Scholarships


A Scholarship is a form of financial aid given to a student to help pay for their education in all or part. A scholarship is a gift based upon financial need, ones merit or both. Financial support comes in a variety of ways to Bishop McDevitt. Tuition scholarship savings accounts are for those not interested in endowments, but are interested in providing resources to our students.

This scholarship fund has been established to assist families in providing a Catholic education for their children. This new fund has been named in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, a young saint in late 19th century France. She joined a Carmelite convent at the age of 15 and is internationally known for her “little way.” She is quoted as saying:

“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”

The families that receive financial aid for their current and future students already make huge sacrifices to provide a quality Catholic education for their children. In the spirit of St. Therese, we ask that you consider making a small sacrifice to help these students so they can benefit from the same education and faith that inspired St. Therese to become a Saint and Doctor of the Church. You can help support Bishop McDevitt’s mission of a quality, Catholic education sending in your donations marked “Little Flower Fund” to the school at 1 Crusader Way, Harrisburg PA 17111. 

Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program and Opportunity Tax Credit Program

In May 2011, Governor Tom Ridge and the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), as a way for businesses to direct funds that would otherwise go to state taxes towards the private education of Pennsylvania students. A business may receive tax credits equal to 75% of its contribution up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year; however, it can be increased to 90% of the contribution, if the business agrees to provide the same amount for two consecutive tax years.

Very late on the evening of June 30, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (EITC 2) making $50 million in tax credits available to businesses that contribute to approved opportunity scholarship organizations.

Students, who live within the attendance boundaries of a low-achieving school, as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, are eligible to receive a scholarship if their household annual income is no greater than $75,000 plus $15,000 for each dependent member of the household. Parents/students must apply through an approved Opportunity Scholarship Organization (OSO). Families wishing to apply for this full scholarship to attend Bishop McDevitt for the 2015-2016 school year may receive their applications in February 2015 from the Admissions Office at the school. Bishop McDevitt is an approved OSO under the name Neumann Scholarship FoundationOpportunity Scholarships.

All Businesses authorized to participate in Pennsylvania and are subject to one or more of the following taxes may participate : Corporate Net Income Tax; Capital Stock Franchise Tax, Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax; Title Insurance Companies Shares Tax; Insurance Premiums Tax; Mutual Thrift Institution Tax; or Personal Income Tax of S corporation shareholders or Partnership partners.

If a business pays one or more of these taxes you may qualify for participation in the EITC/OSTC programs. There is currently $20 million still available to be utilized for OSTC this fiscal year. The application process is simple. A business submits a one-page application Online to the Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED). After approval, a check is sent to the Neumann Scholarship Foundation at the Diocese of Harrisburg restricting the money to the school(s) of choice.

We are very happy to report that we have been successful in securing funds for this program for next school year from some very generous alumni and friends who are business owners. We are truly grateful to these generous businesses who have partnered with us for this program. Of course, we can always use more funds to help our families.

Businesses who would like to learn more about this program may contact Cheri Comasco at ccomasco@bishopmcdevitt.org or call her at 717-236-7973 ext 2133.

Named Scholarships – Restricted

We have been blessed by several people who have contacted our office to establish Named Scholarships. The amount of money awarded varies depending on the decision of the family or donor setting up the named scholarship. Most of the named scholarships that have been established this year have required students to write an essay and to meet minimum GPA standards, be involved in extra-curricular activities and then answer a question in the essay. Students have written the essays, and then we have mailed the essays to the family for them to select the “winner.” The “winner” receives the scholarship and the money is deducted directly from his/her current year’s tuition.

To learn more about establishing a Named Scholarship for Bishop McDevitt High School or to make a gift to a current scholarship, please contact Cheri Comasco, Director of Advancement 717-236-7973 ext 2133 or ccomasco@bishopmcdevitt.org.

The Marlin E. Hicks ’42 Memorial Scholarship was established by his family to honor him. Mr. Hicks was the second African American (the first was his brother Wesley) to graduate from Catholic High School. He was also the first African American to play for the Crusaders Football Team. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a parishioner from Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, who has a GPA of 3.0 or more and is involved with activities and/or sports. The student must write an essay describing how an elementary or high school teacher positively affected their life and helped to shape their future.

The F. Richard (Dick) Wesley ’58 Scholarship was established by his family to honor him. This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who must be a current softball or baseball player and involved in other activities with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Eligible students must write an essay about how a teacher or coach positively affected their life and shaped their future.

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Pictured above are: Mrs. Jill Bekelja ’83 Hanes and her mother, Diane Webb’60 Bekelja with Nana Kadua ‘18  the recipient of  The Larry Bekelja ’59 Memorial Scholarship presented January 12, 2016.

The family wrote a brief history about Larry so students submitting essays could understand more about the man for whom the scholarship is named.

“Larry Bekelja was born in Bressler, PA in 1941.  He attended St. Mary’s Church and School in Steelton.  During that time he was a devout altar server, competent student, fierce athlete and avid hunter.  Upon entering Bishop McDevitt, he soon realized he was surrounded by many competitive student-athletes. Through Larry’s determination to be better he learned the skill of perseverance, discipline and hard work.  He played football and baseball all four years at Bishop McDevitt. By 1959, his senior year, Larry was Class President, the starting quarterback, captain of the baseball team, starting pitcher, as well as, catcher.   The skills he honed in high school to be one of the best student-athletes carried him through college, various careers and volunteering.  He was known to say and live by the quote, “What I have I give. What I keep is lost forever.”

It was Larry’s belief that personal sacrifice was necessary to achieve any level of success in life.  For Larry, sacrifice involved doing the work that others were not willing to do, putting the needs of others before his own, and staying true to his beliefs even when no one was watching.”

Eligible students submitted a 300 word essay addressing the following prompt:

Describe an experience in your life that reflects the quote, “What I have I give. What I keep is lost forever.”  What does the experience and quote mean to you now and how do you think it can shape your future.

The Bekelja family selected the winner from over 30 applicants.  It was a tough decision with many wonderful submissions.   Nana’s essay related the quote to her participation in the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters program. As a “Big”, Nana assists her “Little” with homework and other personal experiences. Nana wants to not only teach her “Little” something, but also to learn from her as well.  She writes in her essay:

… “As a “Big” I am seen as a positive role model for kids who do not have any.  I decided to apply because I felt I had something to give to someone else.  I consider myself lucky to have the role models in my life of my two older sisters….

As we grow, we often forget our lives as children and how precious that part was for us.  Seeing my “little” for the first time reminded me of that time when I didn’t care too much about what people thought me and when being innocent and truly yourself was accepted. With the two of us exchanging ideas, hopes, and wisdom we can be reassured that we are giving each other gifts that will last a lifetime.”

The Class of 1964 recently celebrated their 50th Class Reunion and established the BMHS Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund. The class is currently working on the details of how the scholarship will be distributed.

The Thomas van Wagner ’73 Memorial Scholarship is a $500 scholarship awarded to a student who writes an essay as requested by the family. The student must be from St. Matthews Parish or Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School. The essay must be about the life of Thomas van Wagner in his community.

This scholarship is awarded to incoming ninth graders who have played for Holy Name of Jesus Jets football program. Selection of recipients is made by the football program and gifted to the school.

The Notarfrancesco Scholarship was established by Emil Notarfrancesco ‘01 and Dr. Le Tran ‘01 Notarfrancesco. This $1,500 scholarship is awarded to one female and one male student who are actively involved in school, meeting their criteria. The student must describe how a teacher positively impacted your life and helped to shape your future.