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Program Eligibility

The Josephine C. Connelly Achievement Awardees come with a variety of talents and their achievements can be defined in many ways.  Students from each and every parish and regional school and Independence Mission School in the city of Philadelphia are eligible for this honor.  There are also six Catholic elementary schools located in the adjacent counties of Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery that are eligible because they serve a blend of Philadelphia and county students.   Currently, there are 51 parishes participating in this vital and welcoming program, and each year approximately 100 students earn this distinct recognition.    


The Foundation offers:

  • Incoming Freshman receive four-year grants at 40% of tuition
  • Choice of 17 Archdiocesan high schools plus Mercy Career and Technical High School
  • Personal academic counselors to monitor goals and track success


Supportive Services

Josephine C. Connelly Achievement Award recipients receive a full range of supportive services. Experienced counselors meet periodically and communicate via e-mail with students to help monitor and encourage their progress in the following areas: 

  • Academic performance
  • High school course selection
  • College scholarship research
  • College selection and application process


Parish Committee Application and Selection Process

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have attended a parish or regional or Independence Mission School elementary school in 6th and 7th grades
  • Currently attend 8th grade in a participating parish or regional or Independence Mission School elementary school


In February, students in 8th grade receive a letter from the school principal that informs students and parents about the process and deadline for submission of applications. Recipients are notified in April.


Parish committees design an application process and determine criteria for consideration including but not limited to:

  • Conformity to elementary school standards and expectations
  • Level of involvement of support demonstrated by the student and family in school and parish activities
  • Desire to attend an Archdiocesan high school or Mercy Career and Technical High School
  • Capacity to succeed in high school academically


PLEASE NOTE: This offer of four year scholarships provides for attendance at one of 17 Archdiocesan high schools and Mercy Career and Technical High School only. The offer does not extend to private Catholic high schools situated in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia .