Much financial aid available to students in local Catholic schools

Several thousand students will be attending Catholic schools this year in the St. Louis Archdiocese with the help of multiple sources of financial aid.

Catholic Education Center

The Catholic Family Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund helped more than 2,000 students from more than 1,475 families, according to David Shelton, director of administrative services for the Catholic Education Center. Those students received approximately $640,000 in grants for their education. More than 2,000 families applied for the grants, he added.

The Catholic Family Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund was established as a result of the successful Returning God's Gifts capital campaign several years ago. Earnings from this endowment fund provide monies for the grants.

The Parish Employee Endowment Fund is an endowment created through the gift of a private donor. More than 100 students from more than 60 families received approximately $65,000 in grants from the Parish Employee Endowment Fund for the 2012-13 school year, Shelton said. More than 70 families applied for aid from the fund.

Both funds provide needs-based grants.

These programs are all closed for the 2012-13 school year, Shelton said. Interested families may get information from their parish office regarding funding for the 2013-14 school year after Feb. 1, 2013.

Shelton said the archdiocese welcomes donations to the various archdiocesan tuition assistance programs, including the Catholic Family Tuition Assistance Fund and the Parish Employees Endowment Fund. Contact Shelton at the Catholic Education Center, (314) 792-7305, for further information.

Today and Tomorrow

The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation was established in 1990 to provide quality, affordable and accessible educational opportunities for families within the St. Louis region by providing needs-based, partial tuition assistance scholarships to students attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

During the 2012-13 school year, the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation will provide approximately $4 million in scholarship assistance to approximately 3,000 students through four programs:

• Help For Today-- Hope For Tomorrow Kindergarten through Fourth Grade Scholarship Program

• Help For Today -- Hope For Tomorrow Kindergarten Program

• Grants to Catholic Schools

• Alive in Christ Scholarship Program

Help For Today -- Hope For Tomorrow Kindergarten through Fourth Grade's 2011-20112 program is a continuation of the program introduced in 2008-09, when some 600 students entered the program; 250 scholarships were awarded for 2010-11 school year, and 250 for the 2011-12 school year. The maximum award is $2,000 and follows the student through eighth-grade graduation, assuming continued eligibility. There are 250 scholarships available for the 2012-13 school year.

The new scholarships are for children of St. Louis City residents not yet in school or currently enrolled in a St. Louis City public school. The scholarships are needs-based and are for Catholic schools within the City of St. Louis, as well as for some other faith-based and private schools. The program investment for 2012-13 is $1.4 million.

The Help For Today -- Hope For Tomorrow Kindergarten Program, begun in the 2007-08 school year, is providing ongoing needs-based scholarships to eligible students who applied as kindergartners. There are 30 students in the kindergarten program, each receiving a $2,000 needs-based scholarship for second grade. The scholarship follows them through eighth grade.

Scholarship recipients in the Grants to Catholic Schools program apply through their individual school. Recipient schools are selected by Catholic Education Office administrators and the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, and the individual schools make their awards to individual families based upon financial need.

The Alive in Christ Scholarship Program is the tuition-assistance segment of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Alive in Christ Mission Advancement Initiative. For more on these new scholarships, see Page 6.

Annual Catholic Appeal

The Annual Catholic Appeal also helps provide Catholic education for many students in the archdiocese.

If this year's ACA reaches its goal of $12.25 million, it will provide grants of more than $4.7 million for Catholic education. That includes $2.35 million to parish elementary school assistance; $1.3 million to archdiocesan high schools; $260,000 to parochial high schools; $332,500 to special education; and $43,000 to the high school stewardship essay program. It also provides $100,000 to Today and Tomorrow and $270,000 to Paul VI Institute, which offers college-level adult education on Church-related topics.

In addition, an ACA grant of $75,000 is earmarked for the Elementary Teachers Professional Growth Fund, covering expenses that would otherwise be paid by schools or individual teachers.

"The Appeal is very dedicated to Catholic education and has a strong tradition of support," ACA director Tim Sullivan said. "The ACA helps families to provide their children the opportunity to attend a Catholic school."

Other aid

Several smaller scholarships and emergency funds may be available for Catholic school students through parishes, schools and other organizations.

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