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Prospective Families

Lottery applications are submitted online via our website during open application season from September 14 through March 1.

Those who apply before November 15 have the opportunity to find out if they were selected as early as December so apply early!

All CSFP applicants must:
1. Reside in Philadelphia
2. Have children entering K - 8th grade for the year in which they are applying
3. Meet CSFPs income requirements. Click here to see if you meet CSFP’s income requirements.

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.

All lottery winners will receive registration instructions via email in December and March. Only those who applied before November 15th have the chance to be selected in the December lottery. 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.

All families must provide income for all adults in the household from sources including, but not limited to:
• Employment
• Public Assistance (SNAP/TANF/SSP)
• Child Support (voluntary and court ordered)
• Social Security
• Unemployment
• Worker's Compensation
• Any non-taxable income

If your income, from all of sources does not equal CSFP’s $8,000 (excluding welfare) cash minimum, you will be required to provide additional information.

CSFP provides partial scholarships based on income, family size, and your school’s tuition amount. There is a maximum award of $3,200 per student for the 2022-2023 school year, as well as a minimum annual contribution of $500 by each family toward tuition. Families are responsible for finding additional financial aid and/or paying the balance of any remaining tuition themselves.

A common reason that families drop out of the CSFP program is that they cannot afford to continue their part of tuition payments at their private school. Because stability is important in a child’s education, please seriously evaluate your financial situation and determine whether it is feasible to make private schooling a long-term commitment for your family.

Families can have up to three K-8th grade children receiving a scholarship at one time. All scholarships are lottery based and are not guaranteed to siblings. Your award opportunity is for four years (or until 8th grade – whichever happens first), provided eligibility requirements continue to be met each year.

CSFP scholarships may be used at any one of 160+ approved private schools. CSFP does not provide scholarships for public, charter, cyber schools, or homeschooling. The full list of approved schools can be found by clicking here

Scholarships last for four consecutive years, 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 must be entering K-8th grade for the new school year.

Unfortunately the four-year award is not guaranteed. Some families may be eligible for only one - three years if they do not meet the above requirements.

We believe that helping children get a strong start in school has many benefits down the road. We want to help children from families in need have access to quality education in the first years — the most formative years, before their academic abilities might even be known. We also want to help K-8th grade students who may not be doing well in public schools, as well as those who have learning differences.

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. Once all scholarships have been awarded for a given school year, eligible families should apply again the following year.

Beginning in September 2019, CSFP will award PreK-4 scholarships. For questions about these awards please contact CSFP via email at