Scholarships & Smart Aid

Scholarships for Catholic Schools

New Welcome Scholarship 

All new students in Preschool through 11th grade can receive a Welcome Scholarship regardless of need.

  • Preschool: $250 per student
  • K-8th: $750 per student
  • 9-11th: $1000 per student

If you do not have any children currently enrolled in a Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic school, the Welcome Scholarship is available to you. Please print and complete the Welcome Scholarship Application today! (Para descargar la versión en español , haga clic aquí).

Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education Scholarships

Minimum Criteria for Scholarships

  • All families must complete the Smart Aid form provided by Catholic Central and West Catholic high schools to be eligible for a named endowed scholarship
  • The scholarship selection committee shall be comprised of the Principals of Catholic Central and West Catholic high schools, the Director of the Business Office of the Catholic Secondary Schools, and the Director of the Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education
  • All scholarships are awarded directly to the student’s tuition account
  • Student essays must be typed and double spaced. Length: as specified per the scholarship you are applying for.  If no length is specified: 250-500 words.
  • You may complete a Letter of Special Circumstances, found in the enrollment package, if applicable and send directly to the CSS Business office along with the scholarship application. These may be sent in for consideration of Smart Aid awards even if you are not applying for a scholarship.

General Tuition Grant (SMART Aid)

  • Passing cumulative GPA based on financial need
  • Student must have a satisfactory discipline record
  • All active/registered parishioners who apply for Smart Aid will be automatically considered for the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund. (Please be sure to indicate your Parish Code and School Code on the Smart Aid form)

CLICK HERE for the SMART Aid application, instructions, and FAQ’s.

CLICK HERE for helpful Step-by-Step Instructions. 

Para descargar la versión en español , haga clic aquí.

For Catholic Secondary Education Foundation Scholarships: How to Apply 

Below are the scholarships currently available to Catholic Central students:

Scholarships available to all CC students
Scholarships for incoming freshman
Scholarships for seniors (current juniors)
Scholarships for graduating seniors (college or vocation school bound)
Scholarships for incoming transfer students

Scholarships available to all CC students

“Conquering Obstacles” Denny Flak Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Eligible candidates are incoming 9th through 12th grade Catholic Central High School students.
  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Candidate must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application
  • Must participate in extra-curricular activities
  • Must complete a two (2) page essay describing how they have overcome or are overcoming obstacles or challenges while maintaining their character, integrity and sense of humor. They should further explain how this scholarship will enable them to continue to meet and overcome challenges they face. Letters supporting the candidate’s assertions are encouraged but not required
  • A minimum of one scholarship shall be awarded each year
  • The scholarship is renewable if the required criteria are met
  • If no qualified student applies the unused spendable dollars may be used toward the Annual Tuition Assistance Appeal program

Deacon Dale Hollern Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Student(s) enrolling/enrolled at Catholic Central High School
  • Excellent standing in the classroom
  • Outstanding attendance record
  • Evidence of leadership, humility, and commitment to the Catholic faith
  • Must write a two (2) page essay explaining their personal commitment to growth in the following areas: Educational Goals and Aspiration, Spiritual Commitment, and Service Commitment
  • Applicant must also write a two (2) page essay giving examples of when they have overcome personal adversity or demonstrated persistence to achieve personal goals
  • Financial need will be a consideration and may be considered a tie-breaking determinant versus a primary consideration
  • Must complete 20 hours of community or church service

Rev. James C. Kowalski Scholarship Fund

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • The scholarship is available to enrolled students at West Catholic and Catholic Central
  • Financial need will be a primary consideration
  • A minimum of one scholarship should be awarded each year per high school
  • All applicants must write a minimum of a two (2) page essay describing why the scholarship will make a positive difference in their educational endeavors

Joe Lauria Memorial Scholarship Fund

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Applicant must be a student at Catholic Central High School – open to all grades
  • Must maintain a 3.0 GPA (B)
  • Renewable scholarship – a minimum of one scholarship and a maximum of two may be awarded annually if sufficient spendable dollars are available
  • Must meet the minimum service hours expectations at Catholic Central High School
  • Based on financial need
  • Write a two (2) page essay describing your interest in Catholic education and your qualifications for this scholarship

The Reilly Family Scholarship 

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Eligible candidates are incoming 9th through 12th grade at Catholic Central High School and West Catholic
  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Scholarship will be awarded to one Catholic Central student every year
  • The student must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA – C+ average – in order to apply. The student must provide a letter showing proof of this 2.5, C+ average by sending a copy of their report card from the previous year
  • Must provide two letters from teachers, parish priest, neighbors, etc. explaining why those individuals feel the student should be considered for a scholarship
  • Fifteen hours of community service must be completed on an annual basis to receive this scholarship. Documentation from the agency where hours were performed must accompany the application

The Rob Rosenbach Memorial Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Eligible candidates are incoming 9th through 12th grade Catholic Central students
  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Scholarship will be awarded to one Catholic Central student every year
  • Candidate must provide a letter (less than two pages) from each of the following: a fellow student, a teacher and administrator or parish priest
  • Student must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA – C+ average – in order to apply. The student must provide a letter showing proof of this 2.5, C+ average by sending a copy of their report card from the previous year

Ed & June Prein Family CCHS Scholarship Fund

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Eligible candidates are incoming 9th through 12th grade Catholic Central High School students
  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Candidate must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) at the time of application
  • The student must respect authority, obey school rules, work to capacity and maintain a high attendance record
  • The student must have an interest in Science Technology, Engineering, and Math career field (STEM)
  • Must write a two (2) page essay that will show how by studying and mastering the STEM academic challenges presented to you today will motivate you to become an innovative and creative thinker ready to meet 21st Century challenges

Jim and Linda Payne Tuition Assistance Fund

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Eligible candidates are incoming 9th through 12th grade Catholic Central High School students
  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Candidate must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) at the time of application
  • Must complete a 500 word essay (two pages minimum) describing how they have overcome or are overcoming obstacles or challenges in their personal lives. Why this scholarship will make a positive difference in the quality of their life.
  • One scholarship will be awarded each year
  • The scholarship is renewable for up to four (4) years
  • If no qualified student applies the unused spendable dollars may be used toward the Annual Tuition Assistance Appeal program.

Msgr. Charles D. Brophy Scholarship

Description and Criteria of gift:

  • The scholarship is available to enrolled students at West Catholic and Catholic Central with preference going to students from St. Jude parish
  • Financial need will be a primary consideration
  • A minimum of one scholarship should be awarded each year
  • All applicants must write a minimum of a two (2) page essay describing why the scholarship will make a positive difference in their educational endeavors

AMDG Architects Scholarship Fund 

Description and Criteria of gift:

  • Hispanic/Latino heritage.
  • Priority is given to a student who attended San Juan Diego Academy in Wyoming, MI.
  • Financial need is a primary consideration.
  • Family must financially invest based on the family’s financials.
  • 2.0 GPA.
  • Completed minimum of 20 hours of community service in the eighth grade.
  • Two letters of reference (from teachers, church leaders, etc.).
  • Parent(s) must attend two parent/teacher conferences.
  • The scholarship is renewable if the required criteria are met.
  • The scholarship will be awarded directly to the student’s tuition account.

Lyle B. Morrison Memorial Scholarship 

Description and Criteria of gift:

  • The income from this fund will supply two equal scholarships, one to a Catholic Central student, and one to a West Catholic student.
  • Financial need is of primary concern.
  • The applicant must demonstrate food student citizenship, good moral character, and respect for authority.
  • The applicant must have maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • The applicant must supply a letter of recommendation from a teacher, staff member, or priest.

Eugene “Sam” Kunst Endowed Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Applicant must be an incoming freshman at Catholic Central High School
  • Must be from St. Francis Xavier Parish
  • Must be a male student
  • Must carry a 3.0 (B) average and participate in extracurricular activities
  • Write a two (2) page essay describing your interest in Catholic education and your qualifications for this scholarship
  • The scholarship is renewable for up to four (4) years
  • Financial need is a primary consideration
  • If no applicant meets the criteria in the given year, then the allowed spendable dollars may be used for the General Tuition Assistance Fund

The Ziemke Family Scholarship 

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Financial need is of primary consideration
  • Scholarship is awarded to one incoming freshman per year
  • Scholarship is renewable for up to four years, if student’s financial need persists
  • Student must have maintained a 2.5 GPA – C+ average – in 8th grade
  • Student must have completed 15 hours of church or community service during their 8th-grade year. Documentation from the agency where service hours were performed must be attached to the application.
  • Applicants must demonstrate consistent respect for authority

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Scholarships for incoming freshmen

Sr. Robert Ann Dominican Sisters Educational Fund

This gift is made in honor of Sr. Robert Ann Erno

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Freshman students (boy/girl) enrolling at Catholic Central High School
    • Good standing at present school
    • Outstanding attendance record
  • Must have maintained a 3.0 (B) grade point average in grade school.
  • A letter not to exceed two (2) pages as to why they feel this scholarship will make a positive difference in the quality of their life.
  • Financial need is of primary consideration.
  • The applicant must have completed a minimum of 20 hours of community service in the eighth grade.
  • The scholarship will be awarded directly to the student’s tuition account.
  • The applicant must have a good character and has shown consistent respect for authority.

Alan R. Ryan Scholarship for Catholic High School Education

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Student must be an 8th grader at a Catholic school located in Kent County and will be entering 9th grade at Catholic Central
  • Applicant must have a minimum academic average of B or above and have financial need
  • Applicant must demonstrate an interest in attending Aquinas College for post-secondary education.

Download Application **application due April 1, 2017** (Special application created by The Grand Rapids Community Foundation; do not use the general FCSE application.)

Douglas and Arlene Lillis Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Catholic Central and West Catholic incoming freshman
  • Not financially based
  • Interest in Fine Arts, especially choir and/or band
  • Participates in Christian service activities
  • Involved in extracurricular activities
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Write a two (2) page essay to answer: “How can Catholic Central/West Catholic High School stimulate my faith?”

William and Karen Lawrence Family Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Incoming 9th-grade student at Catholic Central High School
  • Financial need-based
  • Minimum of a 3.5 GPA from 8th grade academic year
  • Special consideration for San Juan Diego Academy and St. Thomas Elementary School students
  • Must have one letter of recommendation (cannot be a family member)
  • Must write a 250-word essay that answers: “Why is it important that you continue your Catholic education at Catholic Central High School?”

Reynolds-Elderkin Family Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Scholarship will be awarded to one incoming freshman student at Catholic Central one at West Catholic each year
  • Financial need is a primary consideration
  • Applicant must have maintained a 2.0 GPA /C average in 8th grade
  • Applicant must have completed a minimum of 20 hours of community service in the 8th  grade
  • Must have two letters of reference  (from teachers, church leaders, etc.)

The Nicholas Mihos Memorial Scholarship Fund 

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • This scholarship is to provide need-based tuition assistance to incoming freshman students attending Catholic Central High School.
  • Financial need is of primary consideration.
  • The scholarship will be awarded to one (1) incoming freshman student per year.
  • The student must have maintained a 2.8 GPA in the eighth grade. Please attach an eighth-grade report card to the application.
  • Two letters (from teachers, parish priest, neighbors, etc.) explaining why they feel the student should be considered for a scholarship must accompany the application.
  • All students must have completed fifteen (15) hours of community or church service during their eighth-grade year. Documentation from the agency that you performed your community service with must be attached the application.
  • All applicants must be of good character and have demonstrated a consistent respect for authority.
  • Scholarships will be awarded directly to the student’s tuition account. No money will be given to the student or their families.

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Scholarships for seniors (current juniors)

Jon Davidson Memorial Scholarship 

This gift is made in honor of Jon Davidson Memorial

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • The scholarship is available to a Catholic Central High School student for their Senior year only.
  • Financial need is a primary consideration and families must complete the Smart Aid from provided by Catholic Central.
  • Applicants must provide proof of community service or extra-curricular activity at Catholic Central.
  • Applicants must complete a personal essay.
  • Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation: one from a Priest, Teacher or Catholic Central Faculty and the second must be from a classmate or peer.
  • Applicant must be in good standing with no current student or athletic probations.
  • A minimum of one scholarship shall be awarded each year. Please refer to The Catholic Foundation of West Michigan Distribution and Earnings Procedures for interest distribution.
  • The scholarship selection committee shall be comprised of a representative from the Catholic Central Guidance Office, the Office of Finacial Aid, and Advancement Office.
  • The Davidson family shall be notified of scholarship recipient once awarded.

The Leigh Eriks & Armen Oumedian STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) Scholarship Graciously funded by the ZITA D. HARRIS and the CLARENCE W. HARRIS TRUSTS.

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Financial need is not a primary consideration to apply for this scholarship
  • This scholarship is open to junior students only
  • The applicants must show a strong educational interest in STEM-Science-Technology-Engineering-Math educational tracts
  • Applicants must demonstrate leadership through academic achievements at Catholic Central and by volunteering in community activities in the greater Grand Rapids Area
  • A one-page letter of recommendation from a teacher, mentor, and advisor must accompany the application
  • The applicants must have a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA in order to apply for the scholarship
  • The scholarship will be awarded directly to the student’s tuition account. No money will be given to the student or their families

David M. Seamon “Leadership” Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Non-endowed; managed by the Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education for West Catholic and Catholic Central
  • Current Juniors entering their Senior year
  • Must demonstrate leadership in school and in the community
  • Based on financial need
  • Write a two (2) page essay describing your interest in Catholic education and your qualifications for this scholarship

Francis J. Geary Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift

  • Non-endowed; managed by the Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education for West Catholic and Catholic Central
  • Current Juniors entering their Senior year
  • Financial need is a consideration
  • Write a two (2) page essay reflecting on the nature of the “whole person”

Not exclusively an academic award. It is an award that recognizes a blend of academic effort; loyalty to family and friends; service to the school and the community; and respect for other people and their views.

The Reed Family Music Scholarship Fund

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Current junior student(s) at Catholic Central High School
  • Must participate in music classes and arts activities outside of school
  • Short Essay not to exceed one (1) written page describing: What being involved in music means to them (in general and at Catholic Central High School)
  • How the Catholic Central music program has impacted their family

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Scholarships for graduating seniors (college or vocation school bound)

Mary Lynn Kampfschulte Scholarship Fund

This gift is made in honor of Mary Lynn Kampfschulte

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Available to a Catholic Central Senior student who will be studying music in college.
  • Financial need will be of primary consideration.
  • The scholarship is renewable.
  • A minimum of one scholarship shall be awarded each year. Please refer to The Catholic Foundation of West Michigan Distribution and Earnings Procedures for interest distribution.

Dennis W. Campbell Memorial Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Seniors who will be going to college with the intent of studying a track of education and earning a four year degree OR who will be attending a two-year college or a trade/vocational school to become proficient in a career field or trade that will allow them to return home after graduating and assist in the family-owned business*
  • Financial need is not a primary consideration
  • Must maintain a 2.5 GPA – C+ average
  • Must be of good character with consistent respect for authority
  • Must have completed 20 hours of community or church service on an annual basis
  • Must provide two letters of reference (from teachers, church leaders, employers. etc.) to be attached to application, along with name and address of family business and your work experience in the business
  • Write a 500-word essay explaining why you need this scholarship. Attach documentation of church or community service.

*Examples of trades/vocations include, but are not limited to,  Motor Cycle/Small Engine Repair, Education & Child Care, Culinary/Baking, Electronics Repair, Travel & Tourism, Interior Design, Plumbing, Heating & Refrigeration, Art & Design, Barbering, Drafting & Design, Massage Therapy, Cosmetology.

Frank and Mary Hernes Memorial Scholarship for Graduating Seniors

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • For a Catholic Central or West Catholic graduating senior who will be attending a two (2) or four (4) year college
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • NOT BASED ON FINANCIAL NEED
  • Minimum hours required for community service according to the student handbook
  • Must respect authority, obey school rules, and maintain a high attendance record
  • Be involved in an extracurricular school activity
  • Write a 250-word  essay explaining how the Catholic education you have received at Catholic Central or West Catholic high school has prepared you for college and the secular world you will encounter

Phil & Sharon Burns Heart & Soul Award

Description and Criteria of gift:

  • This is a $1,000 scholarship award that is given to a senior member of a sports team (male/female) who exemplifies the dedication, spirit, and sportsmanship associated with Catholic Central High School athletics. The graduating senior who is recognized as the “unsung” hero of their team.
  • All applicants must be of good character and have demonstrated a consistent respect for authority.
  • Scholarships will be awarded directly to the student’s tuition account. No money will be given to the students or their families.

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Scholarships for incoming transfer students

Lawrence/Patricia Ranazzi Transfer Scholarship

Description and Criteria of Gift:

  • Available to incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors who transfer to Catholic Central from a local public or private education institution
  • Based on financial need
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (B)
  • Must participate in extracurricular activities
  • Applicants must provide proof of community service
  • Scholarship is renewable for up to two (2) years provided the requirement s and criteria are met
  • Must write a two (2) page essay that answers: “Why is it important that you continue your education at Catholic Central High School?”

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