Sharing the Light

Sharing the Light 2011-2012

Stewards for Tomorrow Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Stewards for Tomorrow

The Stewards for Tomorrow fundraising campaign raised more than $84.5 million when it ended in 1995.

  1. How does the archdiocesan endowment work?
  2. What programs and services receive endowment funding?
  3. What has been allocated to those areas since the endowment was established?
  4. Who received the tuition assistance?
  5. How much is currently in the endowment?
  6. Has the archdiocese ever tapped the endowment to support the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., the former St. John's Seminary, to pay for lawsuits, or for any purposes other than those for which those funds were established?
  7. Do any parishes or schools invest their funds in the archdiocesan endowment?
  8. Who qualifies for the Catholic schools tuition assistance?
  9. What are the average annual tuition costs in Catholic schools and what is the maximum amount available in tuition assistance to a single student?
  10. Is tuition assistance making a difference?
  11. What is the process for applying for archdiocesan tuition assistance?
  12. Are more families applying for assistance?
  13. Are there plans to put additional funds into the tuition grant portion of the archdiocesan endowment?
  14. Does a student have to be Catholic to qualify for these tuition grants?
  15. How does the endowment support training for youth and family ministers?
  16. Who oversees the foundation and who manages the endowment funds?
  17. Are endowment funds combined with other accounts in the Archdiocese?

1. How does the archdiocesan endowment work?

The Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Foundation operates an endowment fund, in which the principal is invested in a diverse portfolio of assets. These investments produce an annual return. Through a formula specified in the Stewards for Tomorrow campaign, specific programs and services receive an annual distribution from those investment returns.

The foundation's current policy is to annually distribute three percent of the fund's three-year average principal balance. In other words, the foundation averages the endowment's principal balance for the three preceding fiscal years, and distributes three percent of that average amount to specified programs and services. In extraordinary circumstances, an additional distribution may be made.

In most years, a portion of the annual investment returns have been reinvested in the endowment's principal to ensure that the fund continues to grow. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, foundation investments earned a 12.02 percent return.

2. What programs and services receive endowment funding?

As specified in the Stewards for Tomorrow campaign, the annual distribution of funds from the endowment is allocated as follows:

  • The majority of the annual fund distribution, 62.5 percent, provides tuition assistance grants for Catholic students at Catholic K-12 schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
  • 6.25 percent of the annual fund distribution goes to Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
  • 6.25 percent of distributions provides educational opportunities for those engaged in youth and family ministry as well as directors of religious education.
  • 25 percent of distributions are directed to the Archbishop's Stewardship Fund, a discretionary benevolent fund that enables the Detroit archdiocese to support individuals and organizations that he deems appropriate. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, Archbishop Vigneron made a total of $455,780 in distributions including:
    • $240,530 to Sacred Heart Seminary
    • $7,850 for grants to seminarians
    • $101,400, to Senior Clergy Village in Livonia
    • $100,000 to Catholic education in Detroit
    • $5,000 to a Sacred Heart Seminary fundraiser that sends seminarians that have completed their first year of theology studies to the Holy Land
    • $1,000 to Catholic University of America

3. What has been allocated to those areas since the endowment was established?

Since its inception, and through the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the foundation has distributed the following:

Catholic School Tuition Assistance $34,604,321
Sacred Heart Major Seminary $3,460,432
Youth and Family Ministry Education $3,460,432
Archbishop's Stewardship Fund $13,841,728
Total $55,366,913

4. Who received the tuition assistance?

Catholic students in Catholic primary and secondary schools in southeast Michigan have received more than 55,000 tuition assistance grants, including over 14,000 in the last five academic years.

Academic Year

Grades

Amount Awarded

Students Awarded

Families Awarded

2010-11 High Schools $567,700 811 653
2010-11 Elementary Schools $1,050,600 1,751 1,069
2009-10 High Schools $550,200 786 575
2009-10 Elementary Schools $999,000 1,665 992
2008-09 High Schools $658,000 940 742
2008-09 Elementary Schools $1,242,000 2,070 1,226
2007-08 High Schools $637,700 911 728
2007-08 Elementary Schools $1,276,200 2,127 1,226
2006-07 High Schools $789,600 1,128 896
2006-07 Elementary Schools $1,113,000 1,855 1,084

Note: Because many families have children enrolled in Catholic elementary and high schools, the number of families with high school awards and the number of families with elementary school awards does not equal the overall number of families awarded.

5. How much is currently in the endowment?

According to the June 30, 2010 audited financial report for the Detroit archdiocese, the endowment's total asset value is $71.4 million. As of December 31, 2010 the most recent total asset valuation is $80 million, which reflects a positive investment return of more than 12 percent in the current fiscal year.

The financial market declines during the recession in 2008 and 2009 reduced the value of the endowment's investment portfolio, which is now showing improvement. The historical average annual investment returns of the endowment follow:

3-Year 5-Year 10-year Since Inception
(3.10)% 2.38% 2.83% 5.58%

6. Has the archdiocese ever tapped the endowment to support the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., the former St. John's Seminary, to pay for lawsuits, or for any purposes other than those for which those funds were established?

Archdiocesan endowment funds have been used exclusively for the purposes set forth in its bylaws, specifically to provide tuition support in Catholic schools in southeast Michigan; to support Sacred Heart Major Seminary; to assist those engaged in youth and family ministry training; and to support the Archbishop's Stewardship Fund.

Archbishop Vigneron, as well as the priests and lay leaders involved in the stewardship of archdiocesan financial resources, are firmly committed to ensure the endowment remains segregated from other accounts in the archdiocese.

7. Do any parishes or schools invest their funds in the archdiocesan endowment?

Many parishes, schools and other Catholic organizations have established their own funds within the archdiocesan endowment to take advantage of the archdiocese's larger investment pool and professional fund management.

As of the foundation's most recent audited financial report (June 30, 2010), 64 parishes, schools, and organizations had 71 funds in the archdiocesan endowment (some of these institutions have established more than one fund).

The value of these special funds was over $19.6 million, which is part of the endowment's $71.4 million total asset value. These separate funds operate under a distribution policy similar to that utilized by the archdiocesan endowment foundation.

8. Who qualifies for the Catholic schools tuition assistance?

Tuition assistance grants are available to support Catholic children attending Catholic schools in the Detroit archdiocese. Multiple criteria determine eligibility including income and household size.

9. What are the average annual tuition costs in Catholic schools and what is the maximum amount available in tuition assistance to a single student?

The current average K-8 school tuition in the Detroit archdiocese is approximately $3,000 per year. High school tuition averages about $10,000.

The current per-child grants for the 2010-2011 school year are $600 for grades K-8 and $700 for high school.

Grants in the 2011-2012 school year will be $800 for grades K-8 and $700 for high school students. Elementary school grants are increasing because families typically have more children in the elementary setting at a given time than in high school.

Many schools augment archdiocesan tuition assistance with school or parish-based tuition assistance, sometimes doubling the archdiocesan tuition grants. High schools often have additional grant opportunities available through alumni groups, other endowments, or benefactors

10. Is tuition assistance making a difference?

Yes. For over 15 years, Stewards for Tomorrow funds have made Catholic education more affordable. Since 1995, more than 55,000 tuition grants have been issued. Of a total current enrollment of 32,000 students in Catholic schools in southeast Michigan, 2,562 students – more than 12 percent – are receiving tuition assistance.

11. What is the process for applying for archdiocesan tuition assistance?

Contact the administrative office of any Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Detroit, or access forms and details on the archdiocesan web site. The process is similar to applying for college financial aid. A third party administrator, PSAS, manages the application process under contract with the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office. The non-refundable application fee is presently $20.

12. Are more families applying for assistance?

The application count is up from 2006, though down from a five-year high in the 2009-2010 academic year, which is likely the result of families making recession-driven decisions to withdraw their children from Catholic schools. In the current academic year, more than 1,700 families are benefitting from tuition grant assistance made possible by the Stewards for Tomorrow campaign.

AcademicYear Applications
2010 – 2011 3166
2009 – 2010 3311
2008 – 2009 2810
2007 – 2008 2847
2006 – 2007 2950

13. Are there plans to put additional funds into the tuition grant portion of the archdiocesan endowment?

Yes. Archbishop Vigneron is committed to raising additional financial resources to make more tuition grants available to more families who want a Catholic school education for their children. A priority of the Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative is to help make a Catholic education more affordable. To learn more about Changing Lives Together, visit www.aodclt.org.

14. Does a student have to be Catholic to qualify for these tuition grants?

Yes. For students of other faith backgrounds, grant funds outside of the archdiocesan endowment provide tuition assistance to attend Catholic schools.

15. How does the endowment support training for youth and family ministers?

Funds from the endowment help defray the educational and training costs of religious education and catechetical teachers as well as pastoral ministers throughout the archdiocese. This program has increased participation in classes and programs at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Lay people seeking to serve as catechists can receive tuition assistance including financial aid for studies at Sacred Heart. For graduate students in theological or pastoral studies at Sacred Heart, this means interest-free loans for up to 50 percent of their tuition. If the student continues to work for the Church after graduation, one-fifth of the loan would be forgiven for each year of service. For undergraduate students at Sacred Heart who are currently employed by a parish or Catholic school, grants for up to 75 percent of tuition are available for theological and ministry courses at the Seminary.

The foundation also provides tuition assistance through pastoral ministry grants to students with financial need who are pursuing youth and family ministry studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and other educational institutions approved by the archdiocese.

16. Who oversees the foundation and who manages the endowment funds?

A board of trustees comprised of lay leaders, consecrated religious, and clergy govern the foundation and advise Archbishop Vigneron on foundation policies.

The archdiocesan Finance Council manages archdiocesan endowment investments, assisted by CapTrust, an investment consulting firm. Endowment investments are presently in a diverse portfolio of domestic equity, international equity, fixed income, and alternative asset funds.

17. Are endowment funds combined with other accounts in the Archdiocese?

No. The archdiocesan endowment is segregated from all other accounts in the archdiocese.