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The John R. Oishei Foundation is making its unique, four-year Oishei Scholarship Program available to eighth grade students who would like to enter the freshman class of Niagara Catholic Junior Senior High School at 520-66th St. in Niagara Falls.

Currently, 68 students attend one of 17 private schools in Erie County through the Scholarship Program that provides full tuition and fees for economically disadvantaged high school students in the Buffalo area. The multiyear program began four years ago when the first 17 students entered one of the private high schools as freshmen. Today, they are seniors.

Each of the last three years, another 17 freshmen students were selected. Now the program is operating at full capacity backed by annual scholarship support of approximately $400,000 from Oishei.

"We continue to look for young people who are willing to work hard to achieve academic excellence," explained Thomas E. Baker, foundation executive director.

Any student interested in being considered for an Oishei Scholarship must first complete the application process required by the private school.

After admission decisions are made, each school sends its nominations to the foundation's Scholarship Selection Committee that will announce the winners in April.

Within the next few weeks, the private schools will have placement exams that must be taken by any eighth grader who hopes to attend one of the schools.

Niagara Catholic joins the Buffalo Independent Secondary School Network established four years ago when the scholarship program began.

Interested students can contact any of the 18 schools for information.

In addition to Niagara Catholic, they are Bishop Timon-St. Jude, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Buffalo Seminary, Canisius, Cardinal O'Hara, Holy Angels Academy, Immaculata School, Mt. Mercy Academy, Mt. St. Mary Academy, Nardin Academy, Nichols School, Park School, St. Francis, St. Joseph's Collegiate, St. Mary's, Turner-Carroll and Villa Maria Academy.


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