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 FL State Scholarships be combined with a Diocesan CSTAG award? For the 2024-2025 school year, families at the Elementary/Middle school level may receive a limited amount of tuition assistance that can be combined with a FL State Scholarship. After registering at a local Catholic school within the Diocese of St. Petersburg, an Elementary/Middle school family must then obtain a form to apply for tuition assistance from the Administrator/Principal of that school. Diocesan CSTAG assistance has always been able to be stacked at the High School level, as well as for Morning Star Schools. High School and Morning Star School families must complete an application through FACTS Management to apply for CSTAG. Diocesan aid is limited and may not be available after April 30, 2024.

What‘s Next?

Any family requesting need-based financial aid from the Diocese of St. Petersburg (DOSP) for the 2024-2025 school year will be required to submit an application for the state scholarship program, as the state scholarship is now available to all students. For the 2024-2025 school year, the state scholarship may be stacked with other Grants and Scholarships accepted. Additionally, final decisions are made at the school level. FINAL approval and further communication of your complete tuition assistance package for the 2024-2025 school year will be communicated directly from your registered Catholic School.

Parents are required to fill out a FACTS Grant and Aid application for the each new school year. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year open in FACTS Management on November 1, 2023. All applications must be submitted along with ALL documents uploaded to FACTS no later than April 30, 2024 for the 2024-2025 school year. An application is considered complete when FACTS Grant and Aid has received the application and all supporting documentation required for evaluation. Families must have FACTS Calculated Need to be eligible for tuition assistance. Please contact the school where your child is registered for the FACTS application link.

FACTS applications submitted after the final deadline of April 30, 2024 will be considered LATE. After submitting a LATE FACTS application, an appeal must be sent directly to your registered Catholic School.

How to appeal a denial of a Diocesan CSTAG awardUPDATED 2024-2025 School Year:
CSTAG appeals will be handled at the local school level.
Many families who do not meet the Diocesan eligibility requirements for tuition assistance will receive a denial letter from their registered Catholic School. There are many reasons why a family may have been denied. This includes, but is not limited to, income,  Catholic parish verification missing, 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 contact their registered Catholic school to submit their appeal in writing 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.  You must contact your registered Catholic school for instructions on where and how to submit the appeal to the school. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding tuition assistance or the appeal process, please contact your registered Catholic school directly.

Please Note: Diocesan aid is limited. Applications received after the initial consideration deadline of April 30th, 2024 for the 24-25 school year will be subject to a reduced rate. Generally, the documents needed for uploading are your current W-2 and your 2022 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.

State Scholarships/Education Savings Account (ESA):

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. 

Governor DeSantis signed HB1 in July, 2023, a landmark Educational Choice Bill, that makes every K-12 student, regardless of household income, eligible for a scholarship.  The new law dramatically expands the program to include all students. We strongly encourage ALL families to apply.  

Step Up For Students (SUFS) has released a frequently asked questions page that may help answer some of your initial questions.  You can find the link here.  

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

Family Empowerment Scholarship-Unique Abilities (FES-UA)

Originally created in 1999 and called McKay and/or Gardiner Scholarships, the McKay Scholarship Program joined the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category (FES-UA) effective July 1, 2022. FES-UA 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 FES-UA can visit their website.

This scholarship is administered through STEP UP FOR STUDENTS and the AAA Scholarship Foundation, as well as the FLDOE. Contact your school or the scholarship providers for more information and to apply.

McKay transition to FES: FAQs

Important Information for Parents – State Scholarship Process:

• Must be Florida Resident with child for grades K-12
• Enrolled at a participating private school
• Login and Apply
• Link student and school
• Funds are invoiced by school and paid on behalf of parent
• Parents must renew each year
• Adhere to school and scholarship guidelines