The Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation is a not-for-profit private foundation that has established annual scholarships at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, Connecticut.
It is headquartered in Orlando, Florida at the following address:
9580 Sloane Street
Orlando, Florida 32827
Phone: (407) 851-0252
Background of the Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Deeley were longtime residents of Waterbury before retiring to Virginia. Mr. Deeley worked as a tool-setter for Scovill Manufacturing Company, and Mrs. Deeley raised their children and was active in numerous volunteer organizations. Although neither of them had the opportunity to attend college, they continually emphasized two critical aspects of life. The first was the value of an education. The second was the obligation to give something back to the community. They sacrificed to ensure that their children would have an opportunity for higher education, yet they still found time to volunteer for community activities.
The Foundation was established by their two children in 1996 to memorialize the “helping hand” approach engendered by their parents. It is designated as a tax exempt 501(c)3 corporation by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation offers assistance to eligible high school seniors who qualify for admission to a college or university but lack the financial resources to attend. This scholarship is based on the belief that personal involvement with recipients creates a tangible bond between the student and the donor. Hopefully this bond will encourage recipients to offer personal support to someone else after they graduate by “passing it along” – either in the form of mentoring or financial assistance.
The scholarship was initially restricted to just those Sacred Heart seniors applying to Fairfield University because Fairfield had agreed to a matching arrangement. In 2002, the Foundation, in an effort to provide more students an educational opportunity, expanded the scholarship to include students applying to any four-year college or university. Quinnipiac University and The Deeley Foundation created a matching partnership in 2003 similar to the Fairfield University agreement. In 2004 the Foundation entered into a matching partnership with Southern Connecticut State University. In 2014, in response to rising college costs, the Foundation broadened its scope once again to include students applying to two-year colleges. In 2015 the partnerships with Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University were expanded to offer FULL TUITION scholarships to students who met certain financial need criteria. Then in 2016, the Foundation instituted a scholarship partnership with Boston College and in 2017 the FULL TUITION partnerships were extended to include The University of Bridgeport.
Since its inception in 1996, the Foundation has funded over $1,500,000 worth of scholarships for 48 Sacred Heart High School students. These scholarship recipients have a 95% college graduation rate.
The Foundation provides financial support to 8-12 college students for each academic year. The schools represented by these students include the University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Southern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston University, Gordon College, Coastal Carolina University, St. John’s University, the University of Rhode Island, Williams College and Hampton University.
Eligibility of Sacred Heart Students
This scholarship is only available to Sacred Heart High School seniors, regardless of race, gender, or religious belief. We strongly encourage every senior at Sacred Heart to apply for the scholarship, regardless of whether they plan to attend a two-year or a four-year institution.
No members of the Deeley family or anyone with business relationships with the Foundation or the family owned or operated businesses are eligible for this award.
Applicants must submit a completed scholarship application to be eligible for consideration. After an initial screening, representatives of the Foundation will interview finalists and a final award will be made to the student(s) selected for the scholarship. The recipients will usually be notified about three to four weeks after the interviews are completed.
Partnerships with Colleges and Universities
The Foundation has been successful in creating matching scholarship programs with four universities in the Connecticut area. Consequently, the scholarship is now divided into three categories:
Applicants To Fairfield University and the University of Bridgeport
There are two types of matching scholarships with Fairfield University. The first is available to all applicants to Fairfield and the second is available to any student who has a family income of $65,000 or less.
The first type of scholarship is valued at a minimum of $96,000 for four years. The scholarship is made jointly by Fairfield University and the Foundation. The Foundation provides awards of up to $12,000 to match the first $12,000 of merit awards from Fairfield University. Only those candidates who are accepted by Fairfield University and meet the University’s financial need requirements are eligible to receive the scholarship.
The second type is a FULL TUITION scholarship. Beginning in 2015, Fairfield University and The Deeley Foundation established a FULL TUITION scholarship for students with family incomes of $65,000 or less. This same arrangement was instituted with the University of Bridgeport effective in 2017. The Deeley Foundation contributes $15,000 towards these scholarships and Fairfield University and the University of Bridgeport provide the balance of the tuition. This scholarship is currently valued at $177,000 for four years at Fairfield University and at $126,520 for the University of Bridgeport. Only those candidates who are both accepted by Fairfield University and/or the University of Bridgeport and have family incomes of $65,000 or less may receive these scholarship.
Applicants To Quinnipiac University and Southern Connecticut State University
These scholarships are valued at up to $48,000 for four years. These two schools have opted to match the Foundation’s awards, allowing the Foundation to utilize its funding to make additional awards. The Foundation has agreed to award up to 50% of the actual tuition costs up to $6,000 per year, and the schools have agreed to match the Foundation’s scholarships. This matching arrangement brings the total award to the lesser of the actual tuition or $12,000 per year. Only those candidates who are accepted by the schools and demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive the scholarship.
Beginning in 2015, Quinnipiac University and The Deeley Foundation have established a second type of matching scholarship, a FULL TUITION scholarship for students who are Pell Grant Eligible. The Deeley Foundation contributes $15,000 towards this scholarship, and Quinnipiac University provides the balance of the tuition which is currently equal to $27,270. This scholarship is currently valued at $169,080 for four years. Only those candidates who are both accepted by Quinnipiac University and are Pell Grant Eligible may receive the scholarship.
Applicants To Other Colleges and Universities
These scholarships are valued at up to $48,000 for four years. The Foundation will make an award equal to the actual tuition costs or $12,000 per year, whichever is less.
In addition to the above scholarships, Boston College and the Deeley Foundation have entered into a unique agreement to provide special assistance to students from Scared Heart High School. This agreement allows the Deeley Foundation to match up to $15,000 of the self help (non-scholarship financial aid) awards made by Boston College. These scholarships have a value of up to $60,000 for four years. See the News and Updates section of our website for details of this agreement.
In addition to the scholarships described above, the Foundation sometimes makes partial awards to deserving students.
Distribution of Scholarship Awards By College/University
The graph below shows the dollar value of all the scholarship awards made by the Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation and the colleges/universities to which the awards were made (click on the chart to view an enlarged version).
Scholarship Criteria and Qualifications
The criteria for selection consist equally of the following areas:
- Community Involvement
- Academic Accomplishments
- Work Experience
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Financial Need
- College Goals
- Personal Interview
We are seeking those individuals who we think will “make a difference”. This can be because a student demonstrates a special passion for something, has a unique combination of academic and social skills or has positively impacted the lives of other students.
The scholarship award is good for four years, provided the recipient remains in good academic standing, is a full-time student (a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester) and continues to meet the financial need requirements. “Good academic standing” requires the student to maintain a minimum of a cumulative 2.5 G.P.A. (2.8 G.P.A., in the case of the FULL TUITION scholarships at Fairfield University, Quinnipiac University and the University of Bridgeport and also for scholarships to Boston College) at the end of each academic year. If a recipient fails to remain in good academic standing or becomes a part-time student, then the scholarship can be terminated.
The Foundation forwards its portion of the scholarship to the college or university, and the school directly administers the scholarship by crediting the amount of the scholarship to the recipient’s invoice for the academic semester.
If a student chooses to study abroad, on a university sponsored program of studies, then the amount of the scholarship will be provided to the recipient to be applied towards tuition, travel, housing and meals.
More specific details about the Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation, applying for the scholarship and the requirements for scholarship programs at various schools can be found by visiting the section of our website called Frequently Asked Questions.