Any child, K-12, living in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties may apply for a scholarship.
Tri-County scholarship recipients are 72% Latino; 12% African American; 11% Caucasian and 5% other. This breakdown reflects the large number of Hispanic immigrants in urban centers such as Paterson and Passaic.
Tri-County focuses on K-12 scholarships because colleges have millions of dollars set aside to help academically qualified, financially needy minority students. Therefore, the goal of Tri-County and its partner schools is to produce the most academically prepared students possible so that they can take advantage of the scholarships available to them as college students. Tri-County maintains an annual high school graduation rate of 98-100%, with virtually all graduates attending college.
Though not a fixed number, Tri-County gives some 250 scholarships to grade school children ($2,000) and some 150 scholarships to high school children, including approximately 35 Freedom Scholar scholarships ($4,000 and $5,000, respectively).
Tri-County does not have an academic merit screen for its scholarships, with the exception of the Freedom Scholars program. Tri-County has always believed that it is important to get children into excellent schools, give them the tools and the environment that they need to thrive, and then to assess how they’re doing. This is especially true for recent immigrants, where English may not be the spoken language at home. However, students must pass all courses in which they enroll in order to have their scholarship renewed for the following year.
Tri-County works with FACTS Management, the nation’s leading Tuition Management and Financial Aid Assessment software company for private and faith-based schools. Families are required to complete an online application which analyzes income and expenses relative to family size. Tri-County staff then reviews all applications and decides who is awarded scholarships. Tri-County renews all current recipients moving to the next grade before awarding new scholarships, assuming they have passed all of their classes.
Most private grade schools cost around $5,000 annually. Most private high schools (other than elite prep schools) cost $12-13,000. Tri-County awards $2,000 scholarships to all its grade schools students and $4,000 scholarships to most of its high school students. There is a portion that each family must contribute. That amount varies depending on their circumstances and what arrangements they make with their respective schools.
The majority of students receiving Tri-County scholarships attend Catholic schools. Part of the reason for this is that in poorer areas, they are often the only schools that have stayed in the inner-city. As such, they are the only alternative (other than a few charter schools) to the public school system. Many students in Catholic schools, however, are not Catholic. Their parents are searching for schools that are, first and foremost, safe, as well as schools that are academically superior and values-based. All children are welcome at all the schools served by Tri-County, regardless of religious affiliation.
Tri-County defines a values-based education being one that follows the Judeo-Christian ethic on which America was founded. First and foremost, the irreplaceable dignity of every human person and secondly, the core human values that grow from that understanding: equality, freedom, honesty, integrity, respect, solidarity, charity, trust, hard work, and service to others.
The Freedom Scholars program is a scholarship opportunity for the most academically gifted 8th graders who also qualify financially. Freedom Scholars are chosen from Tri-County-supported grade schools who have consistently maintained a B average or better throughout their academic career.
A $5,000 scholarship is awarded to each selected students which is matched by the high schools they attend. Freedom Scholars are given mentors who meet with them monthly to assess their progress, making certain they have everything they need to succeed. They are given special help with SAT prep and with college essay prep.
Tri-County graduated its first class of Freedom Scholars in June of 2015. 100% of these students enrolled in a 4-year college program. The Class of 2016 counts 10 Freedom Scholars, but there were many more qualified candidates who were unable to participate in the program due to lack of funding. With additional support, Tri-County can provide life-changing scholarships to an increased number of deserving students.
While most of the children supported are from inner-city environments, Tri-County supports children in suburban and rural environments as well. When students enter high school, their schools are primarily in suburban settings, such as the following institutions:
• Delbarton School – Morristown
• DePaul Catholic High School – Wayne
• Hawthorne Chirstian Academy – Hawthorne
• Mary Help of Christians Academy – North Haledon
• Oratory Preparatory School – Summit
• Paramus Catholic High School – Paramus
• Pope John XXIII Regional High School – Sparta
• Seton Hall Preparatory School – West Orange
With your donation, students are given need-based scholarships to attend elementary and high schools where they are virtually guaranteed to graduate and then go on to college. You can make a transformative difference in their lives by contributing to the Tri-County Scholarship Fund. None of us can do everything but each of us can do something.