Here are answers to questions frequently asked by Louisiana parents.
How many students do you serve?
Since 2010, we’ve awarded scholarships to more than 8,400 scholarships in Georgia and Louisiana. In 2018-19, more than 1,600 students received scholarships to attend the school of their parents choice.
Where does Arete Scholars operate?
We currently provide private K-12 scholarships to lower income students in Georgia and Louisiana. In Georgia, Arete operates under the Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship Program. In Louisiana, we operate under the state’s Tuition Donation Credit Program (TDC).
How are your scholarships funded?
Arete scholarships are funded primarily from donations by corporations and philanthropic partners. Depending upon the state, donors may receive a 95-100% state tax credit for their contribution. The full donation amount may also be eligible for a charitable federal tax deduction.
Who is eligible to receive a scholarship?
The specific guidelines vary by state but, in general, students must be transferring from local public to private schools AND must meet the income guidelines for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Check state-specific guidelines for details.
When do you accept new applications?
We generally open applications in February or March for the following school year. New applications are accepted only if funds are available for new scholarships. There is a $30 processing fee for completing an application.
Is there a scholarship application fee?
Yes. Families must pay a $30 application and processing fee for each applicant. The fee is paid directly to our third-party application processor, and Arete does not profit a penny.
Who is eligible for a scholarship?
Louisiana students must have a family income that does not exceed 250% of the federal poverty line AND must meet one of the following criteria: 1) entering kindergarten; 2) enrolled in and attending a Louisiana public school; 3) current recipient of TDC or Louisiana Scholarship Program.
How do students apply for a scholarship?
Students apply directly to Arete Scholars for a scholarship. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to returning Arete students and applicants who attended school on a Louisiana Scholarship Program award during the previous school year.
How do students choose their school?
Once a student has received a scholarship from Arete, the student applies directly to the nonpublic school for enrollment. Scholarships are portable and may be used at any participating school. However, schools maintain their own enrollment procedures and a scholarship is no guarantee of admission.
What is the dollar amount of the scholarship?
Scholarship amounts are reset each year and cannot exceed the lesser of either the school’s tuition and mandatory fees or 80% of the state average per pupil funding for elementary and middle school students and 90% of the state average per pupil funding for high school students. For 2019-20, scholarship amounts are $4,228.61 for K-8 students and $4,757.18 for grades 9-12.
Are families required to pay the difference between the scholarship amount and the school's tuition/fees?
Yes. Families are responsible for paying school tuition and fees that exceed the amount of the scholarship. In some cases, schools may award additional financial aid to help close the gap.
Can a student participate in both the Louisiana Scholarship Program and the Tuition Donation Credit Program?
Families may apply for a scholarship from both programs. If a student receives both scholarships, families may accept and use only one of the scholarships, either from the Louisiana Scholarship Program or the Tuition Donation Credit Program.
Are Arete scholarship recipients required to take state assessments?
Yes. By law, TDC scholarship recipients are required to take state tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math while enrolled in the applicable grades/courses. Results do not impact future participation for families or schools. Schools may also require students to take additional assessments.
Where can I find more information about the Louisiana Tuition Donation Credit Program?
Visit the Louisiana Department of Education for more information about the Tuition Donation Credit Program.