The Partnership Bursary is designed to help your school’s available tuition assistance dollars go further. These bursaries are available to support families that are new to your school as well as those that have already been part of your school family. We want to supplement your school program’s award so that you can bless even more families than you could with the funds you currently have available.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
These bursaries are available for Christian School Foundation member schools. If your school is not yet a member Click Here for more information on joining the Christian School Foundation. Additionally, the Partnership Bursary program is available only to those member schools who receive no provincial funding towards tuition.
Individual families are not to apply to the Christian School Foundation for the Partnership Bursary. Rather, member schools are to apply on behalf of families they have selected, in keeping with their school’s bursary programs, in order to keep the identity of the families confidential.
Schools can apply for families that meet these criteria:
Are challenged to meet the cost of attending your school,
Are eligible for your own school’s financial assistance programs,
Are receiving financial assistance from your school,
Have their financial need confirmed through FAST.
You may apply for families that are new to your school and existing families. You may also apply for families with children at more than one Christian school (double-tuition families).
Bursaries will not exceed the amount that the school bursary is offering. (For example, if a school offers a family a $1,500 bursary the Foundation will contribute up to $1,500.)
WHY USE FAST?
The donors that are making the Partnership Bursary program available have a real heart to specifically bless those with demonstrated financial need. This has led to one of the key differences between the Partnership Bursary and the Foundation’s other bursaries. Schools must indicate that the applications submitted are for families who have completed a FAST online financial assessment and have a confirmed financial need.
PLEASE NOTE: The Christian School Foundation will no longer be reimbursing the cost of completing successful FAST applications. This amount will be re-directed towards awarding extra bursaries instead.
HOW DO WE LEARN MORE ABOUT FAST?
Because the use of FAST is one of the criteria for a successful application to this program, it is important that that you contact FAST as soon as possible (e-mail Katie Pisano: [email protected]), if your school intends to apply for the Partnership Bursary. The staff at FAST will help you set up the program and provide you one-on-one support.
Bursary Applications are available on March 21, 2022 by clicking HERE. The deadline is June 15, 2022.
Because the donors have a real heart for supporting those in financial need, they have asked that we determine a way to demonstrate that the funds are flowing to that target group. For that reason, we have included questions on the application form to get at the following information: How much would tuition be for this family? How much assistance are they able to access through other means (family, church etc.)? How much is the school itself investing in this family? And finally, has a completed FAST application indicated that this family should qualify for assistance.
Q1: What is FAST?
A1: FAST stands for Financial Aid for School Tuition, and is a product developed by Independent School Management, Inc. It is designed specifically to help independent schools assess where they should prioritize their tuition assistance resources, if they want to award support based on financial need. Once a family completes the FAST online form, the school will be sent a recommended award level for the family. Whether or not the school decides to award the recommended amount fully is entirely at the school’s discretion. For the purposes of the Partnership Bursary, the school needs to simply indicate that the family went through the FAST process and their financial situation was judged to warrant some assistance.
Q2: Is the Christian School Foundation trying to have us change our approach to awarding our school’s tuition assistance resources?
A2: No. Your school is perfectly free to carry on with your current tuition assistance approach. We are only requesting FAST forms be completed by those families on whose behalf you wish to apply for a Partnership Bursary.
Q3: Is there a cost to using the FAST system?
A3: Yes. Normally for a school to use the FAST system, they need to pay an initiation fee, a yearly fee of $200 (USD) and a $43 (USD) fee per application. HOWEVER: because we have negotiated with FAST, they will not be charging our Foundation member schools the initiation fee.
Q4: Do our applicant families have to pay the $43 (USD) fee upfront and then be reimbursed?
A4: No. On the FAST system, your school’s designated FAST administrator can create vouchers. These voucher numbers can be given to applicant families and then they enter this number when it requests a credit card number. The school will eventually be billed for these vouchers.
Q5: What if our school can’t move quickly enough to establish an arrangement at FAST before the Partnership Bursary application is released?
A5: While the applications will be made available in March, the deadline for submissions occurs in June. FAST has help available 24 hours a day. Hopefully, most schools can get things in place in time for the deadline. If not, this is going to be an ongoing program, and as such will still be available for your school in the years ahead. Additionally, there will still be funds available through the Foundation under other programs (eg support for professional development, support for some special needs situations, some Recruitment Bursary monies etc.).
Q6: What should be our next steps if we want our school to access the funds available through the Partnership Bursary?
A6: Contact Katie Pisano ([email protected]) at FAST. Katie and her team are aware of this initiative and will guide your school in designing your application which will be tailored to your school’s unique situation. Your applications will take into account local housing prices, car insurance rates, your school’s tuition rates etc. This way you needn’t fear that your families are expected to have very low income levels, even though they live in a very expensive part of the province.
Q7: Are these FAST forms long?
Q8: Do we send FAST’s recommended level of support to the Christian School Foundation?
A8: NO. FAST will send their assessment only to your school’s designated FAST administrator. Why? There are several reasons, but here are the key ones: A) your school may not be in a position to offer all that FAST recommends. You don’t want the results sent to the family, raising expectations that the school won’t be able to meet. B) You may be aware of circumstances that will mean that your school wants to award more than FAST recommends. FAST’s recommendation is based on the previous year’s financial situation and perhaps sickness, or unemployment, or family breakdown, or some other situation that only the local school knows about, has taken place. We want you to be fully in control of what you award and what level of support you request from us. ALL WE WILL ASK IS: “DID THE FAMILY COMPLETE A FAST APPLICATION?” YES OR NO; AND “DID FAST RECOMMEND THE FAMILY RECEIVE TUITION SUPPORT?” YES OR NO.
Q9: What if FAST does not recommend tuition assistance support for this family?
A9: If you believe there is a good explanation, you can include that with the application. Otherwise, we would recommend you present a different family for consideration.
At the end of the day, this program is called the Partnership Bursary because it is a partnership between the supporting donors and the Christian School Foundation to help them achieve their desired philanthropic impact, and it is a partnership between the Christian School Foundation and its member schools to help flow this support through to the targeted candidates so that Christian education can be available to as many as possible.
One group to be blessed through the expanded Partnership Bursary program is those families that are hard-pressed to choose a Christian high school in addition to a Christian grade school. How can we best serve these families? If you are applying for a “Double-Tuition” family, please use this approach.
Both schools should complete an application for the family. The application will ask you to note the name of the other school the family is attending, whether that school is also planning to make a Partnership Bursary Application, and what number application corresponds to this family at the other school. This will require you to connect with other school before submitting your application. We ask for this information so that we can accurately count the number of families the bursary supports. Because the Partnership Bursary applications are anonymous you will need to share the number of the application rather than the family name.