Major tuition assistance donation

Major tuition assistance donation generates hundreds of inquiries

By Jennifer Miele

Chief Communications Officer

Enrollment in the 12 Catholic schools of the Diocese of Greensburg continues to increase as hundreds of families are inquiring about The St. Pope John Paul II Tuition Opportunity Partnership (TOP). The groundbreaking scholarship opportunity was unveiled July 1 at five press conferences throughout the diocese. Many of the inquiries came from families who may otherwise not be able to afford a Catholic education. Nearly a third of current Catholic school families in the diocese whose family incomes were negatively impacted by COVID-19 are also considering participating in the TOP student program.

The TOP student initiative was founded by anonymous donors from the local business community who received Catholic educations and were profoundly influenced by St. Pope John Paul II. It requires families to be registered members of a faith community and for students to be active volunteers.

The donors believe that their Catholic faith, education and moral foundation gave them a great advantage in life.

The donors committed $2.4 million in tuition assistance for the 2020-21 academic year. That is the single largest donation by a family that the diocese has ever received in a single year.

Their commitment, combined with $1.7 million in existing funds donated by more than 100 individuals and businesses participating in Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, makes $4.1 million in scholarships and tuition assistance available for students at the 12 Catholic schools in the diocese.

Diocesan leaders hope The St. Pope John Paul II Tuition Opportunity Partnership will become a model for making Catholic education accessible to families who value strong Catholic teaching and formation as a necessary part of their child’s development.

“Our Catholic schools have many advantages that others are not able to provide. Our schools create a caring environment where children can talk openly about faith in a high-tech academic atmosphere. Our personalized attention gives them other advantages as well.  The student to teacher ratio is 13- to-1. And the high school graduation rate is 100%,” said Dr. Maureen Marsteller, superintendent of Catholic schools.

Marsteller speaks with state Sen. Pat Stefano of Fayette County after the announcement at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Connellsville.

Families that apply to The St. Pope John Paul II Tuition Opportunity Partnership are matched with an outreach and admissions coordinator who accompanies them through the application process. The coordinator serves as a caring and committed consultant, providing personalized attention to students and their families so that every question along the way can be answered.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic announces the initiative July 1 at St. Bernard Regional Catholic School, Indiana, with, from left:
Dr. Maureen Marsteller, Principal Denise Swope and Father Matthew J. Morelli, pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd Parish, Kent.

Dr. Maureen Marsteller, Principal Denise Swope and Father Matthew J. Morelli, pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd Parish, Kent

If your child is interested in becoming a TOP student, call 724-552-2565 or visit

Father Tyler J. Bandura, Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School chaplain, makes the announcement at GCC
Father Alan N. Polczynski, chair of the board of trust administrators that oversees The Divine Redeemer Catholic School, Ford City, speaks about the TOP Student initiative at the school.
Msgr. Michael J. Begolly, pastor of the three New Kensington parishes, speaks during the announcement at the Mary Queen of Apostles School site at Mount St. Peter Parish.


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