Deeley Foundation Scholarship - Sacred Heart High School - Waterbury, CT

Deeley Foundation Scholarship

The Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation is a not-for-profit private foundation that has established annual scholarships at Sacred Heart High School. Mr. and Mrs. Deeley were longtime residents of Waterbury before retiring to Virginia. Mr. Deeley worked as a tool-setter for Scovill Mfg. Co., 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 children in 1996 to memorialize the “helping hand” approach engendered by their parents. 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.

Since its inception in 1996, the Foundation has funded over $1,384,000 worth of scholarships for 42 Sacred Heart students. The Foundation provides financial support to 8-12 college students for each academic year. The schools represented by these students range from the University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Rhode Island, and Hampton University.


This scholarship is only available to Sacred Heart High School seniors, regardless of race, gender or religious belief. 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.

The scholarship was initially restricted to just those Sacred Heart seniors applying to Fairfield University. In 2002, the Foundation, in an effort to provide more students an educational opportunity, expanded the scholarship to include Sacred Heart seniors applying to any college. In 2014, in response to rising college costs, the Foundation broadened its scope once again to include students applying to either two or four year colleges. In 2015, the partnership with Fairfield University was expanded to offer FULL TUITION scholarships to students with family incomes of $65,000 or less.

The Foundation was successful in creating matching scholarship programs with three colleges in the Connecticut area. Consequently, the scholarship is now divided into three categories:

Applicants To Fairfield University – This scholarship is valued at $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 per year and the University matches this amount to create this larger award of $24,000 per year. All applicants must meet the entrance and financial need requirements of 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.

Beginning in 2015, Fairfield University and The Deeley Foundation have established a FULL TUITION scholarship for students with family incomes of $65,000 or less.  The Deeley Foundation contributes $15,000 towards this scholarship and Fairfield University provides the balance of the tuition which is currently equal to $29,250.  This scholarship is currently valued at $177,000 for four years.  Again, only those candidates who are accepted by Fairfield University and meet the University’s financial need requirements are eligible to receive the 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 meet their financial need requirements are eligible to 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. Again, only those candidates who are accepted by the schools and meet their financial need requirements are eligible to receive the scholarship.

In addition to the full scholarships described above, the Foundation sometimes makes partial awards to deserving students.

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.


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

The scholarship award is good for four years, provided the recipient remains in good academic standing 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 scholarship at Fairfield University) at the end of each academic year. If a recipient fails to remain in good academic standing, then the scholarship can be terminated.

The Foundation forwards its portion of the scholarship to the college or university, and the schools directly administer 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.

Applications for the Deeley Foundation Scholarship can be completed online at

It was the four year experience that solidified Dionne’s (and my own) appreciation of how special Sacred Heart High School truly is. SHHS is a place where traditions of excellence are embedded in every facet of the school.
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SHHS will be forever instilled in my heart. The love and the respect between the faculty and students is a bond that is very rare. SHHS has opened its arms to my family, and I am forever grateful.
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The educational background and confidence that our two older children gained at Sacred Heart helped them be successful in their college careers. Their Sacred Heart education prepared them very well to make the transition to college life, both academically and emotionally.
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Sacred Heart High School offers many opportunities for student involvement in co-curricular activities, athletics, and student outreach programs. Service to others is one of the most outstanding qualities Sacred Heart has to offer and, more importantly, takes pride in!
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Guided by a foundation of excellence that is second to none, the Heart is the finest choice for those wishing to pursue a Catholic education. It is a great honor and a privilege that I associate my name with Sacred Heart High School...
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The sense of belonging to The Heart community was immediate and any worries about their transition to high school were immediately put to rest.
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Academic excellence, community involvement, athletics and Christian-based learning all make Sacred Heart High School a top notch school. But what makes Sacred Heart High School a GREAT school is the sense of family one feels the minute a person walks through the door.
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Sacred Heart was more than just my high school, it was my home. Sacred Heart gave me the education and the confidence to thrive and succeed in college, and eventually in my current role at the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce.
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Spirit can be defined as a strong loyalty or dedication. At Sacred Heart, spirit is at the core of all that we do. As a recent graduate, I saw the strength of Spirit at “the Heart” throughout my four years.
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Sacred Heart High School has truly been very instrumental in my life... The values that were instilled in each of us, along with the fine education that I received from dedicated faculty and staff, continue to be meaningful today.
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The school feels like a family. We watch out for each otherand truly care about each other... Come be part of our sacred Heart High School family I know you, too, will be amazed at what our school has to offer!
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Sacred Heart High School is not just a building. It is an investment in life that continues to pay dividends... The Sacred Heart experience is an immersion in a family which will stay with you forever.
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Sacred Heart High School offers students a supportive environment where they can grow and excel in academics, grow in self-confidence, and grow in faith, all of which were so important to our family.
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As we look back, we realize that our years at Sacred Heart not only prepared us to be successful in college, but also set a standard for how to live our lives.
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At Sacred Heart High School, being a student-athlete allowed me to develop leadership skills and instilled in me a passion for success!
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Sacred Heart’s rigorous academic program, combined with its nurturing and spiritual learning environment, provided me with the knowledge, the values, and the social maturity that I needed to be successful in college, in law school, and in my legal career.
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