Archdiocese of Washington more than doubles tuition aid to $4 million for the 2009-10 school year

Application deadline extended to February 27, 2009

February 18, 2009

The Archdiocese of Washington is doubling the tuition aid it is offering to families across the archdiocese next year to nearly $4 million. The deadline for families to apply for aid also has been extended to February 27, 2009 for students in Catholic elementary schools and for students currently attending Archbishop Carroll High School. This is the second year in a row that the archdiocese has greatly expanded its tuition assistance program. In 2007-08, the archdiocese offered $800,000 in assistance, which was increased to nearly $2 million for the current school year.

The expanded tuition aid comes from three sources. One new source is major donors to archdiocesan-wide tuition assistance efforts. Funding also is coming from existing archdiocesan education endowments and from the expansion of a highly successful pilot program undertaken in fall 2008 to shift funds from subsidies for school operations to tuition aid for families.

“This significant increase in assistance to families comes at a critical time,” said Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, Ph.D., superintendent of Catholic schools. “The cost of education continues to increase and the economic downturn has had a real impact on local families. The Archdiocese of Washington is committed to keeping our schools as affordable as possible and to seeking creative new ways to help families in need.”

More than 5,100 families already have applied for financial assistance for next year, an increase of 37 percent over last year, reflecting the impact of the economic downturn.

“Students and schools benefit from this program because more students are able to receive a Catholic education while schools increase enrollments and tuition revenue from the additional students. This gives the schools the ability to offer more children a quality Catholic education,” Dr. Weitzel-O’Neill said.

Historically, the archdiocese has provided financial support in the form of operational subsidies to Archbishop Carroll High School, the Consortium of Catholic Academies and, primarily through the Archdiocesan Education Fund, a small number of parish elementary schools. As a result of the pilot program undertaken in fall 2008, 562 students at 34 Catholic schools received $965,000 in tuition assistance and contributed $1.9 million in tuition revenue. Without the aid, these students could not have afforded to attend Catholic schools; 241 were new students and 321 were returning students.

The deadline to apply for tuition aid for Catholic elementary schools and for current students at Archbishop Carroll High School has been extended to February 27. The application form is online.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 98 Catholic schools educating nearly 30,000 students in the District of Columbia and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]