In the spring of 2022, a new scholarship was established in the Diocese of Gaylord named the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund for Catholic Schools. The purpose of this fund is to provide financial support and assistance to kindergarten through high school students attending diocesan Catholic schools in the Diocese of Gaylord, with an emphasis on funds towards elementary school students. This endowed scholarship, held by the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation, was established with an initial amount of $3 million. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the total amount of scholarships to be awarded to students in need is $120,000.
“Catholic education is instrumental in our shared mission to raise young men and women of virtue – it provides them with rigorous academics, extra-curricular activities like the fine arts and athletics, but most importantly, it reinforces a life founded in faith and service to others,” said the Most Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh, bishop of Gaylord. “Being able to make Catholic education more affordable is an ongoing objective, and I am so thankful that this scholarship opportunity will provide tangible and immediate help to families and allow more students to be in our classrooms this year and in the years to come.”
At the start of each academic year, the diocese will distribute a lump scholarship to all 16 Catholic schools based on a per student amount from the preceding academic year’s final K-12 enrollment. Each school will then have the discretion to award scholarships in the amount of $500, $750 or $1,000 to students whose families have a demonstrated financial need of at least $750. More than one student from the same family can receive a scholarship so long as the amount does not exceed the need.
To determine a family’s financial need, diocesan Catholic schools will be required to use an outside management system such as FACTS (tuition management system) that verifies the need level of the families. If a school does not use FACTS, a student’s Free and Reduced Lunch status can be used to determine need for the 2022 -2023 school year. Schools will provide a list of scholarship recipients to the diocese each year.
The Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Erick Chittle, stated:
“The Office of Catholic Schools is extremely grateful to Bishop Jeffrey Walsh and Bishop Walter Hurley for this new source of funds for students and families in need. These generous gifts will allow more students to participate in an education focused and founded on Christ and his Church, a true gift that we can all celebrate. The process for granting a ‘Bishop’s Scholarship’ will be simple for our Catholic schools, as it capitalizes on financial processes that schools already have in place. Every school in the diocese now has limited funds available for the Bishop's Scholarship for families that qualify. Please contact your local Catholic School directly for information.
“Thank you to everyone who so generously supports Catholic education through your prayers, financial support and many other ways — you are helping to form a new generation of Catholic leaders who will love and serve Christ, his Church and their communities.”
If you would like to contribute to the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund for Catholic Schools, please contact the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation at the following:
For a printable PDF of this press release, click here.
To learn more about our Office of Catholic Schools, click here.