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  • Writer's pictureLourdes Academy

Affording Catholic Education for Your Child

HINT: It's easier than you might think!

Many parents hear alarm bells when someone mentions Catholic education as an option for their child. Their first question is, “How can I afford a Catholic education?” Sometimes parents are quick to eliminate Catholic education because of the tuition cost. But in Florida, we have some great options to help anyone who wants a Catholic education to afford it.

Lourdes Academy is a Catholic School in the Daytona Beach area and is dedicated to helping make the desire of Catholic education come true for families. About 75% of Lourdes Academy families have some financial assistance with each student receiving a subsidy from the parish to help keep tuition costs low. With some help from scholarships, attending Catholic school is in reach for almost any family.

Below we break down some of the scholarship options. Talking to the Lourdes Academy Enrollment Specialist, Mirtha DeWitt, is the best way to determine what scholarships your family might qualify for.

Here are some of the tuition scholarship options for families.

· Step-Up for Students - Step-Up for Students (SUFS) is a state-approved income-based scholarship program to help low-income families afford private education. Lourdes Academy is a Step-Up for Students approved school. In some instances, SUFS can cover the entire cost of school tuition and has helped 100,000 students attend private schools in Florida. Parents can work through the application process with the school. Step-Up for Students also has additional funds for families meeting certain criteria.

· AAA Scholarship Foundation – AAA Scholarship Foundation is an income-based tuition scholarship for families. Similar to Step-Up for Students, this income-based scholarship may cover nearly the entire tuition for a child to attend a Catholic school.

· Gardiner Scholarship – administered by Step-Up for Students and AAA, this scholarship is not income-based and is provided to students with a particular need and/or disability. This scholarship often grants full tuition, plus reimbursement for other items like school uniforms.

· Family Empowerment Scholarship – The Family Empowerment Scholarship supports working and middle-class families with tuition assistance. The Florida Legislature and the Department of Education provides funds for this scholarship that has helped 18,000 families afford private school in the 2019-2020 school year.

· Halifax Fund – The Halifax Fund is a pool of monies from many Catholic Churches throughout Volusia County who do not have a Catholic school associated with their parish. These funds are distributed to families needing tuition assistance who apply through FACTS (see below). For working parents whose income is over the Step-Up for Students low-income threshold, the Halifax Fund exists to ensure an affordable Catholic education.

· FACTS – FACTS is an online company that assesses a family’s needs for financial aid. Once completed, FACTS online system can schedule a payment plan that allows flexibility for families to pay for their tuition monthly or quarterly.

· McKay Scholarship – The McKay Scholarship is a Florida school choice program that provides support for over 31,000 parents who have a child with a disability. McKay provides financial assistance to students with an intellectual disability, deafness, speech or language impairment, and other qualifying disabilities.

There are so many scholarship options Lourdes Academy has a staff member dedicated to helping families find the right fit. If you are interested in Lourdes Academy for your child and would like more information on these scholarships, contact the Lourdes Academy’s Enrollment Specialist, Mirtha DeWitt, via email or phone at 386-252-0391. You can also click to schedule a school tour.

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