Scholarship Program

La Paz Community School Scholarship Program: Changing the paradigm of education and leadership in Costa Rica, one student at a time.

The La Paz Scholarship program is an essential aspect of our school mission to provide education to the diverse youth of the Guanacaste region. Without accommodating all socioeconomic levels, the vision of a community school would be impossible to fulfill.

What is the La Paz Community School Scholarship Program?

The La Paz Community School Scholarship Program is a donor funded initiative that is aimed at identifying underprivileged children in our communities and offering them a world class education with the expressed intent of creating future leaders who will have the capacity and skills to serve their communities, nations, and the world.  This program matches donors directly to individual students to ensure the success of the student and to provide a tangible and direct connection between you, the donor, and the money you donate.

Donating is safe and simple. Click here to see your options. The Scholarship Program graduates local students equipped with a world-class education and a strong sense of self, family, community and world.  Scholarship students come from lower income families where the annual income is often less than $7,000 USD per year and they may be the first in their family to ever receive a secondary education.  Scholarship students are empowered to attend a college or university of their choosing with the end hope that they return to their communities as strong leaders of change. Download the La Paz Community School – Donor Outreach Program Summary FAQ

What is unique about La Paz’s scholarship program? La Paz provides a world class, bilingual education utilizing the highly prestigious, globally recognized International Baccalaureate curriculum.  The core of this curriculum is to challenge students to think independently, question paradigms, and learn through experience, not rote memorization. This is a paradigm shift in education, especially in Latin America and Costa Rica.  The traditional model teaches basic literacy through repetition, and while the results yield students that can read and write, they are typically not equipped to think independently, problem solve, develop enduring solutions, and be leaders in their communities.  This model has resulted in Costa Rica remaining a developing nation that struggles to compete in our ever smaller global community. La Paz graduates true leaders equipped to change and advance their community during their years at La Paz and beyond.  La Paz does this by providing a high-quality, meaningful, engaging education that encourages intellectual discourse while developing the personal, emotional and social skills of each child.

How will I as a donor know how my money is being spent? How will you connect with me and make me feel like my donation is being spent wisely? Approximately 95% of Scholarship Donations go directly to the education of the sponsored student. Donors who commit to the Scholarship Program are paired with an individual student.  Scholarship students will write to you, update you on their schooling, tell you about their families and their lives, and maintain a connection with you on a regular basis.  In addition you’ll receive updates from their teachers and if you visit us personally, you will meet them and have a chance to build a personal relationship with them.  Through this program of pairing, you are able to see the direct impact of your donation on the life of a specific student year after year.  The remaining 5% of your donation is used to administer the overhead costs associated with the Scholarship Program. Donate to our Scholarship Fund 2013-09-09 10.27.19 La Paz Community School 2013-09-13 08.46.48

Is my donation Tax Deductible? La Paz Community School is recognized as a non-profit association in Costa Rica as well as a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization in the United States (EIN# 42-1649091). As a result, donations made in both countries are tax deductible.

How much does it cost to sponsor the education of a child at La Paz, and what if I cannot afford the full tuition every year? Full scholarships for primary school and secondary school are $7500 and $10,000, respectively.  If sponsors cannot pay for a full scholarship, we link them with other like-minded donors who work as a team toward the educational success of an individual.  

How are La Paz scholarship students selected? The selection process for scholarship students is rigorous and comprehensive. Local community leaders first recommend potential scholarship students. The La Paz Scholarship Committee then conducts interviews and home visits and carefully considers factors such as the family’s economic need, the social and cognitive ability of the child, family support/involvement, and future family goals.  Scholarships are renewed annually based upon the student’s academic achievement, attendance, behavior, financial need and fulfillment of family cooperative hours.

How are La Paz scholarship students/families supported? Since La Paz operates as a non-profit co-operative, each sponsored family is asked to contribute a small amount of money per year in order to ensure a sense of ownership and investment in their child’s education. In addition to financial commitments, all families (including sponsored families) are asked to donate a set number of cooperative hours to the school each term:  this volunteerism fosters an enriched academic environment for our students, gives all La Paz families a sense of purpose and ownership, and builds strong community connections in our area. Scholarship students are connected with a member of the Scholarship Committee who makes ongoing home visits, organizes the parent volunteer hours, addresses any concerns, and communicates with the family and teachers throughout the year. Scholarship students and their families are an integral part of the La Paz community.  Parents are proud of the success of their children, grateful for the educational opportunity, and deeply invested in the school community.  The La Paz teaching staff maintains close relationships with scholarship families through frequent home visits, open communication, and positive goal setting.

Is there a minimum amount that I have to donate in order to participate? No! The Scholarship Program gladly supports donors of any amount, and we pair multiple donors together with a student when no single donation covers the entire tuition requirement.  Additionally, you can choose to make a single donation or a recurring donation on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

I want to learn more.  What other resources are available to me? The best way to get answers to your direct questions is to talk to us.  We welcome open and transparent dialogue with all donors and those interested in becoming a donor.  Please email us at with your name and phone number and a board member or the school director will be in direct contact with you shortly.  Regardless of where you are located in the world, we will give you a call.