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Parish: 233-3092 | School: 232-5290 | Faith Formation: 232-3514 | 2900 Hoover Avenue, Ames IA

New School Tuition Rates 2019-2020
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, St. Cecilia School will be changing tuition to a flat rate. The rate will be $3,000 per student, regardless of in or out of parish status or number of students per family attending the school. The non-Catholic rate will be $6,239 per student.

Why the change?
While officially a local decision, it has been strongly recommended by the Archdiocese that every Archdiocesan school eliminate their multi-student discount. The reason is that STO (Student Tuition Organization through FACTS) is intended to meet the needs of families with multiple children enrolled, and schools do not need to duplicate this in their tuition structure. The St. Cecilia Catholic School Board believes that the tuition structure at St. Cecilia, which determines tuition based on a family’s self-reported income, also replicates the work of STO. For this reason, the board has decided to move forward with a flat rate. This rate is consistent with other schools in our area that share a similar population and demographics with St. Cecilia School.

Why now?
Beginning this year, STO has established a higher threshold for families that qualify for an STO scholarship. In past years, families needed to have a taxable income under 300% of the poverty rate to qualify for STO funds. For the 2019-2020 school year, qualifying incomes have increased to include taxable income up to 400% of the federal poverty rate. As an example, a family of four making approximately $100,400 could qualify to receive STO. Families facing a potential increase in tuition at St. Cecilia will ideally have that tuition increase offset by increased availability of STO funds. In regards to eliminating the out-of-parish rate, in the recent past only a handful of students have registered for school at St. Cecilia with the out-of-parish designation. There are several schools throughout the Archdiocese that charge a similar or equivalent rate for in- vs. out-of-parish students.

What next?
STO is open from now until April 15th. We have STO help sessions scheduled at the school on February 28th from 3:30-5:00, March 12th from 2:00-7:00, March 13th from 2:00-3:30, April 10th from 2:30-3:30, and April 11th from 3:30-5:00. In addition to these dates, staff is available any time by appointment to help families complete STO applications. Families will know by the end of May of their STO awards. Families applying to STO are also invited to apply for our local Tuition Scholarship to supplement STO awards received. If you are a family who will be paying less in tuition as a result of the tuition change, it is strongly encouraged that you donate at least a portion of those savings to the local Tuition Scholarship fund. For example, if families budget 5% of their income to tuition, a family making $40,000 per year budgets $2,000 for tuition, while a family making $100,000 per year budgets $5,000. If there is a gap between your budgeted cost and your actual cost, please consider donating that surplus amount to the Tuition Scholarship fund. You will see a line on your tuition contract to facilitate that donation. Catholic education has been, since its beginning, a place where all students can find equity and justice in learning regardless of financial need. Catholic social teaching demands that we care for these families, especially in our own community, to ensure that all who desire a Catholic education for their children are able to provide them with that opportunity.

Please contact Sara Rooney at 515-232-5290 with any questions or to set up an appointment to discuss tuition.

In Christ,
The St. Cecilia Catholic School Board
Sara Rooney, Principal