A solid investment in their future.
As you carefully and prayerfully consider your child’s education, we know this is a big decision. We believe investing in education will provide rewards not only in your child’s education but also in their spiritual and social life. We strive to make a faith-based education affordable for all and have several methods to help families find the ability to afford it.
Our promise to you is that while your child is here, we will:
- Nurture your child’s academic potential.
- Affirm your child’s uniqueness.
- Develop your child’s personal relationship with Jesus.
- Promote peace and justice, not only at school but in the world around us.
We believe every family in central Minnesota should have access to the Christ-centered, high-quality academics within our Catholic Community Schools. Variable tuition is designed to make an education in the Catholic Community Schools system accessible and affordable for all, assigning the appropriate tuition rate for each family.
Many of our families take advantage of variable tuition rates that are tailored specifically to their needs. When you choose Catholic Community Schools you’re investing in your child’s future, and while every penny invested is worth it, we will do our part to prevent any family from experiencing undue financial burden.
Variable Tuition FAQs
What is a variable tuition grant?
A variable tuition grant is a financial commitment by Catholic Community Schools (CCS) to share in the total cost of educating your child. Families who apply may be eligible for a variable tuition grant that is appropriate for their family’s financial situation. This makes an education within CCS affordable to more families, removing financial barriers that may have otherwise prevented them from attending a CCS school. As a result, our students represent a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds, enhancing the learning experience for every student.
How does a variable tuition grant work?
Any family (current or new) of a kindergarten through 12th grade student may apply for a grant, regardless of income level. Many factors are considered when determining variable tuition grants, including income, assets, unusual expenses, and the size of the family.
Through the variable tuition application process, a family’s financial information is securely collected online by FACTS, a widely used grant aid processor similar to the FAFSA process for college grants. From this, we receive an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) that we use to award a grant. For example, a family with three students may have a total of $22,000 in tuition. However, FACTS may calculate their EFC to be $9,000. It is this $9000 EFC target that we will ask a family to contribute toward their children’s education if we have sufficient resources available to us.
Is there a cost to apply for a variable tuition grant?
Yes. The fee to apply for a variable tuition grant is $35 per household.
When should I apply for a variable tuition grant?
A student must first apply and be admitted to a Catholic Community School before being eligible for a variable tuition grant, although a variable tuition grant application may be submitted at the same time as the enrollment application.
When is the deadline to apply for a variable tuition grant?
Variable tuition grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to those who apply early, although variable tuition grants are awarded year-round. There is no deadline.
Should every family apply for a variable tuition grant?
No. Families who have comfortable means to cover the regular tuition rate should do so. Any family who feels the regular tuition rate creates undue financial burden are encouraged to apply for a variable tuition grant. We leave the decision to apply for a variable tuition grant up to each family.
Do I need to apply for a variable tuition grant every year?
No. If you received a variable tuition grant this year, you can expect to receive a variable tuition grant next year. However, if the grant awarded is not sufficient, you will need to re-apply to see if you qualify for an increased grant award.
Who sees my application?
We use FACTS, an online, third-party, confidential, and secure application portal, to collect information and determine grant awards. Once you have entered your information and it has been received and processed, a grant award is recommended to the tuition team at the Catholic Community Schools office where it is handled with the utmost professionalism and confidentiality.
After I submit a variable tuition grant application, when will I receive a final decision?
We do not award variable tuition grants until after our confidential third-party processor has confirmed that they have received all required documentation from you and completed their evaluation process. Families who have completed the variable tuition grant application and submitted all required documentation by February 15, 2023 should receive notification on the grant award decision by March 15, 2023. Families who have completed the variable tuition grant application and submitted all required documentation by March 1, 2023 should receive notification on the grant award decision by April 1, 2023. After this, variable tuition grant decisions will be made on a rolling basis, typically within 20 business days from the date all information has been submitted.
If I do not qualify for a variable tuition grant this year, can I apply again next year?
Yes. We recognize that a family’s circumstances, or our ability to award more variable tuition grants, may change.
Do returning students receive priority over new students for a variable tuition grant?
Yes. We want an education within Catholic Community Schools to remain accessible to as many families as possible. Thus, we welcome applications from new families. However, current families who apply will receive priority consideration.
Do I need to apply for admission separately from applying for a variable tuition grant?
Yes. An application for enrollment should be submitted prior to or simultaneously with applying for a variable tuition grant. However, an admissions decision will always be made first and separately from a variable tuition grant.
Will applying for a variable tuition grant impact my student’s chance of being admitted?
No. Admission applications and variable tuition grant applications are evaluated separately. We do not base our admissions decision on whether a family is applying for a variable tuition grant.
What kind of economic situation is typical of a family who qualifies for a variable tuition grant?
It’s difficult to define “typical”. A wide range of families with a variety of circumstances qualify for variable tuition grants, from those who can pay close to the regular tuition rate to those who are able to pay a smaller percentage of the regular tuition rate. Our third-party processor evaluates income, assets, unusual expenses (i.e. caring for an extended family member or medical expenses), the size of the family, and a variety of other factors. The reason we utilize a third-party processor in the evaluation process is because we want them to conduct an objective evaluation.
Are some families granted free tuition?
No. We believe every family must make a financial investment in their child’s education. Our commitment to providing a variable tuition grant means that we are further sharing that investment with you.
Are all admitted students offered a variable tuition grant if the family qualifies?
Yes. It is recommended that families who would like a variable tuition grant apply as early as possible, however, as we may not have the ability to meet the full needs of every family depending on our resources.
Where do variable tuition grants come from?
Variable tuition grants are funded by generous donors who are grateful for Catholic education and wish to make it affordable and accessible to all. The majority of variable tuition grant funding for CCS elementary school students comes from named scholarship funds through The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of St. Cloud. The majority of variable tuition grant funding for Cathedral Middle and High School comes from named scholarship funds through The Cathedral Education Foundation. Additionally, parishioners in the St. Cloud area Catholic parishes contribute a percentage of their weekly gifts to our schools to help families attend our school.
If the variable tuition grant award is not enough, can I appeal the variable tuition grant award?
Yes. If you feel we didn’t completely understand your situation, or you believe your family needs greater assistance than the variable tuition grant award provides, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Who should I contact with questions about variable tuition grants?
The Catholic Community Schools tuition office team is available to answer questions regarding the variable tuition grant application and award process. For more information, email email@example.com.
Sean and Kayla Bruggeman
Is it worth the cost?
St. Mary Help of Christians School has been one of the best investment decisions we have made. From the principal, teachers and the staff, they truly care about their students. The smaller class sizes are great and enables the teachers to support each student and teach to their individual strengths and abilities. We love the faith-based environment and the spirit of family and community within. Our experience has been nothing short of AMAZING.