By Gary E. Layton
The Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation is a Long Island based charity that is funded by Long Island businesses and individuals, and used exclusively to support the students and schools of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The mission of Tomorrow’s Hope is to ensure the excellence and continuance of Catholic schools on Long Island by increasing awareness and by providing scholarship and program funding. Every student from grades K-8 who are attending Catholic elementary school and are in need of tuition assistance are eligible to apply for an award which is based on the families current economic circumstances and financial need.
Applications for scholarship funding are typically made in January following Catholic Schools Week when many Long Islanders visit the school they plan on sending their children to in the following school year. Applications can be processed whether you have already registered at a school, or even if you haven’t registered yet. Only one application is necessary per household and multiple children’s needs can be served based on that one application. Application can be made online or on paper, and many schools offer coaching days when a representative from Tomorrow’s Hope and the schools are on hand to help families complete and submit the form.
Complete confidentiality is the rule, so only you, or you and your ‘coach’ know that you have applied and your sensitive information is carefully guarded and not shared outside of the Foundation and credit scorer. Awards are equally confidential and the faculty and staff of the school are not even aware of which students are utilizing tuition assistance.
There is a small processing fee and awards range from $250 to $2,500 per year in the form of a grant. There is some documentation required. Individual circumstances that identify special circumstances for the need are also welcomed and help the awards team evaluate and distribute the scholarship money.
Decisions are dependent on when the application was submitted, and processing takes between three and four weeks. The first round of applicants are notified in June. When an award is issued, the money goes directly to the school and is deducted from the school tuition bill. Each award is in name to the student, so even if the student transfers to another Catholic school the award money follows the student and doesn’t stay with the school.
It is the goal of Long Island’s Catholic Elementary Schools to welcome every student whose family wishes a high-quality Catholic education for them and the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation helps families make their catholic school dreams a reality.
Gary E. Layton is the director of marketing and enrollment for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.