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Good news for families seeking a Catholic education

For families who would like to send their children to Catholic schools, but for whom it doesn’t seem like a financially viable option, Superintendent of Catholic Schools Elias Moo has some good news.

This week Moo announced the Variable Tuition Program for Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools, which he says will adjust tuition for families “based on what you can afford.” The program will be implemented this fall in a select number of schools.

Moo explains how variable tuition works in a video posted on DenverCatholicSchools.com, in which he recalls how Jesus told his disciples, “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

“You have sought a Catholic education for your children and are knocking at the doors of our schools,” he says. “Our schools will work with you … to ensure the doors to a Catholic education are opened for you.”

Worthy of the Name

The tuition program is one aspect of a larger vision for Catholic schools that has its roots in a 2015 symposium on Catholic education led by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, which gathered over 200 teachers, principals, pastors and archdiocesan leaders to discuss ways to overcome the challenges facing Catholic schools.

The fruits of the symposium were articulated in two vision documents titled “Worthy of the Name” (2016) and “Worthy of the Investment” (2017).

“Worthy of the Name” describes four focus areas: “On mission,” “Excellent in every way,” “Accessible to all,” and “Sustainable for the future.”

Building on the previous document, “Worthy of the Investment” reiterated that it’s “not enough for the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Denver to merely remain open. Our schools must continue to be vibrant communities of academic, social, and spiritual excellence.”

Additionally, the document notes that Catholic schools “must be sustainable for the future, ensuring the presence of a Catholic education to the families of northern Colorado for generations to come.”

Implementation of the Variable Tuition Program will begin this fall in about one-third of archdiocesan elementary schools. Eventually, Moo intends for all schools to participate in the program.

“We are at an important juncture in the story of Catholic education in our archdiocese,” says Moo. “We want our schools to be around for many more years to come, but to do so we must work together to strengthen our system and better serve all our families.”

“One of the primary ways we will strengthen our school system,” he continues, “is by making a transformative Catholic education more available and more affordable for families.”

Right-sized tuition

The Office of Catholic Schools will partner with Seeds of Hope and the individual schools to calculate what tuition to charge each family based on financial information provided by the families, according to Moo.

“Schools will also take into account your previous tuition levels and other adjustments to determine a right-sized tuition rate for all your children,” he says.

He adds that the practice is one that is common in many schools, but on a case-by-case basis: “While the program will make this practice uniform, it will still permit each school to keep local level control to determine what is best for their families. This will ultimately benefit all our schools and families.”

The end goal, he says, is “to open our doors more widely to you and your family by providing a right-sized tuition.”

To learn more about the new tuition program, visit DenverCatholicSchools.com, or talk to your local Catholic School principal.

Timeline

Oct. 5-6, 2015 School symposium
Nearly 200 teachers, principals, pastors and archdiocesan leaders gathered with Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila for a two-day symposium to discuss challenges currently facing Catholic schools in northern Colorado.

Feb. 6, 2016 “Worthy of the Name”
Any entity or mission that can accurately describe itself as Catholic must accept their responsibility as stewards of something that Christ himself founded.

Jan. 27, 2017 “Worthy of the Investment”
The future of these institutions of love and learning is threatened. There is a need in the Archdiocese of Denver to change the way we support the treasure of Catholic education.

Feb. 24, 2018 Variable Tuition Program
Archdiocese of Denver Catholic schools announce program to right-size tuition for families. The tuition will be set at what families can afford.

Featured image by Jason Weinrich

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