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CSFP is the largest provider of scholarship support for grades K-8 in the state of Pennsylvania. Children are currently enrolled in more than 160 tuition-based schools in the Philadelphia area.

Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia launches new five-year campaign

Families can apply until March, but priority lottery ends on Nov. 15th.

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With Philadelphia being the poorest of America’s 10 largest cities, where 26% of citizens live below the federal poverty level; Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia (CSFP) has been committed for more than 20 years to meet the needs of those families and students who desire a quality education. 

CSFP is a private funded program that aims to provide financial assistance to students from under-resourced families in the City of Brotherly Love so they can access high-quality schools. All scholarships provided are need-based and awarded by random lottery.  

On Sept. 28, CSFP announced the opening of its 2023-2024 application season and several new changes to the scholarship program. They also took the opportunity to launch a new initiative: the Breaking Barriers Campaign. A never seen before $100 million fundraising effort by CSFP, it aims to increase the serving students from 5,400 in 2022 to 7,700 by 2027.  

The new changes announced for the upcoming year, will benefit many families in Philadelphia. Keisha Jordan, CSFP President and CEO, said that: 

  • A minimum scholarship award was created and no student will receive less than $1,200 a year; 
  • The four years scholarship limit was removed and now CSFP will be able to support students all through 8th grade; 
  • More families will be able to qualify due to a higher maximum income requirement. Read more about family eligibility here;

All CSFP scholarships are partial, as families have to financially contribute to tuition. They are offered at three flat rates: $1,200, $2,400, and $3,200 depending on the family’s annual household income and size. After the first year of scholarship, families must submit renewal information, such as proof of income and confirmation of enrollment.  

According to Jordan, 73% of the families that receive the scholarship wouldn’t be able to continue paying for the schools without CSFP, and nine out of 10 families affirmed it would ease their financial burden. 

Considering the huge Latino population in the Philadelphia area, CSFP serves many Spanish-speaking families. According to internal CSFP data, collected from families' responses, at least 16% of families served last year self-reported that Spanish was spoken in the home. In the 2021-2022 school year survey, 14% of families reported “Hispanic/Latino” as their race/ethnicity.

“We are very happy to have a diverse student body within CSFP of over 80% of our families are students of color, and we are happy to support all the schools that they go to,” Jordan said. 

CSFP works diligently to ensure the needs of this community are being addressed. Their promotional materials, such as website and flyers, are all available in Spanish and they have a designated staff member who works closely with the Latino community. 

The importance of the scholarship for the Latino community

Asan Hernandez was born in Florida, but was raised by her Mexican family. She has been working at CSFP for a year and because of her Hispanic background, Hernandez is able to connect with the Spanish-speaking families the program helps. She highlighted how important it is in the Latino culture to receive a proper education, and that parents are willing to do anything so their children can succeed.  

“It doesn’t matter how much the school costs, Spanish-speaking families are going to send their children to those schools [high quality institutions],” Hernandez said. “It is an investment for them.” 

Al Día News spoke with María Reyes, the mother of four (out of five) children who have received the scholarship from CSFP. Her oldest son, who is currently in 9th grade, had the scholarship until he graduated from 8th grade this past June. 

Reyes found out about the scholarship when her son was in 2nd grade. Since then, she kept applying until his graduation. Her other three children continue to receive the scholarship until today. 

When Reyes' parents arrived in the United States from Puerto Rico, none of them had advanced after 8th grade. With the little money they had, they were able to send her to school and college. Now, Reyes wants the same for her children, turning them into the family’s second generation of college students. Reyes and her parents shared the same education dreams: to see their children succeed.  

“Education is one of the best investments that parents can make in their children and for their community,” she said. 

To learn more and apply, click here


 

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