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Tuition Waiver Encourages Catholic Education

Being Catholic is more than a title – it is a mindset, a way of life and an identity. And in Catholic schools, it is important that the Catholic identity is established from the elementary level.

As part of a new University program, dependents of full-time faculty and staff at the University of St. Thomas can receive a tuition discount at any participating Catholic elementary or secondary school within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The UST Catholic Schools Tuition Waiver Program is designed to encourage the value and experience of a Catholic education. The program features a reciprocal contractual agreement between UST and each participating Catholic school, where UST will offer a 50 percent tuition discount for Catholic school full-time employees, their spouses and their dependent children in return for the Catholic school offering a tuition discount for the dependents of UST employees.  Dependents include children and spouses as defined by IRS regulations. Discounts at each school vary.

Individual agreements between UST and the Catholic schools are subject to each school’s administration and board. The waiver will go into effect the semester following the signing of the agreement. Any signed agreement between UST and the Catholic school does not imply guaranteed admission, and standard admission criteria apply for each school.

Elsie Biron, director of Catholic outreach at the University, said the Catholic identity of UST establishes what the University stands for, and its relationship to the community and to local Catholic schools.

“By joining with Catholic elementary and high schools in support of those who dedicate their lives to Catholic education, it shows the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese that we are one in spirit and message; there is a seamless message from one to the other,” Biron said. “We are supporting our faith and saying that faith is an integral part of an education at each level throughout the process.”

Although the program was just officially approved in early summer, eight schools have already signed an agreement with the University: Christ the Redeemer, Corpus Christi, Holy Ghost, St. Anne in Tomball, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Laurence in Sugar Land, St. Thomas More and St. Vincent de Paul. Seven others are either in negotiation or finalizing agreements, and 12 others are in the discussion phase.  Biron said the response has been exciting and positive.

For enrollment forms, faculty and staff can visit MyStThom under the UST Employee Documents/Forms/Human Resources path.  Also see a list of the Catholic schools in agreement or in the process of negotiations with the University on the Portal under UST Employee Documents/Reference Materials/Human Resources.

To enroll in the program, complete the enrollment form and return it to Human Resources to the attention of Randy Graham for approval. The form will be returned to you to submit to your school(s) of choice.

For additional information or questions, contact Elsie Biron in the Catholic Outreach Office at or 713-525-3171.

By Elaine Rivera

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