Is your family eligible for Ohio’s education scholarship program?
Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program helps students in low-performing public schools and from low-income families access an education that meets their needs.
Thanks to Ohio’s school-choice scholarship program, elementary and high school students in the Buckeye State don’t have to let financial barriers limit their opportunity to get a high-quality education.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the program, and how Ohioans can find out if their family is eligible to participate.
What is the EdChoice Scholarship Program?
Through the Educational Choice Scholarship Program, or EdChoice, Ohio provides scholarships for students to attend private schools or choose another educational alternative that parents believe will best meet their child’s unique needs. These scholarships are available to students attending low-performing public schools, low-income students and students with learning disabilities. The latest expansion of the EdChoice program was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in November 2020, increasing the number of families eligible for the program.
Is my family eligible to receive an EdChoice scholarship?
The “traditional” program offers scholarships for families with household incomes at 200% of the federal poverty line or lower. The expanded program makes scholarships available for first-time applicant families with a household income at 250% of the federal poverty line or below. Families with a household income up to 400% of the federal poverty line are eligible to renew for partial scholarships through the expanded program.
For example, a household of four that earns $66,250 or less is considered 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, meaning that they are eligible for a full EdChoice-Expansion scholarship. A household of four with an income up to $53,000 would be eligible for a traditional EdChoice scholarship.
Where can we check if we qualify?
Click here to see if your child qualifies for a scholarship and to search for nearby private schools that accept the scholarships. Interested families should obtain the Income Verification Form from the scholarship website. The form should be completed and mailed, along with copies of income documents, to the address listed on the form.
When can my family apply?
The scholarship application window for the expanded program in the 2021-2022 year is now open. The priority application window closes May 1.
The traditional EdChoice program application will be made available starting March 2.
How to apply for the EdChoice Scholarship Program
Please visit the EdChoice Scholarship Program homepage for relevant forms and further details. Once parents know their child qualifies for the EdChoice Scholarship Program, the next step is to find a participating private school and apply for enrollment.
Students must first be accepted for enrollment at the participating private school and then apply for the scholarship. The private school will submit the scholarship application for your child through the secure online scholarship application system.
I’m a parent renewing my child’s EdChoice scholarship, do we still qualify?
Families renewing their child’s EdChoice-Expansion scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year may fall into three eligible household income brackets that determine their scholarship amounts:
- Households with an income at 250% or below the federal poverty line are eligible for full scholarships, amounting up to $4,650 for grades K-8 and $6,000 for grades 9-12.
- Households with an income in the range of 251% to 300% of the federal poverty line may receive up to 75% of the scholarship, with a maximum award of $3,487.50 for K-8 students and $4,500 for students in grades 9-12.
- Households with an income in the range of 301% to 400% of the federal poverty line may receive up to 50% of the scholarship, with a maximum award of $2,325 for K-8 students and $3,000 for students in grades 9-12.
What’s different about the EdChoice program this year?
A recent bill signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine expanded access to the program by increasing the family income eligibility level for income-based EdChoice scholarships, raising it to 250% of the poverty line from 200%. The program’s income-based scholarships are available to families regardless of the performance ranking of their public school.
The expansion also increased the program’s threshold, based on school performance, to the lowest ranking 20% of schools – as determined by the Ohio Department of Education. Previously, students attending the lowest ranking 10% of schools were eligible for the program.
For the 2021-2022 school year, any student who received a scholarship during the previous school year is guaranteed a spot and will continue to receive one until they complete the 12th grade, as long as they maintain eligibility.
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