Diocese awards nearly $700,000 in tuition grants

The Diocese of Peoria has awarded nearly $700,000 in tuition assistance grants to 575 Catholic school students for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Parents who applied to the John Lancaster Spalding Scholarship Fund for grants for their children were notified concerning awards in mid-April. The fund was established by contributions to the diocesan Rooted in Faith Capital Campaign.

All awards are based on need as assessed by FACTS Management Company and were made in rank order beginning with the neediest, according to Brother William Dygert, CSC, diocesan superintendent of schools.

Recipients represent 40 Catholic schools throughout the diocese. Although the money is awarded to the students, the funds will be paid to the schools they attend.

Applications were invited in late 2009 through announcements at the schools, in parish bulletins, the diocesan Web site, and The Catholic Post.
A board that oversees the $12 million Spalding Scholarship Fund sets policy for the grants, which are then distributed through the Office of Catholic Schools. All grants are for one year, and the students must apply each year.

This year’s grant total of $681,435 brings the cumulative sum awarded in the five years since the fund was established to nearly $2.5 million.

Brother William said that, while the assistance is substantial, the bulk of tuition help is actually provided at the parish level. Actual tuition is usually only about 50 percent of the per-child cost of education, with the rest covered by fundraising and direct subsidies from the parish.

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