What is the Anchor of Hope Fund?
The Anchor of Hope Fund, formerly known as the Rhode Island Inner-City Scholarship Fund, was established in 2001 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. This fund was designed to enhance the ability of the Diocese of Providence to provide tuition assistance to financially disadvantaged students attending Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Tuition assistance is awarded to those students who have demonstrated the greatest financial need, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Students need not reside in specific geographical areas of the state to apply for and or receive this assistance.
What is the Mission of Catholic schools in Rhode Island?
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Providence are an integral part of the Church’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, building faith communities, celebrating through worship, and serving others. Catholic schools strive to offer a unique educational experience that provides the values, knowledge, and skills students need to succeed in their journey of life. Catholic schools also seek to nurture students’ spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, physical, and social growth. Studies conducted by independent researchers over the past 20 years yield several findings that help explain the success of Catholic schools:
• Communities sharing common values exist within Catholic schools, and between the schools and the families attending those schools.
• The level of involvement, commitment, and expectations on the part of Catholic school parents and teachers is very high.
• Catholic schools offer a higher level of discipline and order.
• Policies regarding course work, homework, and ability level grouping are extremely effective.
Who determines who gets the assistance?
All families requesting assistance are asked to fill out a standard financial aid application form. These forms are submitted to an independent third party organization (FACTS Management) who ranks applications based solely on financial need. Thus, the families with the greatest financial need receive The Anchor of Hope scholarship monies. For further information on FACTS, please visit www.FACTSmgt.com.
Do you have to be Catholic to receive tuition assistance?
No! As outlined above, there are no barriers to admission into a Catholic school within the Diocese of Providence. As such, all students and families are welcome to apply for assistance regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
What is the average tuition for elementary and secondary schools throughout the Diocese?
As of this writing, May 2011, the average cost of a Catholic elementary school tuition in the state of Rhode Island is approximately $4,500. The average cost of a Catholic secondary school tuition in the state of Rhode Island is approximately $10,500.
How many Catholic school students are enrolled in Catholic schools today?
There are approximately 14,500 students enrolled in Catholic school. Approximately 9,321 are enrolled in our 35 elementary schools and 5,470 are enrolled in our 9 secondary schools.
Do you have to reside in the state of Rhode Island to receive the tuition assistance?
Yes! Members of parishes from out of state would apply for aid through their own Diocese.
Do all schools require students to attend religious education classes?
Yes! All students are educated in the Catholic faith with lessons on morality, spirituality, and theology. The faiths of all students are respected.
Do Catholic schools save Rhode Island taxpayers money?
Yes! It has been estimated that if all 14,500 Catholic school students were to enroll in public school systems, the cost to Rhode Island taxpayers would be approximately $200 million. This information is based on an average Rhode Island per student cost of approximately $13,000. Also, additional tax dollars would be required as logistically, more classrooms to house these students would be required.
Geographically speaking, what area of the state typically receives the most scholarships?
Perhaps the most geographically focused area where students receive tuition assistance is within the inner-cities of our state. However, it should be noted that as the economy has worsened over time and operating expenses have increased, more and more families outside of these cities have applied for assistance. Approximately 5,000 students of our 14,500 student body population has applied for some type of assistance.
How is the Anchor of Hope different than other appeals for Catholic schools?
Many of our Catholic schools conduct their own fundraising efforts that help support their individual operating, endowment, and capital needs. The Anchor of Hope Fund differs from these appeals in that it is designed to address one more specific and urgent need – to enable more children of modest means to attend the Catholic schools of their choice.
Again, The Anchor of Hope Fund is need- based. Thus, as mentioned above, students apply for Anchor of Hope tuition assistance through their individual schools. They are provided with a formal application for aid which is filled out by a parent or legal guardian. Upon completion, an independent third-party company, FACTS, analyzes the data and blindly ranks the students on a financial need basis. Tuition aid is provided to those students demonstrating the greatest financial need. As noted above, at the present moment, over one-third of our student population has applied for some type of assistance.
Will I still be asked to support the Catholic Charity Appeal?
Yes! Individuals who are regularly asked to support Catholic Charities will continue to be asked to do so. The Catholic Charity Appeal raises monies to support some 40 Diocesan social ministries.
Is my charitable contribution / gift tax deductible?
Yes! To the extent allowed by law, your individual or organizational gift is tax deductible.
Does the Anchor of Hope Fund wish to build an endowment?
Yes! The Anchor of Hope Fund currently has a small endowment fund within the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island. In addition to providing annual scholarship support for families of modest means, our long-term plan includes substantially building this fund. If The Anchor of Hope Fund is able to raise $1 million annually, we would be able take 10 to 20% and place it into the endowment fund and provide the remaining dollars to students requiring financial aid. This will allow us to properly plan for the long term sustainability of Catholic schools as this 10 to 20% will remain endowed within the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island where it will grow interest until designated to be distributed as outlined by applicable bylaws.
What is the Anchor of Hope Fund fundraising goal?
The Anchor of Hope Fund would like to raise no less than $1 million in financial aid annually. Ideally, our long-term goal is to raise approximately $20 million in endowment and immediate scholarship aid to provide for the growing needs of our students. The Diocese of Providence, as well as the entire Anchor of Hope Executive Committee, is committed to reaching that goal and to continuing our tradition of providing a high quality education for all students. An education rich in academic, spiritual, and moral development.
I would like to make a charitable contribution. To whom do I make the check out to?
Please make all checks payable to the “Anchor of Hope Fund.”
To whom should I address other questions about the Anchor of Hope Fund?
Please feel free to contact Mrs. Gena Bianco. Gena’s contact information is as follows:
Mrs. Gena Bianco
The Anchor of Hope Fund
Office of Stewardship and Development
Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence
One Cathedral Square
Providence, Rhode Island 02903