Variable Tuition Program

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Returning Applicant

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  • View your scholarship eligibility
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Previous Year Applicant 

Applying for Renewal

Here’s what you need before you apply:

Annual income amounts & supporting documentation:

PLEASE REDACT ANY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS OR BIRTH DATES FROM SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO UPLOADING.
  • 2020 tax return (or most recently filed) or W2 if no taxes have been filed (tax return will be required upon filing)
  • Alimony, child support, welfare, Medicaid, food stamps (or other government assistance), pension, retirement income, disability, social security benefits, or any other income annual amount and supporting documentation
  • Estimated value of your liquid assets (cash, checking, savings, brokerage accounts)

Annual expense information including the following:

PROOF OF EXPENSES MAY BE REQUIRED BY YOUR SCHOOL
  • Housing expense – either rent or mortgage (principal, interest, tax, and insurance)
  • Health insurance & out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Daycare/after-school care or pre-K expense
  • Tithe to your parish or the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal
  • Tuition paid to a Catholic high school

Variable Tuition Program (VTP) FAQ:

Q: What is the purpose of the VTP?
A: To support families in making a transformative Catholic education an affordable reality for their family. The program meets more families where they are and provides an opportunity for schools and families, especially those who do not believe a Catholic education is financially feasible, to have an informed discussion about tuition. This will bring more families to our schools and ultimately, grow enrollment in the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools.
Q: As a full-pay family, will my tuition automatically increase if my school incorporates the VTP?
A: No. The only way a full-pay family’s tuition will increase is if their school decides to increase its full tuition rate. The VTP does not require or mandate what each school sets as tuition; the schools decide their own tuition rates in coordination with the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) in a manner that will give the schools the opportunity to balance their budgets with feasible levels of fundraising and outside support.
Q: As part of the VTP, are schools required to set their full tuition to match the cost to educate each student?
A: Schools are ultimately responsible for and in control of setting their own tuition rates at levels that meet the guidelines set forth by the AOD. Ideally, schools would charge the cost to educate so tuition would cover operating expenses, but because of the varying realities of each school, this may not always be realistic. The tuition rate guidelines found in the “Sustainable for the Future” document encourages schools to collect as much tuition income as possible to cover the expenses of running the schools and set sensible tuition rates. This will give schools the opportunity to balance their budgets with feasible levels of fundraising and outside support.
Q: If my school incorporates the VTP, am I required to provide the school with my personal financial data?
A: You are required to provide personal financial data only if you looking to explore if you qualify for tuition assistance through the VTP; registering through the VTP is completely voluntary. If a family does not wish to disclose any personal financial information, it can simply bypass the VTP application and pay the school’s posted tuition rate.
Q: What are the qualifications for a family to apply for Variable Tuition?
A: There are no qualifications to apply – any family looking to explore if they qualify for tuition assistance who is willing to provide financial information, regardless of income level, can apply to a school through the VTP. The VTP is a tool for AOD Schools to objectively calculate an affordable tuition for families, based on the family’s financial situation.
Q: Are there any fees associated with the VTP?
A: No. Unlike other third-party vendors, there is no application fee associated with the VTP. Since 2018, families and schools saved more than $120,000 in application fees by using the VTP to calculate financial aid.
Q: If I apply through the VTP, how do I find out what my calculated tuition rate is?
A: School administrators are responsible for communicating tuition rate information to families applying to their school. After running the applicant’s information through the VTP calculator, school administrators will review the information and make any adjustments not accounted for in the formula (i.e. recent job loss, external income sources, family illness), then contact the applying family with a tuition rate that is hopefully reasonable for both the family and the school.
Q: What are the financial factors that impact a family’s VTP calculation?
A: After calculating a family’s total family income from all sources, the VTP factors expenses from housing, medical, daycare, tithing and Catholic HS tuition to calculate a Modified Tuition Income (MTI) for each family. Recommended tuition is then based on 6-8 percent of the MTI based on where the MTI falls on a sliding scale. School administrators have the ability to adjust this recommended tuition based on factors not included in the formula (i.e. recent job loss, external income sources, family illness).
Q: If schools admit more students who have not paid full tuition because of the VTP, how will schools survive financially?
A: Part of that question is the answer: more students. The more students that are in our Catholic schools, the more tuition revenue the schools have and the lower the per-pupil cost to educate becomes. If a classroom of 16 becomes a classroom of 20, the four additional students, even if they are not paying full tuition, are providing that much more tuition income the school would not have otherwise, with little to no increased cost to the school associated with those four additional students.
Q: Will higher income families be subsidizing lower income families at schools using the VTP?
A: Since no family will pay more than what a school decides to charge for full tuition, the impact of higher income families paying full tuition remains the same as it always has at schools implementing the VTP schools or at schools that are not implementing the VTP. All tuition a school brings in stays at that school and all tuition dollars go to school operating expenses. Tuition assistance, and the gap between operating expenses and tuition revenue, is funded through a variety of sources which includes, scholarships, grants, AOD support and local school fundraising efforts.
Q: How do scholarships factor into the VTP?
A: When a family inputs its financial information in the VTP application, the system will automatically notify school administrators what external scholarships the family may be eligible for, which will factor into the school’s calculation. For example, if a family is eligible for an Seeds of Hope “Hope Scholarship,” that scholarship will be factored in when the school communicates a tuition rate to a family.
Q: Who is responsible for securing scholarships?
A: The family carries this responsibility. If a school offers a discounted tuition rate to a family based on the family’s eligibility for a scholarship, the family needs to follow through on securing the scholarship to be eligible for the discounted rate. Any family who completes a VTP application and is income-eligible for a Seeds of Hope “Hope Scholarship” is automatically applied and does not have to complete a separate Seeds of Hope application. Families will have to complete a separate application to other scholarship organizations they may be eligible to receive assistance from, such as ACE Scholarships and the Schmitz Family Foundation.