The way Jim Leonard sees it, another six to 10 high school kids will soon be given an extra chance to attend Santa Fe Prep. That's because the Englewood, Colo.-based Malone Family Foundation gave Prep a$2 million scholarship endowment grant this past spring.
The money will go into Prep's endowment fund (which totaled $6 million before this gift) and will be used to offer full or partial tuition assistance to deserving, gifted students who rank in the top 5 percent of their class. Leonard, who has served as head of school for Prep since 1999, announced the news last week.
Noting that the Malone Family Foundation -- which supports schools sporting high academic achievement rates, enrichment programs and successful student populations of diverse backgrounds -- gave 11 such grants around the nation last week, Leonard said, "The foundation is looking for ways to make a difference for low-income families to send students to independent schools."
Prep, which opened in 1961, is a college-preparatory high school serving about 315 students in grades seven to 12. According to both Leonard and the school's director of advancement, Kezha Hatier-Riess, this grant is the largest ever bequeathed to Prep. The school is required to utilize a minimum of 5 percent of the grant -- $100,000 -- per year. Tuition at the school is about $18,900 annually; students must prove they are in need of at least 30 percent tuition assistance to qualify for the Malone funds.
Hatier-Riess said Prep will start using the grant this coming autumn with an eye toward initially helping one or two new students in the lower grades. The grant money will continue to be available as the chosen students make their way through the 12th grade.
The school's annual budget is about $6.8 million, and about 25 percent of its student population takes advantage of some form of tuition assistance. Santa Fe Prep commits to offering about $750,000 per year in tuition assistance. Both Hatier-Riess and Leonard said that is one reason Malone chose the school for this $2 million grant.
"The Malone Foundation has a strong commitment to tuition assistance and diversity. ... It wanted to underscore and expand those efforts with our school," Leonard said.
Prep did not seek out the grant. The Malone website notes that schools are selected through a rigorous research process, though Hatier-Riess said the Edward E. Ford Foundation gave Prep a leadership grant in the spring of 2011 that may have raised the school's profile and garnered Malone's attention. She said that as part of the review process, Cathie Wlaschin, executive director for the Malone Foundation, visited the school in April 2012 to meet with teachers, administrators, students
and board members.
For independent schools that have been cautiously guarding their endowment funds due to the downturn in the economy, the additional $2 million gives their leaders the opportunity to financially help their students.
Hatier-Riess said all Prep applicants must go through the same financial-assistance application route. She said incoming students who are gifted (again, top 5 percent of the class) and are teacher-recommended are eligible for the Malone Foundation funds.
Contact Robert Nott at 986-3021 or email@example.com.
Please note, the comment system has been temporarily suspended. Comments will return with the launch of our new website on March 11, 2013. Please direct questions or concerns to web editor Natalie Guillen at
Thank you for your patience.