Episcopal High School, among the most prestigious but also priciest private schools in East Baton Rouge Parish, announced Tuesday that it will offer free tuition to three to five students next year as part of a competitive, merit-based scholarship.
Until now, the school has offered only partial merit scholarships, most small, as well as generous need-based financial aid packages.
The new scholarship, available for eighth-graders advancing to ninth grade, will cover the entire tuition for the Episcopal’s upper school, currently about $15,500. However, it won’t cover roughly $2,500 in student fees.
Headmaster Hugh McIntosh said he offered a similar scholarship at his last school, a private school in San Antonio, and it worked well.
“This is how small colleges are attracting the kind of talent they think they need to maintain academic excellence,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh said private donors gave the money for the scholarships a few years ago, but they were tied to stock market returns that were not enough to fund the scholarships until now. He said he hopes to raise more money to expand the program.
“We have a lot of empathy for parents that have bright, motivated kids,” he said. “They need to have a place they can go to satisfy their academic desires.”
McIntosh said Episcopal is targeting students in the greater Baton Rouge area, but said the scholarships are available to current Episcopal student as well.
The deadline to apply is Nov. 4. On Nov. 16, applicants will come to Episcopal to take a placement test, an old version of the ACT. In January, a panel of three college admissions officers, still to be selected, will review the applications to settle on the three to five winners.
The panel will review the academic achievement and ability, demonstrated character, and leadership potential of each applicant.
“We’re looking for kids that are serious about preparing for college,” McIntosh said. “That’s what we do here, and we do that in spades.”
A web page that explains the details of the program is at: www.ehsbr.org/Scholarships.
Editor’s note: The story was changed on Sept. 4 to correct the name in the sixth paragraph.