Paying for Catholic School
There are options for families who need assistance affording school tuition.
Some Catholic schools have need-based scholarships, as well as academic scholarships available. These are limited and are determined independently by each school, so families should contact school leaders if they have questions about these opportunities.
The state also provides financial assistance to some families interested in private school and offers scholarships. There are two main state-funded scholarship programs in Louisiana:
Louisiana Scholarship Program
The Louisiana Scholarship Program is sometimes known as the "voucher" program. For this program, Louisiana offers vouchers for private school tuition to families who make less than a certain amount of money and whose children are either entering kindergarten or attend public schools that have been graded C, D, or F. Private schools have the option to participate. Not all Catholic schools participate in this program. For more information, check out our Louisiana Scholarship Program page.
Tuition Donation Rebate Program
The Tuition Donation Rebate Program (TDR) allows people and organizations to donate money to specific nonprofit organizations called School Tuition Organizations. Those organizations then use the donations to provide scholarships to families who make a certain amount of money or less and whose children are entering kindergarten, attend a public school (any letter grade rating), or are enrolled in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. For more information, check out our Tuition Donation Rebate Program page.
School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities
Additionally, there is also a program to help eligible families with paying for private school, including Catholic school, if their students have certain disabilities. This program is known as the School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities. For more information, check out our Students with Exceptionalities page.
Do I Qualify for any State-Based Scholarships?
Step 1. Determine if you meet the income requirements.
To participate in either of the scholarship programs, families’ household income cannot exceed 250% of the federal poverty guidelines. These guidelines depend on the number of people living in your household.
Families are highly encouraged to apply for both programs if their school of interest accepts both. However, families can only accept one or the other if they are awarded both.
2016 Income Requirements for the Louisiana Scholarship Program and the Tuition Donation Rebate Program
|Household Size||Annual Income||Weekly Income|
|More than 8||Add $10,400 for each additional person||Add $200 for each additional person|
To prove you meet the income requirements, you will need to provide documentation.
If your family participates in any one of the programs below, bring evidence of your participation and this will count as documentation of your income eligibility.
- Louisiana Purchase Card
- SNAP Benefits
- Social Security Benefits
If your family does not participate in any of the programs listed above, you will need to provide proof of income for every income-earning member of your household.
- Most recent Federal Tax Return
- Alimony as shown in court decree or agreement
- Most recent pension statements
- Most recent unemployment compensation statement
- Most recent W-2s from all employers
- Most recent Social Security benefits statement
- Louisiana Purchase Card Budget Sheet or Benefits Statement
Step 2. Determine if your child's current school qualifies.
If you meet the above income requirements, you are eligible for both the Louisiana Scholarship Program and the TDR Program. However, the Louisiana Scholarship Program also requires that your child either be a rising kindergarten student or attend a public school that was graded C, D, or F in the past school year.
To find out if your child’s school has been rated as C, D, or F, please go to this link: https://www.louisianabelieves.com/data/reportcards/
Choose the most recent school year (2015-2016). Select the district that your school is in and then select the name of your school. Click ‘Get Report Card.’ The letter grade for the school will be in the top right hand corner of the report card.
Step 3. Find out which private and Catholic schools participate in the scholarship programs you qualify for.
Not every Catholic school accepts vouchers or funding from TDR. Click here to explore schools and find out which schools participate.