Financial Aid (STO & ESA)

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy aims to make our Catholic education, founded upon traditional principles, an affordable one, as well.  All families are highly encouraged to apply for financial assistance, no matter what their economic situation. And we are happy to help you through the process.

OLOSA regularly schedules scholarship workshops on campus to provide hands-on help to complete your applications in an efficient manner.  We also encourage our families to learn as much as they can about available assistance and attend the seminars or webinars we organize.  For more information, please contact the Academy office at [email protected] or (602) 305-7183.

Resources for Financial Assistance

Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)

As of October 2022 every school-aged child residing in Arizona is now eligible for the universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA). Intended to expand educational opportunity outside of the public school system, it provides public funding for a wide range of personalized education expenses, including private school tuition, tutoring services, textbooks, uniforms, and more. The source of funds and the things they may be spent on are what differentiates the ESA scholarship from the STO scholarship. Parents apply once and receive a renewal contract for signing each school year. You may apply any time during the school year and receive a pro-rated scholarship amount in your ClassWallet account. Learn more about ESA and apply here.

School Tuition Organizations (STOs) and Donor-Recommended STO Scholarships

STOs are non-profit, 501c3 organizations developed under the guidelines provided in the Arizona Private School Tuition Tax Credit Law, A.R.S. Section 43-1089. STOs obtain contributions from individuals and businesses, which support school choice. These donations are then made available to families in private schools in form of tuition scholarships.The STOs on our list will all respect a donor’s designation of a particular private school, like our very own Our Lady of Sorrows Academy. Most will even consider a donor’s specific student recommendation, should a donor chose to do this. Each family is encouraged to find a few family members, coworkers, or friends who are willing to re-direct their Arizona state tax liability to that particular family’s scholarship fund. Those funds are then made available to assist you with your tuition at Our Lady of Sorrows Academy. Download our brochure (pdf) for the current 2021-2022 academic year, or pick one up at the school office to explain the donation process to your friends and family. New brochures come with updated figures come out in Dec/Jan each year. Or direct them to our website: https://ourladyofsorrows-academy.com/en/az-tax-credit.

How to Apply for Scholarships

Since the universal ESA amounts are currently roughly $6,500 per student in grades 1-12, per school year, most parents decide to apply to ESA. We recommend any of the following STOs, with which our academy has successfully worked. If there is another organization you would like to use, please inform the school office so that we may ensure that this particular organization will work with our Academy. Submit your scholarship application to each of the STOs on our list, by clicking the link and following the prompts on their website.

2022-2023 School Year

School Tuition Organization

Arizona Education Scholarship Foundation

Arizona Tax Credit

Institute for Better Education

Tops for Kids

AAA Scholarship Foundation

Arizona Leadership Foundation

Website az4education.org aztxcr.org ibescholarships.org topsforkids.com aaascholarships.org arizonaleader.org
Application Fee Free Free Free Free Free Free
Application Available 02/15/22 03/16/22 02/01/22 05/01/22 Renewing 02/26; New app 03/26/22 04/15/22
Application Deadline 02/14/23 03/15/23

Student rec: none
round1: 06/01/22
round2: 09/01/22
round3: 12/01/22
round4: 02/01/23

Individual:
round1:07/15/22
round2:10/15/22
round3:01/15/23
round4:04/01/23
Switcher/Plus:
round1:08/15/22
round2:02/15/23
Corporate:
07/15/22

Disabled/Displaced: 07/15/22

Income based: 08/31/22 06/15/22
Award Date(s) Monthly awards Bi-monthly awards

Student rec: monthly
round1: 08/31/22
round2: 11/30/22
round3: 01/31/23
round4: 03/31/23
nominals: 03/31/23

 

Individual:
round 1: 08/22
round 2: 11/22
round 3: 02/23
round 4: 05/23
Switcher Plus:
round 1: 09/22
round 2: 03/23
Corporate: 
08 to 09/22
Disabled/Displaced:
08 to 09/22

Quarterly awards 08/22

* All STOs listed in above tables allow/offer: stacking, Individual-, Switcher/Plus-, Corporate-, and Disabled/Displaced Scholarships, and student recommendations. Exceptions: AAA does not allow stacking and AZTXCR does not offer Disabled/Displaced Scholarships.

Tips When Completing Scholarship Applications

  • Be sure to complete your STO scholarship applications every year. ESA recipients need only sign a renewal agreement each year.
  • ESA scholarships may not be stacked with STO scholarships.
  • For the organizations on our list, there are no fees to apply.
  • Complete your STO applications as soon as they become available, as most scholarships are first come, first served. In some cases you may be able to save an incomplete application and complete it once you have all required information gathered.
  • You will need the following information: your most recent federal tax filing, W2, 2 most recent pay stubs, previous year’s scholarship award letters from STOs, report cards (optional), student awards/achievements (optional).
  • We recommend you provide as much information as you can on your applications, even if it is only optional. Any family hardship or student volunteer work, for example, does have a bearing on the awards.
  • Ensure you enter the updated tuition rates for the academic year for which you are applying.
  • After receiving an award, the STO will send you an award receipt. Please save this for your records, as you will need to submit a copy of all award receipts during the application process of the following year.

Ensure You Are Entering Correct Tuition Costs

Please see the updated 2022-2023 tuition explanation here (pdf).

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I apply for ESA for one of my schoolchildren while applying for STO for another?

A: Yes. Each child has their separate application. With the current yearly ESA award amounts of roughly $6,500 per child in grades 1-12 and roughly $3,500 per child in Kindergarten, you may consider applying to STOs for your Kindergarteners and to ESA for your older children. You may also consider applying to AZ4Education (STO) for your older children despite not being able to accept both ESA and STO awards concurrently. The reason for this is that AZ4Education will not disburse an award while your child is on ESA, but they will hold any scholarship awards in your childrens' names up until grade 12. This can serve as a fallback should universal ESA ever be abolished in the near future.

 

Q: Is there an age requirement for a Kindergarten student to be eligible for a scholarship?

A: Yes. Kindergarteners need to be at least 5 and first graders at least 6 by Jan 1st in order to qualify for ESA. And for STO scholarships a Kindergarten student must be 5 years old as of September 1.

 

Q: May a student accept an ESA and STO scholarship in the same school year?

A: Yes. Students wishing to enroll in ESA must not be receiving STO funds within the same quarter of the year. Please see the quarter dates as defined by the Department of Education.

 

Q: Do I need to apply for an STO scholarship if my child has been recommended by a donor?

A: Yes. A current completed application must be on file with the STO where the donor has recommended your child. You must apply every year. Be sure to let potential donors know which STOs work with our school by referring them to our website here. Please keep in mind that donor recommendations do not guarantee a scholarship and are not the only factor when awarding a scholarship.