and how we fulfill it
OUR MISSION: Tri-County Scholarship Fund provides opportunity for financially needy New Jersey children - without regard to race or religion - by offering scholarships to better, safer and values-based independent schools that help students to reach their full potential.
a simple but great idea
In 1981, Tri-County Scholarship Fund was begun by two visionaries with an inspired idea: that it is possible to materially and permanently improve the lives of the poorest of New Jersey’s inner-city children by providing them access to the superior and safer option of values-based private schools.
Since that time, Tri-County has provided thousands of scholarships for many of New Jersey’s most financially disadvantaged children, enabling them to attend accredited K-12 private and parochial schools. These children have gone on to college and productive careers, positively impacting their families and their communities. These remarkable results have been made possible through the support of many companies and individuals also seeking to make a difference in the lives of inner-city children.
WHY IT WORKS?
Tri-County’s solution works so well because our donors hold a deep belief in common with the families they help. They believe a high-quality, values-based education will be life changing for the children. Donors understand that the only thing preventing these children from achieving their educational goals is their families’ financial circumstances. Donors provide partial scholarship funding, the critically important financial “bridge”, that enables families to afford the remaining tuition. These families make many financial sacrifices to pay their portion of the tuition.
Whether the private schools the children attend are Catholic, Christian, Jewish or non-denominational, families and donors are assured these schools will not only provide an excellent academic structure but build character and instill positive values. The students thrive in these safe environments where they are surrounded by positive peer groups.
THE TRI-COUNTY APPROACH
POOR-PERFORMING PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Many public schools in low income areas of New Jersey offer sub-par education and have high drop-out rates. Drug use and violence are common. The environment is not conducive for learning. Academic standards are often lowered. Even with typically reduced graduation requirements, high school graduation rates are low.
FAMILIES WANT THEIR CHILDREN AT BETTER, SAFER SCHOOLS:
Low income families seek a quality, values-based education for their children, but they need help to afford the tuition at nearby independent and parochial schools. The schools are already there. The families just need some help with the tuition.
Tri-County awards partial scholarships for K-12th grade students to attend safer, quality schools.
Our partner schools often offer discounted tuition.
The parents and families make significant sacrifices to pay their share.
ALL ARE INVESTED IN THE SUCCESS OF OUR STUDENTS.
The parents and families have "skin in the game" and stay engaged in the process.
The schools provide safe, disciplined, and values-centered environments, allowing the students to thrive.
Tri-County donors and supporters are moved by the impact they see unfold in the lives of our students and stay connected.
OUR STUDENTS FEEL CARED FOR AND BELIEVED IN AND MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Since its inception in 1981 Tri-County Scholarship Fund has changed the lives of thousands of children. To date, more than $31.5 million has funded over 33,500 scholarships.
BY STUDENT SUCCESSES:
Our students achieve a 100% high school graduation rate and go on to accomplish career and life success, completing college, beginning careers, and ultimately giving back to their communities both financially and as role models for the next generation.
VIEW QUICK FACTS
New Jersey Facts
In high poverty areas of New Jersey, public school students are often exposed to less experienced teachers, oversized classes, personal safety issues, inferior infrastructures, limited curriculum and technology, lack of textbooks to bring home, and cancelled classes due to heating/cooling system breakdowns. [Source: ASPA Times, Feb. 2018]
The majority of Tri-County students are from Paterson in Passaic County. The Paterson Public School District ranks in the lowest 10% of all of New Jersey’s 611 school districts (#556), with 5 of its high schools ranking in the bottom 5%. [Source: School Digger, July 2018]
80% of all fourth graders from low-income families in the US are reading below proficiency levels. Children who are proficient in reading by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school and have higher earnings as adults. [Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, January 2014]
1 of every 4 high school students in the US drops out each year, and the numbers are higher for Latino and African American students. [Source: Education Week, May 2013]
High school dropouts are 3 times more likely to be unemployed, and more than twice as likely to live in poverty as high school graduates. [Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2014]
Unaffordable Private Schools
It is very difficult for Tri-County scholarship families to pay private school tuition; their average household income for a family of 4 is $30,000. The cost of private high schools that many of our scholarship recipients attend averages between $6,000 and $12,000.
Private School Benefits
Low-income children who attend private school are almost four times as likely to go to college. [Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Private Schools: A Brief Portrait. 2002]
Students who attend private school in eighth grade are twice as likely as to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher by their mid-twenties (52% versus 26%) than their peers in public school. [Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Private Schools: A Brief Portrait. 2002]
Private school students score higher on standardized tests and are more likely to graduate high school than their public school counterparts. [Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Private Schools: A Brief Portrait. 2002]
THE CHILDREN WE SERVE
typical Tri-County student
Families with average annual income of $30,000 living in Morris, Passaic and Sussex Counties.
77% are from single parent households
85% are racial minorities
62% Hispanic, 18% African-American,15% Caucasian, 5% Other