Affordability: Part of Our Mission

By Greta Cunningham '23, Communications Apprentice
May 10, 2022

The Krinke family benefits from the Schaller Raider Brigade scholarship.

Cretin-Derham Hall is proud to provide exceptional Catholic education, one that can provide a student with the academic, faith, and personal foundation that they need to succeed as an adult. However, we know that enrolling a young person in a Catholic school is a serious commitment for families, particularly financially. Accordingly, affordability has been a pillar of CDH’s educational philosophy since our founding. 

Fridays are Free
“Our mission is the Christian Brothers’ and Sisters of Carondelets’ mission: to make education accessible to anyone regardless of background. Affordability is one of the important ways we do that,” said Sean Van Gemert ’96, Admissions Director.

CDH has one of the lowest private school tuitions in the Twin Cities, even before tuition assistance and scholarships are applied. Because of donor contributions, CDH tuition is around $3,000 less than the upfront education costs. 

“We like to say that everyone here gets tuition assistance because our cost to educate a student exceeds the tuition that we charge families. Students already get a discount because of our wonderful donors and their continued support of the school,” said Lisa Prescott-Williams, financial administrator. 

Frank Miley, President, likes to say that at CDH, “Fridays are free.” The tuition families pay is less expensive than the education student receive.

Tuition Assistance: Working with Every Family 

On top of the initial discount, 42 percent of CDH families receive some tuition assistance with an average award of $7,200. This process is based on demonstrated need through a TADS application that assesses family finances, such as family income and debt, to determine how much tuition they can afford to pay.

“We want to work with all families. If CDH is a good fit for a family, then we’ll work through the financial piece. It just takes an open and honest conversation. So many of our families could not be here without financial aid, and we’re proud to make it accessible for them,” said Van Gemert.

The business office also coordinates a concessions program that allows families to work at various sporting venues for additional funds toward tuition, along with helping families make a payment plan. 

“The biggest part of my job is figuring out how we can make the tuition payments work best for each family. There are families that pay once, every week, twice a month - we try to make it as easy and as conforming to their budget as we can,” said Prescott-Williams. 

Scholarships: Merit-Based Support for Students 

In addition to need-based aid, CDH has a plentiful merit scholarship program offered to incoming ninth graders. There are three primary opportunities: the Schaller Raider Brigade JROTC scholarships ($1,000-$10,000 renewable), Carondelet and Lasallian scholarships (up to $2,500 renewable), and the placement test scholarships for those who score a national cumulative of 90 percent or higher (up to $2,500 nonrenewable). About one-third of each class is awarded one of these scholarships. 

“CDH’s scholarships stood out when I was picking a high school,” said Valerie Krinke ’22, who received the Schaller Raider Brigade scholarship.

The Schaller Raider Brigade scholarship is based on an essay, as are the Carondelet and Lasallian scholarships, along with a letter of endorsement. 

“I feel proud that I’ve been able to save that money for college and my family,” said Krinke. “The scholarship also requires that you participate in a JROTC co-curricular and service each trimester, so I joined crack drill as a ninth-grader, and now I am the crack drill commander! It’s given me opportunities that I wouldn't have thought to do without the scholarship.”

Scholarships are designed to emphasize our values of academics, leadership, faith, and service to create the foundation for four years of high school success.

“CDH was worth the tuition for us for a lot of reasons,” said Cheryl Krinke, Valerie’s mom. “We loved the class size, that it's in the city, the academic rigor, the JROTC program as part of the emphasis on leadership skills, the reputation, really everything together.”

To learn how a Cretin-Derham Hall education could be affordable for your family, reach out to our admissions team at



Greta Cunningham '23 is a Communications Apprentice. She is passionate about writing and participates in the CDH Chronicle and the Creative Writing Club. She is also involved in Student Council and competitive figure skating. "I want to have a dynamic role in spreading Cretin-Derham Hall's message and core values, specifically, community and service, during these times," she said.


Subscribe to our e-Newsletters

News Hub