Cost Per Pupil

The cost per pupil for Catholic grade schools in the diocese ranges from $2,100 to $8,000.  The average cost per pupil is $6,528.  The cost per pupil for high schools is $9,074 to $11,910.  The average cost per pupil for high school is $10,492.


Tuition in Catholic grade schools in the diocese ranges from $2,100 to $4,300.  The average tuition is $3,304.  Tuition in Catholic high schools ranges from $7,670 to $7,986.  The average high school tuition is $7,828.

Financial Assistance

Families who want to send their children to Catholic school and may need help with tuition can apply for tuition assistance through the school.  That's where a few programs that offer financial assistance are available to help:

The Catholic Tuition Organization

The Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Tuition Organization (CTO) grants annual tuition awards to families who need financial assistance. The CTO accepts applications from families whose family size and household income falls within certain levels. During the 2017-18 school year, more than 1,550 students were able to afford Catholic education through the help of CTO. For additional information, please contact your local Catholic school or visit the CTO website.

Project HOPE/Brady Trust

Project HOPE (Help Our Parents Educate) gives children the opportunity to receive quality Catholic education by providing tuition scholarships to families in need. Funds from Project HOPE provide additional assistance to those families who are in the most financial need to help make Catholic education a reality. Families must be Catholic and attend an elementary school.

The instructions and applications for Project HOPE/Brady Trust are available below. All of schools in the Diocese of Des Moines also have applications. Please contact your local Catholic school for more information.


Give the Gift of Catholic Education

Individuals wishing to help make it possible for children to receive a quality Catholic education can contribute to one of the funds that financially assist parents who are not able to pay all of the tuition costs. The funds are:

  • The Catholic Tuition Organization
    Individuals who donate to the CTO will receive a 65% state income tax credit, as well as federal deductibility when itemizing. For more information, contact Jeanne Wells at (515) 237-5010 or visit the CTO website.

  • Project HOPE
    Help Our Parents Educate is a great way to help children receive a quality Catholic education. Individuals who donate to Project HOPE will receive a tax deduction. Please help support a longstanding tradition of our Church to offer Catholic education whenever possible. For more information, visit the diocesan Giving page or contact Sue Relyea at (515) 237-5079.