Last year I was contemplating how I would afford another year of private school tuition for my 3 children, being a Stay-At-Home-Mom with 2 more kids at home. Parochial School ain’t cheap, as anyone who’s ever slayed that dragon already knows.
My kids’ principal sent all the parents an email about a scholarship opportunity coming up. Only, this scholarship wasn’t through the school. It was through the Austin CEO Foundation. They give scholarships to students in all school settings: private, public, charter, virtual, and home schools. So I figured, what the heck! I’ll give it a try.
I went to their website. I filled out an entry form. It explained that I would need to be near the phone the following Wednesday to receive the call, should my child’s name be drawn from the lottery. Yeah, Okay, Whatever is what I was thinking. So you can imagine my surprise when that Wednesday I got a call. The director explained that my daughter’s name had been drawn! And she was going to get $1000 towards her tuition for the following school year! The man on the phone claimed he was on the steps of the state capitol, gathering with other parents to lobby the state legislature for their support in an effort to allow parents to choose what type of education learning environment is best for their own child. As he spoke to me on the phone, I could hear my voice being broadcast over an amplifier into a crowd of people.
Once the director was done talking to me, he handed his phone off to an assistant who got all my details, including verifying my phone number. She explained that she’d call me back tomorrow to give me more information about the scholarship. It was at this point that I thought to myself, that’s when she’s going to try to sell me something. Or ask me to donate money to someone. Or expect me to volunteer a gazillion hours to promote a cause. And know what she ended up asking me for? None of that. Nothing. Nada. Oh, well, she DID ask me for my address. But beyond that, they were just happy to give my daughter a scholarship to help us pay for books or supplies or extra tutoring or music lessons. Or tuition.
The amount awarded is different for the different school types. We ended up sending our kids to public school this year (not for financial reasons, it’s a whole ‘nother post, trust me – you don’t want me to get started.) So, instead of getting $1000 for tuition, we will get $250. That can be used for tutoring or music lessons or even to buy a new computer for them! If you’re a home schooler, the award is $500.
So, if you’d like some extra money to help defray the costs of sending your child to school (and who wouldn’t?) I would really encourage you to fill out an entry form at the Austin CEO website. The drawing for next school year will be some time in the spring.