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Financial aid for Catholic school children Information for donors, applicants

January 23, 2015
Annette Brown

The parishes of the Archdiocese of San Francisco conducted a campaign to fund an educational endowment. This campaign was known as the TSTL: Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Leaders. Although this campaign officially came to a close in 2006, the educational endowment fund that was created with this campaign is still open and accepting direct donations and estate gifts. This educational endowment campaign raised over $16.5 million in endowed funds that are distributed annually to students who live in the archdiocese who attend Catholic elementary and high schools. It is this fund, combined with the resources of other endowments and funds, created by other generous donors, that last year reached $25 million, enabling us to fund approximately $1 million in archdiocesan family grants and scholarships to our families on a need basis. Generations of students and their families have and will receive assistance because of the generosity of the parishioners in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Each high school has its own sources of additional financial aid and scholarships, averaging 15 percent of the tuition revenue. In addition to those funds, the archdiocese was able to award 351 high school students an additional scholarship of $550 or $1,600; the total amount of awards provided by the archdiocese to the high schools was $519,600 in school year 2014-15. Some elementary schools have their own sources of financial aid, averaging 7 percent of the tuition revenue. In addition to those funds, the archdiocese was able to award 796 elementary school students an additional scholarship of $400-800; the total amount of awards provided by the archdiocese to the elementary schools was $487,650 in school year 2014-15.

April 15 is the elementary student deadline for submitting all information to the third-party need evaluation company that we use to collect the financial data from our families. Late applications will not be considered. Students must live in San Mateo, San Francisco or Marin counties. We expect to announce the awards to students’ families at the end of May. The high schools have their own deadlines ranging from November-January, and archdiocesan scholarships are announced directly to the high schools; the schools then convey the award to the families of the students in their acceptance package (for the incoming freshmen) or as part of the tuition contract with the family for continuing students.

We encourage elementary families to also apply to the BASIC Fund (www.basicfund.org). The BASIC Fund is not an endowment-based fund, but raises funds each year for distribution on a need basis. We also encourage families to inquire with their principal about the availability of their own school and parish scholarships.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco continues to look for opportunities for system-wide grants and endowment funds. The educational endowment funds are all open and accepting direct donations and estate gifts which are then distributed in perpetuity to our students. Since this endowment was started, we’ve been able to contribute $1 million per year directly toward tuition for our neediest families in our archdiocese. We are especially grateful to all donors who contributed to these educational endowments. We respectfully request their and your continued generosity to fund and encourage future generations of Catholic students.

To apply for an archdiocesan grant, log onto our third-party processor’s website at www.mytads.com and choose Financial Aid Assessment. Create an account, and start with the name of the school your child attends or will attend. For more information contact Annette Brown at (415) 614-5662 or browna@sfarchdiocese.com.

Brown is associate superintendent for planning and finance for the archdiocesan Department of Catholic Schools.

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