Each year, students are given the extraordinary opportunity of receiving a Catholic education through subsidies provided by their local parish. Our students go on to pursue higher education at a rate of over 95%. These students are so well prepared for college that in 2014 alone, a total of $180 million in scholarships was offered to our graduating Catholic high school students by their accepting colleges and universities. With a graduation rate of 99.9% the Diocese of Trenton strives to enable our youth to live faith‐filled lives as educated and morally responsible Catholics.
But the challenges that face our Catholic schools are considerable, and become more difficult as the culture becomes ever more secular. It would be impossible to solve all of the financial challenges faced by our Catholic Schools through this endowment campaign. However, the funds from the campaign will augment existing restricted endowment funds and will be incorporated into the Foundation for Student Achievement endowment. The purpose of the FSA is to develop strategic programs and initiatives that will help to build a stronger future and encourage more families to enroll their children in Catholic Schools.
The income produced by the Foundation for Student Achievement endowment will be used for the following purposes:
Scholarships will be funded for “seats” reflecting the total cost of educating the student, not tuition. The full cost of educating a child in Catholic Schools has risen to nearly $7,000 each, which is well above the average tuition of $5,000 per student. Schools, not individuals, would apply to participate.
Principals would make the ultimate decision for the students receiving scholarships.
The School Sustainability Study, published in the summer of 2013, identified three schools in areas with high percentages of at‐risk students living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The study defined: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Asbury Park, Trenton Catholic Academy and Pope John Paul II
Regional, Willingboro as “Mission Schools” serving underprivileged children from ethnically diverse communities with limited access to a quality Catholic education. Providing these students with an opportunity to live faith‐filled lives as educated and morally conscientious Catholics is a responsibility we take seriously. Due to the overwhelming fiscal challenges these schools face, they are often unable to
meet their budgets despite concerted efforts by parish and school leadership. Income from the FSA will be available to these schools in the event of a deficit in their operating budget.
The Catholic Alumni Partnership
Over the past 18 months, the Diocese has invested in the Catholic Alumni Partnership – a program designed to identify and engage the alumni in the financial support of their alma maters. Since its launch in 2013, this program has raised more than $180,000 in funds for the FSA endowment that have been distributed right back to our schools. This has enabled schools to provide tuition assistance, upgrades in technology and meet other priorities particular to their campus.
Nationwide, studies affirm that the program has the potential to be even more effective. Funding this Endowment will provide the administrative and operational support needed to train each school’s staff so it can realize its advancement potential.