The Catholic Tuition Organization (CTO) has awarded $2.75 million in tuition assistance for the 2017-2018 school year. The money will go to 1,378 students who will attend a Catholic elementary or high school in Southwest Iowa. CTO is still accepting applications for an additional $300,000; the deadline to apply is July 31, 2017.


Families qualify if their income falls within state guidelines based on family size. The state requires that a family of five must have less than $86,430 in gross income to qualify for an award, but CTO applicants’ average income in 2016 was under $42,000.


Qualifying schools are accredited Catholic schools in the diocese of Des Moines, including St. Patrick’s Catholic School, which will receive nearly $78,000 in the 2017-2018 school year. St. Patrick’s principal, Eddie Diaz, recognizes that “CTO opens the door for a lot of families to have quality, individualized instruction for their children to hopefully meet their full potential, which will open doors to opportunity that many of these families wouldn’t have. For a lot of families, it wouldn’t even be an option to consider Catholic education without it.” Since its beginning in 2006, CTO has distributed nearly $20 million in tuition assistance to families and nearly $560,000 to St. Patrick’s.


CTO began through the Educational Opportunities act, a law passed in 2006. The law created the School Tuition Tax Credit Program, which offers a 65% tax credit to Iowa residents who contribute to a qualifying organization. In turn, the STO will distribute at least 90% of revenue to low- and lower-middle income families for private school tuition. CTO is one of eleven School Tuition Organizations that raise money for tuition assistance to private schools in the state of Iowa. STO programs provided assistance to over 10,000 families each year and have distributed over $98 million in the last 10 years.


For more information, visit CTO’s website at www.ctoiowa.org or call 515-237-5010.