The vast majority of our families make considerable sacrifices for their children to attend Catholic schools. Looking for financial assistance? Talk with your pastor and/or school principal. They can tell you about various state, Diocesan, and parish-based resources and scholarships available for qualifying families.

Diocesan Assistance

Diocesan Catholic School Tuition Aid Grant (CSTAG)

FAQ: Can Step Up for Students be combined with a Diocesan CSTAG award? Not at the Elementary level(exceptions are Morning Star Schools).

What‘s Next?

Any family requesting need-based financial aid from the Diocese of St. Petersburg (DOSP) for the 2023-2024 school year will be required to submit an application for the state scholarship program. Diocesan aid is limited. Families with students in grades K-8 receiving Step-Up, AAA, FES/FTC, or FES-UA do not qualify for CSTAG funds (unless they are Morning Star students), as the state scholarship is now available to all students. For families with students in grades 9-12, the state scholarship may be stacked with other Grants and Scholarships accepted.

Parents are required to fill out a FACTS Grant and Aid application for the each new school year. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year open on November 1, 2022. All applications must be submitted along with ALL documents uploaded to FACTS no later than April 30, 2022 for the 2023-2024 school year. An application is considered complete when FACTS Grant and Aid has received the application and all supporting documentation required for evaluation. Below is the link to fill out a FACTS application form.

The Catholic School Tuition Aid Grant aka CSTAG award is the only grant given by the Diocese to aid families with school tuition costs. CSTAG is available to all Catholic students K-12 who are registered at, or have submitted an enrollment application to an (inter)parish or diocesan Catholic elementary or high school in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  Families must have FACTS Calculated Need to be eligible for tuition assistance.

How to appeal a denial of a Diocesan CSTAG award
Many families who do not meet the Diocesan eligibility requirements for tuition assistance will receive a denial letter from the Superintendent via an email from FACTS. There are many reasons why a family may have been denied. This includes but is not limited to, income,  application submitted or completed past deadlines, required documentation to complete application was not provided, input error by applicant, or calculation error by facts. The Diocese does allow families to appeal a denial based on any of these reasons. Parents are required to send a written letter to the Diocese of St. Petersburg or send an email to the Office of Catholic Schools and Centers at ( explaining why your appeal should be considered and why you believe your family is eligible to receive Diocesan Assistance. You may include any information that you believe will support your request or aid the Appeal Committee in their decision to approve your appeal. Each appeal received will be carefully reviewed and considered by the Appeal Committee before an approval or denial is made. Please note that not all appeals are approved. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding tuition assistance or the appeal process, please feel free to contact our office via email ( or phone at 727.347.5539.

Address to send appeal:
Diocese of St. Petersburg Attn: Lori Russell (OCSC) P.O. Box 40200 St. Petersburg, FL 33743-0200 Email to send Appeal:

Please Note: Diocesan aid is limited. Applications received after the initial consideration deadline of April 30th, 2023 for the 23-24 school year will be subject to a reduced rate. Generally, the documents needed for uploading are your current W-2 and your 2021 Tax return. If you are self-employed other documents may be required from FACTS. FACTS Grant and Aid application

School-Based Tuition Assistance

In addition to the Diocesan Catholic School Tuition Grant (CSTAG), many schools have parish/local funds available to help qualifying families. Please contact your child’s Catholic school for more information.

McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities now FES-UA

The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, originally created in 1999, provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities to attend an eligible public or private school of their choice. Students with disabilities include K-12 students who are documented as having an intellectual disability; a speech or language impairment; a hearing impairment, including deafness; a visual impairment, including blindness; a dual sensory impairment; an emotional or behavioral disability; a specific learning disability, including, but not limited to, dyslexia, dyscalculia, or developmental aphasia; a traumatic brain injury; a developmental delay; or autism spectrum disorder. Parents who would like to know how to apply or would like more information regarding the McKay scholarship can visit their website.

Effective July 1, 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program will join the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category (FES UA). Current McKay families will have the opportunity to remain in their current public or private school choice setting or to utilize the additional options available under the FES UA education savings account model to further customize their child’s education experience for their specific needs.

McKay transition to FES: FAQs

Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship and Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO)

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) and Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) programs give families of K-12 students a choice of financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or helps with transportation costs for students to attend a public school different than the one the student is assigned to. 

For the 2022-23 school year, an example of who may be eligible is a family of four with an income up to $111,000 annually. The scholarship award is based on where the student lives and their grade level. To view the 2022-23 scholarship award amounts, please click here. 

The scholarships are administered through STEP UP FOR STUDENTS and the AAA Scholarship Foundation. Contact your school or the scholarship providers for more information and to apply.