Small Scholarships, Great Impact

Did you know that in the last ten years, over 600 Oregon children have received a “hand up” in their education through a privately funded scholarship program called the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland? The program’s mission is to maximize educational opportunity for students from Oregon families whose income is low to moderate.

The Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland has a ten-year history of demonstrating the value of small scholarships in providing a “hand up” to grade school kids from lower-income families. CSF-Portland is entirely privately funded by local donors, whose gifts are matched by a challenge grant from the national Children’s Scholarship Fund.

Families of greater financial means can afford to send their children to the schools they think are best for their kids as unique individuals, but lower-income families often cannot afford to make the same choices”•choices that have great consequences for a child’s life. The Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland believes that when parents have real choices in their children’s education, children have better chances at success in school.

Children’s Scholarship Fund scholarships are designed to be a “hand up,” not a “handout.” On average, parents pay over half of their children’s tuition themselves. An average scholarship of only $1,500 per year helps them realize their goals.

The demand for choice in education is growing, increasingly so among lower-income parents. Parents want the best for their children, and private programs like the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland are proud to help them achieve it.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director, Development Coordinator, and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research center.