Dozens of additional students will be receiving tuition assistance to attend Catholic schools next year as the first installment of a fundraising campaign initiated last year.
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will make about $250,000 available for tuition assistance in September, 2018. Half the money will go toward eligible students in elementary grades, and the other half will be designated for high school students. The elementary aid will be distributed to families through the Bison Fund, which already helps about 750 students attend Catholic schools each year.
“Our studies indicate that more families want to attend Catholic school but feel that they can’t afford it,” said Richard Suchan, executive director of the foundation of the diocese. “There’s a wait list at just about every single school. More middle-class families are squeezed out of making Catholic school an option.”
The Upon This Rock capital campaign could eventually grant $600,000 in Catholic school tuition each year.
Suchan said pledge payments to the Upon This Rock campaign will be coming in over a period of several years and many of those dollars will be put into endowments in which the interest income will be used annually to support programs such as tuition assistance.
"We think for elementary school, we’ll be able to help an additional 230 children per year when it’s fully funded. For high school, we’ll be able to help about 100 families,” he said.
Parents are advised to apply on-line through the Bison Fund to be considered in the application process for February 2018.