General Ellis Trust Information

You must reapply each year; Ellis grants are not automatically renewed. Students must submit an application each year for which they are seeking funding (i.e. a student who has received Ellis funding for each of her high school years has submitted an application once a year for four years).

Look for the “success” screen after you have clicked the blue APPLY button at the end of the online application. If you don’t see the “success” screen immediately, you will need to review your entire application to make sure all required fields have been completed. Any incomplete fields will be highlighted with instructions in red font. After you have successfully submitted your application you will immediately receive an email confirming your application has been received by the Ellis Trust for Girls. If you do not get this confirmation email, we have NOT received your application.

Yes, if your application is incomplete and we send you an email, within ten business days of your successful submission, detailing what information and/or documents we need to complete our review your application. We will contact you via the email address you used to set up your access to the Ellis online application. It is imperative that you monitor your email inbox for correspondence from the Ellis Trust and act quickly to provide the requested information. Please notify us immediately if your email address changes after you submit your application.

Applicants for Tuition Assistance Grants for Independent and Parochial high school students will be notified of our decision via email by May 1st. Applicants for Enrichment Grants for Public and Charter high school students will be notified via email within ten business days of the Ellis Trust receiving a complete application.

Yes, first you need to set up separate accounts and passwords for the Ellis online application. Do not use the same email to set up these accounts.To be clear each sister should have their own email account and own password so that they can submit their own unique online application.

Yes, if you upload the documentation we require from your social worker/case manager to your online application.

Yes, if you upload documentation confirming your grandparent has been officially appointed as your guardian to your online application.

All online applications will be reviewed with adherence to the academic guidelines. If there are special circumstances, please upload to the online application a letter of explanation from you and your parent/guardian asking for an exception to be made. Submission of the letter, however, does not guarantee your acceptance.

Your COMPASS information can be accessed by going to the COMPASS website OR by using the COMPASS mobile app.
  • If you use the COMPASS Website: Please upload “My COMPASS Account Benefit Details” (typically this is pages 1, 2 & 3) found by clicking “My Benefits” on the MyCOMPASS homepage. Click here to Access COMPASS.
  • If you use the myCOMPASS Mobile App: Please upload information from the “Benefits” and “My Info” sections from the myCOMPASSPA mobile app. You will need to take multiple screenshots to capture the required information.  The YouTube video “myCOMPASSPA: Viewing Benefits-Related Information” can help you navigate the mobile app: Access myCOMPASS video tutorial.
NOTE: Need help registering for COMPASS or accessing your benefit details? Access BenePhilly or call 1-833-373-5868 for assistance.

The Ellis online application is accessible via smartphone, tablet and personal computer. If you do not have access to any of these devices, please contact us at and we will discuss alternative arrangements for application submission.

You can increase your chances of receiving Ellis funding by taking the following steps:

  1. Read all the directions carefully with your parent/guardian so that you are providing all the requested information and documents.
  2. Make sure all the documents you upload are legible and complete (e.g. upload a photo of your current official report card that includes the student name, school name and academic year).
  3. Proofread your application. All information provided on your application must be consistent (e.g., all addresses must be consistent, parent/guardian names must be the same on all documents, etc.). Inconsistent information will result in your application being denied. If you have a reason for an inconsistency appearing on your application (e.g. you have moved since the income taxes were filed), include a note of explanation in the Extenuating Circumstances section of your online application for our review.

Award amounts vary from year to year due to the amount of eligible Ellis Scholars. Our Tuition Assistance Grants vary as school tuitions vary. Our grants do not cover the full cost of tuition. Our Enrichment Grants vary as different students participate in different types of activities. You should apply for any available financial aid in addition to applying for Ellis Trust funding.

No, students may receive funding while they are in grades nine to twelve only. Public and charter students may apply for dual enrollment funding while they are in high school, but Ellis Trust funding is no longer available once a student has graduated from high school.

Your guidance and assistance with the application process will help your daughter put her best foot forward as she takes an important step toward achieving her life and career goals.

Before you and your daughter fill out the Ellis Trust online application:

  • Talk to her about her academic and life goals; she needs you to be interested and involved in her education and career plans.
  • Ask her to reflect on what she wants out of life and how the Ellis Trust for Girls might be able to help her achieve her goals.
  • Offer any support she might need in preparing a strong application — e.g., read all the directions together, provide the necessary current income and dependent documentation, monitor email inbox for and respond promptly to additional information requests, etc.
  • Help her complete and submit her application as soon as possible.

Yes, you will be able to complete a renewal application using your username and password that you used for last years application. If you are unsure about your username and password, you can reach out to Submittable’s Customer Support. If you have a  different email address this year, you can always create a new account.

 Yes. Immigration status is not used to determine eligibility, we just ask that you provide equivalent income and/or dependency documentation for our purposes. All documentation shared with us is kept confidential.

In the application you will be directed to upload the driver’s license or other identification that confirms the current address of the parent that does not live with you.  If you are unable to provide that documentation please contact the Ellis team at (215) 790-1666 x442 or x427 to review your situation.

Yes, you can upload screenshots of your most recent report card as long as the screen shots include:  1)  Student Name, 2)  School Name, and 3)  Academic Year & Marking Period (i.e. 2020/2021 & 3rd qtr)

Heights Philadelphia is the Administrator of the Ellis Trust for Girls and shares our mission of providing educational support to underserved students in Philadelphia. They offer direct programming that connects young men and women to the support, resources, and opportunities they need for post secondary success. Click here to learn more about the programming offered.

Tuition Grants

We will notify your parochial or independent high school of your Tuition Assistance Grant amount and our payment schedule. Tuition Assistant Grant payments will be made directly to your high school, in two installments — one half of the grant each semester. Grant funds will not be provided directly to students or family members.Grants cannot be used to reimburse you for a past year’s tuition costs.

We will provide a Tuition Assistance Grant, on your behalf, to a specific parochial or independent high school for a specific amount. If your enrollment plans change, you must send us a letter requesting permission to transfer your grant from one high school to another. We will consider your request, although grants may not be transferable. We reserve the right to revoke the grant in its entirety, or to adjust the amount, if you request a transfer.

Enrichment Grants

Once you are approved for funding you should make all Enrichment Grant funding requests via the Enrichment Grant Request form. Through this form, you will be providing us the specific information regarding the activity/program you would like the Ellis Trust to fund including program name, dates, price, and program provider contact information. Remember all program providers need to meet the Ellis Trust program provider requirements in order to be approved for funding. Just like students, the program providers must renew their Ellis eligibility annually.

After receiving the notification of acceptance for the Ellis Trust Enrichment grant, the student will receive notification via email with the Back to School Award Agreement form that must be completed. Once the Agreement form is submitted, eligible students will receive their check via USPS in approximately 2-3 business weeks after submitting the form. If the award has not arrived within that time, please email us at or call us at; 215-790-1666 ext 442.

The Back to School Award can be used for school supplies and basic school apparel. This award can be used to purchase school supplies:

  • Backpack, lunchbox & water bottle
  • Notebook, Paper, Journal & Planner
  • Folders & Binders
  • Pens & Pencils & Markers
  • Art Supplies
  • Calculator

Students can also use this award to purchase school appropriate clothing such as:. 

  • Tops, shirts, sweaters & sweatshirts
  • School Uniform
  • Pants, jeans, skirts, leggings, shorts & sweatpants
  • Career/Interview/Intern Dress
  • Outerwear, coat, gloves, scarves & hats
  • Underwear, bras & socks
  • Sneakers, school shoes & athletic wear for fitness
  • Face masks & hand sanitizer
  • Menstrual supplies 

These items should be purchased within 4 weeks of receiving the check.

Students can submit their receipts through their Ellis Enrichment application by logging back into the application, selecting the MESSAGES tab, and creating a new message with the copies/photos of the receipts attached to the message. Once all receipts are attached, hit SEND. If needed, receipts can be sent in multiple messages. 

These receipts need to demonstrate the items purchased were appropriate school supplies and/or basic school apparel. These receipts must be submitted within 4 weeks of receiving the award.

The Ellis Trust will not issue additional funding for back to school items if they exceed the award amount sent to the student. 

It is our expectation that you use the full amount of the award for its intended purpose.