Applications for Mary MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund Bursaries - Catholic Foundation

Applications for Mary MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund Bursaries

The MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund (MacKillop Fund) provides access to Catholic education for families experiencing significant financial hardship, who live within the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

The Fund was created in 2014 and accepts a small number of new applicants each year. We hope to continue expanding the Fund in the years ahead to support a significantly larger number of bursaries for deserving families. Current bursary recipients include families with major ill health, disability, trauma, extreme poverty or family breakdown.

What is covered by a MacKillop Fund Bursary?

  • The bursary covers tuition, fees and camps for each year of primary school or each year of secondary school (immersion trips to foreign countries are excluded)
  • The school provides all stationery, texts and resource materials, including a laptop if required
  • The school supplies one full set of uniforms, excluding hat and shoes.
  • The parents provide a weekly financial contribution in an agreement negotiated with the school.

The MacKillop Fund commits to funding a child through the completion of the stage of school that they enroll in. For example, a primary school child will be funded through to the end of Year 6 as long as the family is in need of assistance. A secondary school bursary will be funded through to the end of Year 12 as long as the family is in need of assistance.

Eligibility & Selection Process

Bursaries are awarded on the basis of demonstrable, means-tested inability to afford a Catholic education. Support from the fund is not dependent on academic ability of the student.

An expression of interest form should show:

  • A demonstrated inability to afford the fees at a Catholic school, eg the family has a health care card.
  • The family is supportive of the ethos, values and mission of Catholic education

Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the committee, based on greatest need, and funding availability. Supporting financial documentation is necessary before any expression of interest form, or renewal of bursary, can be processed. Special consideration may be given to students who are socially, culturally, spiritually or emotionally disadvantaged.

Expression of interest

The committee meets in May every year to award bursaries for the following school year.

All Expression of Interest forms must reach the committee no later than 15 April for enrolment in the following school year. Late expressions of interest may be considered, dependent upon availability of funds. If funding is not immediately available, late applications may be considered at the next May disbursement.

To complete an expression of interest form here. A copy of your health care card will be requested at a later date. Expressions of Interest for 2021 are now open.

Students currently enrolled in Catholic Schools

The Fund does not subsidise families currently enrolled in Catholic schools, rather, the aim is to help families for whom a Catholic education for their children is far beyond their reach. The criteria is limited to families not currently enrolled in the Catholic system or those heavily burdened by the transition into secondary Catholic schooling. If you would like to enquire about financial assistance for a child who is currently enrolled in Catholic School please contact the Principal of your school.


A discernment committee has been established to consider expressions of interest on a strictly confidential basis. The names and details of students who apply for or are awarded bursaries are not publicly revealed. You may view the Archdiocesan privacy policy here.