Parents will have the opportunity to learn more about applying for potential scholarships and tax credit donation opportunities at a public forum at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School tomorrow.

Due to a law enacted by the Arizona Legislature, community members can donate up to $500 for singles and $1,000 for married couples to tuition tax credit organizations.

These third-party organizations, of which there are more than 50 state-wide, dole out thousands of dollars in private school scholarships each year.

Parents cannot directly attribute their tax credit donation to their own children's tuition, but can write in the school of their choice.

It is at the discretion of these organizations, such as Catholic Education Arizona, which works with Seton to determine who receives a scholarship based on applications and family financial situations.

An administrator at Seton Catholic said that about 40 percent of the students receive some amount of assistance with tuition, which is $8,900 per year.

The biggest scholarship award was $2,600, said Paula Osterday, director of advancement at Seton.

"For those families who might need some assistance, this is an excellent way to push them over the edge," Osterday said. "The purpose (of this information session) is to give hope and vision for parents who want to give their child a Catholic education."

The tax credit organizations that give out the scholarships base their decisions purely on the financial background on the families of students who apply.

The eligibility requirement varies between organizations, and some ask for more than just an application.

The information session on Saturday will be hosted by Jody LaBenz, principal auditor at South Mountain Community College.

Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of a brief presentation starting at 9 a.m. at Seton Prep's new Fine Arts and Academic Classrooms Building, 1150 N. Dobson Road in Chandler.

They will also conduct the Catholic high school entrance exam, or High School Placement Test, for students at 8:30 a.m.

For more information on the Arizona Tuition Tax Credit presentation or the High School Placement Test, visit or call Seton Catholic Prep's admission office at (480) 963-1900, ext. 2355.

For a full list of tax credit organizations or to learn more about the tax credit program, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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