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1,706 Applications Received for EdChoice Scholarships Available to Income Eligible Families

Release date: 8/9/2013

COLUMBUS, OH – Approximately 1,700 kindergarten students applied for the Educational Choice Scholarship Program, or EdChoice Scholarship under an expansion to the program passed as part of the FY 2014-2015 budget.

The legislation, signed into law by Gov. John Kasich as part of the state’s budget bill, expanded the EdChoice Scholarship program already in place, offering approximately 2,000 additional kindergarten students the opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend a private school each year.

Those applications were due July 31, and the department of education is currently reviewing the applications to determine how many applicants meet the eligibility criteria. The department hopes to begin sending award letters by mid-August. Because there were less than 2,000 applicants, there will not be a lottery.

The EdChoice Scholarship was created to provide students from underperforming public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The program provides up to 60,000 EdChoice Scholarships to eligible students.

The expansion of the EdChoice Scholarship became available for low-income students who do not qualify for the current EdChoice program. Students awarded a scholarship will receive up to $4,250 to attend a private school of their choice and are able to renew the award annually.

To be eligible for the expansion of the EdChoice Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Students entering kindergarten for the first time in the 2013-2014 school year;
  • Students who are not eligible for the Cleveland or traditional EdChoice Scholarship programs; and
  • Students from families that earn 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines (for a family of four the threshold is $46,100 based on 2012 federal poverty guidelines).

For more information about federal poverty guidelines please visit http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Other-Resources/Scholarships/EdChoice-Scholarship-Program/EdChoice-Scholarship-Forms-Resources/2012FederalPovertyGuidelines.pdf.aspx.

Once awarded, students may renew their scholarship in subsequent school years. Students will remain eligible if the student’s family income does not raise above 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Renewal award amounts will decrease should the family income level increase.

For more information about the EdChoice Scholarship Program, please visit our website at http://edchoice.ohio.gov.