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Diocese makes second distribution of Msgr. Lafferty funds

By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
(Email Renee)

Checks will soon be sent out to diocesan Catholic schools for the second distribution of funds from the Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation.

According to Marilyn Wellman, diocesan accountant, about $124,000 was awarded in this distribution to 74 students for tuition assistance for the 2011-2012 academic year.

“With this second round of awards, tuition grants were given to students who are new to Catholic schools,” said Wellman, who added that about 80 percent of the families who applied for the Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation grants in this round met state income requirements to qualify for assistance.

She pointed out that parents were notified just last week with the details of the financial awards from this second distribution.

The bulk of the funds from the 2010 Msgr. Lafferty campaign were awarded in the spring. These remaining funds that make up the second distribution consisted of funds that had been awarded to students but who, in the end, did not attend a Catholic school this year.

The first-round distributions were announced to families last spring and checks went out to Catholic schools about a month ago. Between the first- and second-round, $1,862,497 was distributed by way of over 2,200 tuition grants.

“For everyone who qualifies, they receive a minimum $250 but no more than 75 percent of tuition,” Wellman said.

The diocese’s third-party administrator of the fund, Private School Aid Services, uses several factors to calculate the amount of the awards such as family income and cost of tuition.

While the tuition foundation is required by state law to distribute at least 90 percent of the money, Wellman noted that Msgr. Lafferty Tuition Foundation Board opted to distribute about 93 percent of revenue from the 2010 campaign.

“We try to keep our expenses down so more money can be used for tuition assistance,” Wellman said.
School tuition organizations (STOs) like Msgr. Lafferty were established in 2006 as a result of the Iowa Educational Opportunities Act. The act allows non-public schools to sell tax credits to individual donors who make contributions to STOs which in turn assists families with tuition needs.

Fund-raising efforts for the 2011 campaign are well underway and are nearing completion.

For more information about the huge tax benefits to contributing to this fund, contact Kristie Arlt at (712) 233-7513 or the administrator of your local Catholic school as soon as possible.


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