and the Foundation will seek efficiency in its scholarship review and award program by leveraging this system.

Applications will be made by families, but funds will be disbursed to schools in the name of each recipient. Roman Catholic Foundation staff will make recommendations to a Board Grants Committee for the tuition assistance based on the TTEF and Fellows processes described above. The Committee will have final approval of all funds awarded.

TTEF will also manage the re-qualification and approval process for annual tuition assistance renewals. The Foundation will establish a specific coordination point within its staff to ensure that processes align with Fund criteria and intent.

Roman Catholic Foundation staff will manage all other aspects of the Beyond Sunday Fellows program including Fellow communications, community service projects, annual retreat, reunions, etc.

Performance Reporting Process

The Foundation will create a performance reporting process to integrate the application, disbursement and renewal data as well as data on applicants, awardees and family characteristics (income level and changes over life of award, awardee position among siblings, gender, ethnicity, etc.). Over time, this will allow tracking of the school and geographic distribution of applications and awards to ensure coverage within the ten Deaneries and the desired balance between parochial, Archdiocesan, and private Catholic schools and students.

The Fellows reporting system will be tied to a Fellows tracking system to allow assessment of the characteristics of Fellows who remain engaged in the Fellows network after graduation and their educational, professional, and faith paths. This will both help the Foundation understand the dimensions of program reach and provide data that may be of use to other Catholic educational foundations interested in linking Catholic tuition scholarship programs to the creation of young adult Catholic communities.

The Foundation’s annual report will include a detailed review of performance data.