COLORADO SPRINGS. Starting with the 2022-23 school year, families in the Diocese of Colorado Springs considering Catholic education for their children in grades K-8 will have a more streamlined application and tuition assistance program. As part of the changes, Unified Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Colorado Springs has also rebranded its tuition assistance program with the name “Bishop’s Scholarship Fund.”
The name change was the result of families not knowing or understanding that the diocese had funds available to help make Catholic education affordable to more families, said Superintendent Sheila Whalen.
“We’ve found that some families who want a Catholic education for their children don’t pursue it because they think they can’t afford it,” Whalen said. “So we rebranded the scholarship fund in hopes that families would understand that the diocese can help. Some of the individual parishes also have tuition assistance available for their families.”
The scholarships provided by the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund come from the annual Diocesan Ministry Appeal, as well as contributions from diocesan parishes. All families with children registered or who have applied to a diocesan school are eligible to be considered for tuition assistance.
The tuition assistance application process is now easier than ever. For the coming application and tuition assistance cycle, the Unified Catholic Schools have begun using FACTS. FACTS is a third-party agency that helps the schools evaluate financial needs. Whalen said this move was made because many of the other scholarship programs that also provide aid to diocesan families use FACTS as their evaluation tool.
“Moving to FACTS means that our families can submit their financial information once to be considered for multiple assistance programs,” Whalen said. “In the past, families would have to submit multiple applications to different agencies to ensure they were considered for the different programs. We hope this streamlines the process and is more efficient for our families.”
Families seeking financial assistance will apply at www.FACTSmgt.com/aid. Once the application has been evaluated by FACTS, families that have demonstrated financial need will receive tuition assistance. Families will be notified through FACTS and the scholarship distributions will be made directly to the school on behalf of the applicant.
As the public school systems continue to make changes that oppose the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Whalen said it is an important time for families to consider Catholic education.
“Families should be as concerned about the souls of their children as they are their future careers,” she said. “With Catholic schools, families have a learning environment that provides an educational foundation for the future that also nurtures the students’ spiritual growth. And we’re here to make sure families who seek a Catholic education have access to it.”