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CSFP is a privately-funded program, established in 1998, whose mission is to broaden educational opportunities for K-8th grade students from low-income families in Philadelphia by providing them with tuition assistance. These four-year scholarships are need-based and awarded by random lottery.
Currently, approximately 3,500 children have a CSFP scholarship to attend a private, parochial or other tuition-based community school. We have awarded over 10,500 scholarships chosen from 115,000 applications in the last thirteen years.
Thousands of low-income Philadelphia parents are desperate to provide their children with high quality, safe, K-8th grade schools. This past spring, CSFP had to turn away more than 7,000 children seeking better educational opportunities.
Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia is a simple and direct program that works, and works today. Our most recent longitudinal study has found that CSFP alumni who leave our program in 8th grade, are graduating high school prepared and on-time, at rates greater than 95% and approximately 90% were enrolled in college this fall. This compares to an average on-time, Philadelphia public high school graduation rate of 57%. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, our city’s 1.2 million dropouts from the class of 2000 – including 35,000 from Pennsylvania and 19,000 in New Jersey – will cost the federal government $60 billion in lost tax revenue over the students’ lifetimes.
With more than 200 community schools currently serving Philadelphia’s urban students, there is capacity to provide thousands more area children access to these high performing, tuition-based schools. Hope, opportunity and success – it is within our reach, now, when it matters most in the life of a disadvantaged child.
CSFP’s Competitive Edge: A proven, efficient, and effective program.
- All individual and foundation donations to CSFP are matched by our national office, and all families co-contribute a minimum of $500. CSFP's Board of Directors covers most administrative costs.
- CSFP provides low-income children with financial access to safe, quality schools for a four-year period at an early age, where few scholarship opportunities exist. These scholarships enable children to build critical academic and social skills—better assuring long-term success.
- There is no other program in Pennsylvania that is addressing the scholarship needs of this age group as widely as CSFP. We are the largest kindergarten through eighth grade scholarship program in Pennsylvania.
- CSFP is the most broad-based and diverse scholarship program. We currently have more than 3,500 students enrolled at more than 175 area private, parochial and other tuition-based community schools.
- All CSFP scholarships are need-based, awarded by random lottery and not just to those in the top of their class. Once in our program, we require that a student attend school 90% of the year—which is verified twice yearly. The actual attendance rate of CSFP children exceeds 96%.
- Our four-year scholarships average $1,550 per child per year. Local nonprofits offer scholarships much smaller in amount and are typically given for one year only.
- CSFP provides the scholarship to the family as a whole, for up to three children. Most other scholarship and mentoring programs, select only one child in a family. CSFP focuses on a poorer population (84% of CSFP youngsters are eligible for free or reduced lunch at school), giving children with fewer resources more opportunities for quality education.
- CSFP students perform at or above the average of their peers nationally in math, reading and language use. Most importantly, 95 % of CSFP alumni who leave our program in 8th grade, are graduating high school, on-time. These achievements are remarkable considering that 100% of CSFP students are from economically-disadvantaged families.