Lottery Applicants

Lottery applications are available online from mid-September through March 1st. To be included in the December Lottery you must apply by November 15th. Apply early for your best chance!

CSFP begins accepting lottery applications annually in September at (online application only). All scholarships are awarded by random lottery in December and March.

Lottery applications are submitted online via our website during the application season from September 27, 2023 through March 1, 2024. Each year, CSFP awards approximately 2,000 new scholarships to students.

To increase your chances of being selected, apply before the November 15 priority deadline for consideration in both lotteries. Those who apply before November 15 have the opportunity to find out if they were selected as early as December, so apply early!

Registration instructions for December and March lottery winners will be sent via email.

All CSFP applicants must:

  1. Reside in Philadelphia
  2. Have children entering K-8th grade at a tuition-based school for the year in which they are applying
  3. Meet CSFPs income requirements. Check to to see if you meet CSFP’s income requirements on our website.

Families can submit one lottery application for up to three children per year. All duplicate lottery applications are deleted so there is only one entry per student in our system when the lottery is conducted. The lottery system recognizes duplicates based on address, phone number, email address, student name, and date of birth.

Yes! CSFP provides support in the school finding and selection process. It is ultimately the responsibility of the parent/guardian to research, apply to, and enroll their child(ren) in a CSFP-partner school, but our staff will work with you as much as possible.

Please fill out our  School Finder Form or else the recipient will be waitlisted and the scholarship potentially forfeited. If you are selected you will receive an email with all important deadlines.

After you’ve applied, the next step is to wait to hear if you’ve been selected. All lottery winners will receive registration instructions via email in December or March. If you are not selected in December, your application is automatically rolled into the March lottery. If your application was not selected, you will receive an email notification after the March lottery is conducted.

While you are waiting to hear if you’ve been selected, CSFP recommends you begin researching the school you’d like to send your child to using the School Finder Tool.

CSFP’s scholarships will be one of 3 flat rates: $1,200, $2,400, or $3,200. However please note that scholarship awards will not exceed tuition charged. Scholarship tiers will be determined based on the family’s annual household income and household size. CSFP scholarships can only be used for tuition costs (not costs like uniforms or activities).

Families are expected to contribute a minimum of $500 per year toward tuition, though the average contribution is $2,300 per year. Families are responsible for finding additional financial aid and/or paying the balance of any remaining tuition themselves. Please seriously evaluate your financial situation and determine whether this is feasible.

Our income guidelines are based on the combined taxable and non-taxable income for all adults living in the household. Income may include but is not limited to:

  • Employment
  • Public Assistance (SNAP/TANF/SSP)
  • Child Support (voluntary and court ordered)
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation
  • Any subsidized income (foster, adoption, pension, VA benefits, etc.)

If your total income from all sources (excluding welfare) is less than $8,000, you will be required to provide additional information to determine your family’s eligibility. This requirement is in place to ensure that families are able to pay their portion of the school tuition.

Families can have up to three K-8th grade children receiving a scholarship at one time. All scholarships are lottery based. While it is not guaranteed to siblings, CSFP makes every effort to prioritize siblings when conducting the lottery.

Scholarships last through 8th grade, provided eligibility requirements continue to be met. These requirements include:

  1. Your family remains financially eligible according to CSFP income requirements. (The scale may increase slightly each year according to the rate of inflation).
  2. No money is owed to the school for last year’s tuition.
  3. You continue to reside in Philadelphia.
  4. Your child remains in K-8th grade for the new school year.

CSFP scholarships may be used at any one of 150+ active CSFP partner schools. CSFP does not provide scholarships for public, charter, cyber schools, or homeschooling; and CSFP scholarships can only be used for tuition. The full list of approved CSFP partner schools can be found by clicking here .

CSFP scholarships can be used at schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, in Pennsylvania only.

CSFP keeps a list of families who enter the lottery and were not initially selected, but this list is kept for that application season only. If you are not selected for the December lottery, your application will automatically roll into the March lottery. If you are not selected in March, your family will remain on CSFP’s waitlist in case additional scholarships open up for the upcoming school year in which you applied. CSFP will not keep a waitlist year over year, so families will have to reapply yearly if not selected for a scholarship.

Scholarship funds are disbursed directly to schools in two payments during the school year. After a family is selected in the lottery, they will be provided with detailed instructions on how to register for their scholarship(s) and confirm school enrollment. While award amounts become available to schools during the spring, CSFP cannot dictate how schools collect tuition and apply scholarships. If you have any questions about billing and payments to your child(ren)’s school you must contact the admissions or tuition office directly.