What is tuition assistance?

If you're wondering how to afford Catholic school tuition, we're ready to help. Tuition assistance is provided to families who are unable to pay the full tuition rate due to a demonstrated financial need. However, no family is turned away for inability to pay full tuition. Providing families in need with assistance is at the very heart of our mission in Catholic education.

Who is eligible for tuition assistance?

All families can apply for tuition assistance and most tuition assistance awards are based on demonstrated financial need as determined by the tuition assistance application process. There may be other eligibility requirements for specific tuition assistance programs.



Catholic Tuition Organization (CTO)

CTO is a charitable organization that receives voluntary cash contributions from Iowa taxpayers. The organization then allocates those funds in the form of tuition assistance to eligible families who attend a Catholic school in the Diocese of Des Moines.

All applications for CTO assistance are due the first Friday in April.

CTO Information  Apply for Assistance

Parish/School Scholarship

Some schools in the Diocese of Des Moines offer scholarships to students through a parish or school-specific scholarship fund. To learn more, contact your local school by completing the form below.

Welcome Tuition Grant (WTG)

Families with children enrolled in non-Catholic schools may be eligible for a WTG if they enroll in a participating Catholic school for the 2021-2022 school year. WTGs are available for each child (1st - 7th grades) for the first two years of enrollment.

  • Year one = $1000 discount on full tuition for each eligible student.
  • Year two = $500 discount on full tuition for each eligible student.

Additional restrictions may apply. Contact your local school for more information and to claim your Welcome Tuition Grant.

Iowa 529 Plan

A 529 plan is a type of investment account you can use to save for qualified education expenses, including K-12 Catholic school tuition. For more information contact Sue McEntee at 515.237.5080 or email 

Ignite Tuition Assistance Endowment

An endowment for tuition assistance established through the Ignite Capital Campaign to complement CTO assistance, which currently provides around 35% of the demonstrated need of our school families. This fund is also supported by funds raised during the Bishop's Celebration of Catholic Schools. Click here to learn more.

Get more information

Fill out the form below to be sent more information about tuition assistance at your selected school.