By Tim Bishop
WHEELING—The Department of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has announced a major increase in the amount of tuition assistance funds available to students attending Catholic schools in the coming year. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, diocesan superintendent of schools, said $850,000 will be made available for the coming year—up from $700,000 last year.
“This is a tremendous gift from Bishop Michael J. Bransfield,” Schmidt said, “it is a tremendous investment in our program and our children, and it speaks volumes about the future of our schools and the importance the bishop is placing on them.”
Schmidt said the increase will not only make tuition assistance available to more people, those who already receive assistance will also see an increase. He said that officials have changed the tuition assistance threshold so that people who were previously unable to receive assistance will now be able to do so. “This increase,” Schmidt said, “means more kids in our schools will be receiving the assistance they need. It means Catholic kids who want to be in Catholic schools will be able to be there—which is what Bishop Bransfield and I have always set out to do. We want to make sure that no Catholic student is denied access to the Catholic education they deserve.”
Schmidt noted that one of the most important aspects of the increase in assistance is what the money will bring to the schools as well as the students. “The additional funding will bring in students who otherwise could not afford a Catholic education, it will help keep students who may have otherwise had to leave, it will help maintain the diversity we currently have in our schools, and most importantly, it speaks volumes to the fact that the bishop is dedicated to Catholic schools.”
Applying for the Diocesan Tuition Assistance Program through FACTS is easy and affordable. Families are encouraged to apply if their child is already enrolled or has been accepted by one of the Catholic schools in the diocese for the 2014-2015 school year.
Any Catholic student accepted for the 2014-2015 school year in any diocesan Catholic school (pre-kindergarten thru grade 12) is eligible. Determinations are based upon a family’s degree of need relative to all other applicants.
To apply and for more information, one should contact his or her local Catholic school for a paper application or may apply online at: https://www.factstuitionaid.com/facts/gaindex.
The application fee is $25. The diocese will pay $12.50 and families pay the other half.