Chicago Catholic high school offering full scholarships to all incoming freshmen

Jasmine Minor Image
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Chicago school offering full scholarships to incoming freshmen
Josephinum Academy, a Chicago Catholic school in Wicker Park, is offering full scholarships to all incoming freshmen, thanks to generous donors.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's oldest all-girls Catholic high school is doing something it has never done before: offering full scholarships to every incoming freshman.

The average cost of tuition at Josephinum Academy is about $9,500 per student, and the scholarship covers all 40 incoming freshman.

Monique Norington-Joseph was in the class of 1992. Now, she's an accomplished author giving back to the place that started it all.

"I didn't like it in the beginning when I found it was all girls, but soon later realized that this was the best thing for my life," Norington-Joseph said.

Thirty years and five books later, Norington-Joseph is now the director of community partnerships in student life at her alma mater, and is ready to guide the incoming freshman class.

"They're my hearts. I always say they're my babies," Norington-Joseph said.

With the help of generous donors, the high school can now offer full-ride scholarships to 40 incoming freshman.

"It's just like Christmas morning," said Kathryn Bartholomew, Josephinum Academy head of admissions.

Bartholomew said she was overwhelmed with gratitude.

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The donation comes at a time when Catholic schools across the city are facing tough decisions after the loss of state funding through the end of a scholarship tax credit program.

That is affecting families' choices, as well.

"Knowing that we get to relieve that pressure from them is just like, awesome," Bartholomew said.

She said 95% of students receive financial aid, as they come from over 40 different zip codes.

The school has also been successful at building a family environment; whether through class or art, they're allowing young women to find their voice.

"The future is female," Bartholomew said. "They want to be around each other. They want to learn from each other."

That experience has led to girls attending colleges all over the world.

And, from one alum to the next, Norrington-Joseph said, "take the bull by the horns and run with it. This is an opportunity of a lifetime."

Josephinum Academy currently has 20 incoming freshman enrolled, which means they still have open spots.

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