Big Shoulders Fund serves 20,000 students in 72 schools in the Chicago region. The schools are an important resource for students and communities, with research showing that when a Catholic school closes the surrounding area experiences an increase in violence and a decrease in social cohesion.

These schools help realize the vision that there are educational outlets throughout Chicago where children can “charge up” and maximize their potential. Big Shoulders Fund is focused on ensuring these schools can remain open and viable for years to come, raising more than $300 million in support of this work since its founding in 1986.

The collective effort of supporters, teachers and families alike allows our schools to operate efficiently: on average in 2014 it cost $7,577 to educate a student in a Chicago Catholic school versus $13,433 to educate a student in a Chicago public school.

Big Shoulders supports schools and programs that will ensure students receive a strong academic foundation in elementary school, enroll in quality, college prep high schools, enroll and persist in college, and lead productive lives as adults.

Matriculation into College Prep High Schools

High School Choices Class of 2018

College Enrollment as Verified by the National Student Clearinghouse

Fall College Enrollment – High School Class of 2016

Improved Long-Term Outcomes

Alumni Survey Results: Educational Attainment, Bachelor’s or Beyond

Contributing to Communities

Alumni Survey Results: Civic Engagement