What we do
You may have heard of Staples Tuition Grants or maybe you haven’t.
Here’s what we do: we help graduates of Staples High School who need financial assistance pay for college.
Staples Tuition Grants (STG) was founded in Westport, CT, in 1943 with a $100 donation by the Staples High School PTA with the belief that all Staples graduates should have the opportunity to continue their education beyond high school, regardless of financial circumstances. That is our mission. It is a well-established fact that college graduates and those with advanced technical training earn much higher incomes and have better employment opportunities during their careers. Many STG grant recipients return to Westport to raise families, and become not just important contributors to our community as adults, but future donors to STG and other local organizations, and “pay back” their grants – in a way, we are not a charity; our donors are investing in our own community.
We are a simple organization with a single purpose and just one program. We raise money from donors, and we direct it to students in need of financial assistance. In between we have some small fundraising, database and technology costs, but more or less nearly everything we raise in a given year goes directly from our donors to our recipients, unless the raised funds have been earmarked for our endowment to be distributed in the years ahead (more on this below).
We award non-recourse grants (meaning they are grants, not loans, and do not need to be repaid) every May for the following school year to graduates of Staples who are attending 2- or 4-year undergraduate colleges, universities or vocational/trade schools. The only requirement is that the applicant has graduated from Staples HS and has demonstrated to us that they have genuine financial need. Any graduate of Staples, including current high school seniors, can apply in any year they attend an undergraduate level school – we do not discriminate in any way, shape, or form. All decisions on whether a student receives a grant, and the amount of that grant are based purely on objective financial information.
We determine what a student can afford, and what the student’s net cost of tuition, room & board will be in the year ahead, and we award grants based on the size of the demonstrated “gap” between these two figures:
- The determination of a student’s ability to pay for college is based on output from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a common form used and accepted widely in the higher-education community.
- The determination of a student’s net cost is based on school invoices, statements or acceptance letters, and information provided by students that lists all their scholarships, grants, and other financial aid they are be receiving from their schools and other third parties.
- The difference between the two figures above is the “gap” we aim to help close.
All our grants are paid directly to schools – not to the student – and paid in two installments (for fall and spring semesters) only if the student attends school and is in good standing.
Our funding comes 100% from donors. Please join us in supporting our mission!
STG uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) metric and a variety of other measurements to calculate a prospective recipient’s need-based qualification. These measurements include the student’s family’s contributions as well as the number of dependent family members.
STG Key Facts
- The STG application process is heavily weighted on family income and economic eligibility to ensure that grants go to Staples graduates in the greatest financial need
- 96% of all donations directly fund grant awards
- School specific tuition, other expected grants, scholarships and loan amounts are all factors in the grant evaluation process. All new applicants are interviewed
- Individual donations are critical to our ability to support students in need
- Unlike many aid programs, STG is not for freshman year only. STG recipients are invited to re-apply for further grants as long as they are enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution
STG does not discriminate by school, public or private, vocational or academic, in-state or out. STG announces grants at an award ceremony each June honoring recipients and donors. Awards are paid directly to the school and are for the purpose of tuition only.