A Catholic education CAN be affordable!
What is STO?
STO stands for "School Tuition Organization". The STO program serving Cedar Valley Catholic Schools is the Archdiocese of Dubuque's Our Faith, Our Children, Our Future School Tuition Organization. The tuition assistance grants from this program are funded through an Iowa tax credit program. This program has been in existence since 2006. More information can be found at: OurFaithSTO.org.
Who can qualify for STO tuition assistance?
STO grants are available for K-12 students who reside in Iowa and whose household’s taxable income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty rate. STO grants are not available for preschool students.
What income levels are at the 300 percent poverty rate?
Each year the federal government comes out with these guidelines at the end of January. A chart of these income guidelines will be distributed as soon as it becomes available. During 2017-18 a family of four, with a taxable income at or below $73,800, could qualify for an STO award.
Do I have to be Catholic to apply for STO?
No! Everyone - regardless of their religious affiliation - is able to apply for an STO grant. Non-Catholic students can receive assistance but only up to the Catholic/Parishoner tuition rate for the school.
How much money is given in STO grants?
The average award was $1,770 in our STO. Last year, qualifying families received between $300 to 90 percent of their tuition depending upon verified need. No one receives a 100 percent award. Awards vary from year-to-year depending upon overall verified need of the applicant pool. Priority is given to families who complete an application with all required materials by March 29, 2018. Applications after that date will be given consideration, pending fund availability, and will generally be significantly smaller.
How do I apply for STO tuition assistance?
Only one application needs to be completed per household. Parents can start an application for the Cedar Valley Catholic School System here. Additional children and the names of their schools can be added to that single application.
What information do I need to complete the application?
Parents with W-2 Income: These families need to send in their 2017 W-2’s and must submit their most recent IRS Federal Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ U.S. Individual tax return from 2017.
Parents with Business/Farm/Self-Employment Income: These families need to expedite getting their taxes prepared so that they can submit a 2017 Federal 1040 tax return by the March 29th, 2018.
Parents Who Are Not Required to File Federal Taxes: These families that do not file a tax return are still required to provide documentation for household non-taxable income such as social security income, welfare, child support, food stamps, workers’ compensation, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
When do I need to submit my application?
The initial round of STO registration ends Thursday, March 29, 2018. Applications after that date will be given consideration, pending fund availability, and will generally be significantly smaller.