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Jan. 31 last day to apply for elementary tuition grants

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Families raised money for St. Nicholas Academy this summer by holding a school Color Run, a popular type of race that includes spraying participants dressed in white with colored pigments. Despite many parish and school fundraisers to help with school operating budgets, many families continue to struggle to pay tuition to Catholic schools. Courtesy photo

By Gail Finke

While Catholic schools in the archdiocese are less expensive than most private schools, the days of free or close-to-free tuition are long past.

Leaders of the archdiocese’s Catholic school system – one of the largest in the nation – have worked hard to help low-income urban families attend Catholic schools through the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education (CISE) fund, and to  keep Catholic education affordable to middle class families. But the call for help with tuition from parents has been strong and steady.

Last year the archdiocese launched its first-ever tuition assistance program for elementary schools. Funded by the One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign, tuition assistance grants of up to $1,000 per student are now available to families of children enrolled in schools that are part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati school network. The grants are based solely on need, which is determined by a third-party organization.

Applications are due Jan. 31 and grants will be announced in mid February. Last year the grant program awarded almost $2 million to more than 2,000 students, or about half of all who applied. The most common offer was $1,000.

Helping families with Catholic school tuition was a major reason for creating the ongoing capital campaign, and the CEF was established both to strengthen the Catholic identity of the schools and to help keep Catholic education affordable for a wide range of families.


CEF tuition grants:

•  Range from $250 to $1,000.

•  Are administered by the archdiocese’s new Catholic Education Foundation for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (CEF).

•  May be combined with tuition assistance from individual schools.

•  Will not be awarded to children who receive, or are qualified to receive, full tuition assistance from the State of Ohio. However, individual schools may offer additional assistance to these students.

•  Are awarded regardless of religion. However, individual schools may base additional aid on religion.

•  Do not automatically renew. Families must apply every year.

•  Cannot be used at private Catholic schools that are not part of the archdiocesan network.

•  Are not for high school tuition. Although high schools also receive money from CEF, they use those funds for their existing assistance programs. Parents interested in high school tuition assistance should contact high schools directly.

•  Are for tuition only and are paid directly to the schools.

•  Are for the full academic year. Separate funds are available to families with emergency needs that arise during the school year.

For information about the grants, or to apply, visit CatholicBestChoice.org or call the Schools Office at (513) 421-3131, ext. 2713.  For information about the capital campaign, visit 1faith1hope1love.org. 



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