Through the generosity of our many friends, we are able to provide for scholarships and financial aid, annual operating costs, capital needs, special programs, and so much more. There are many ways to give to our school. We hope there is a way that will appeal to you.
Cristo Rey students work hard in their classes, at home, and in their Corporate Work Study jobs. Every month, each of our 565 students work five full days at companies throughout the Chicagoland area and are able to earn approximately 70% of their tuition. But there still remains $2,950 that families are asked to contribute toward tuition. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of our families are not able to pay this full amount.
Of our current freshman class, the average income for our families has decreased to $36,401 for a family of five, 50% less than the Chicago area median household income, defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as “very low income.” The average family can now only contribute $1,025 and every student receives free meals each day. Last year, although our families’ applications for financial aid increased to 88%, only 75% of those families received relief in the form of financial aid tuition waivers.
The Cristo Rey Scholarship Fund allows our school to provide additional assistance for our families, ensuring that no family leaves Cristo Rey because of financial circumstances.
Our students work hard at Cristo Rey with the goal of earning a college degree. They often receive financial aid, generous scholarships, and other support for their college tuition and living expenses. But there are many other costs involved in attending college beyond tuition and room and board such as enrollment fees, travel costs, books, and supplies. These fees can become insurmountable roadblocks that prevent our graduates from pursuing or continuing their college education.
In 2010, after hearing multiple stories of students not returning to college because they could not afford books, registration fees, or the airplane ticket to school, we established the College Retention Fund. This Fund is a last-resort source that provides emergency financial support to our alumni to ensure that they continue their college education.
Alumni are able to receive up to a lifetime maximum of $2,500 to help them with emergency financial needs. They must submit an application, meet with our College Retention Fund team, and provide a plan for how to overcome future roadblocks.
Since 2011, Cristo Rey has disbursed more than $210,000 in targeted mini-grants to over 100 graduated students for books, supplies, tuition, and housing during financial emergencies that would otherwise lead them to drop out of college. With your support, we will continue our commitment to helping our alumni become college graduates!