Provider FAQs

General Questions


General Questions

    Which students are eligible to participate?

    Eligibility is determined by attendance and/or assignment to a public school building which has been rated in “academic emergency” or "academic watch" for two of the past three years.

    The following students are eligible to apply for an EdChoice scholarship:

    • Students currently enrolled in and attending EdChoice-designated public school buildings (schools rated in Academic Emergency or Academic Watch for two of the last three years) in their resident district;
    • Students enrolled in a community school who would otherwise be assigned to one of the EdChoice-designated public school buildings, or;
    • Students currently enrolled in a regular public school in their resident district or community school who would be assigned to attend one of the EdChoice-designated public school buildings for the upcoming school year. This provision is for students moving from level of school to the next. For example, public school students moving from elementary to middle school would be eligible to apply if the middle school that they would be assigned to in the fall is designated for EdChoice;
    • Students eligible to enter kindergarten in the next school year who would be assigned to one of the EdChoice public school buildings.

    Under current law, students that receive a scholarship can renew it each school year through 12th –grade, as long as the student:

    • Does not move to another public school district, unless the student would be assigned to an EdChoice-designated public school in the student’s new district
    • Takes all required Ohio Achievement Assessments
    • Has good school attendance. Students who are absent for more than 20 days in a school year must have written documentation that the absences were excused, for reasons such as illness or injury, bereavement, etc.

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    Which private schools can register to participate in the program?
    Any chartered nonpublic school in Ohio can choose to participate in the program; however, student eligibility is limited to those students in the categories listed above.

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    Are there eligible students in my area?
    If one or more of the public schools in your general area are currently on the list of EdChoice-designated public school buildings, students in your area may be interested in applying for an Ohio EdChoice Scholarship.

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    What is the scholarship amount?
    The maximum scholarship amounts are currently set at $4,250 for elementary school students (grades kindergarten through eight) and $5,000 for high school students (grades 9 through 12) and this maximum amount will adjust slightly every year. The actual scholarship amount paid by the state will be the school’s actual tuition amount for a student or the maximum scholarship amount, whichever is less.

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    How will students apply?
    ODE will open the EdChoice Scholarship application window for the upcoming school year on Feb. 1, 2013 through April 19, 2013. To apply for an EdChoice Scholarship, a student must first be accepted for fall enrollment at a participating chartered nonpublic school. Therefore, the nonpublic schools are the “point of entry” for students wishing to receive an EdChoice Scholarship. ODE manages a secure Web-based student application system and participating private school staff members have access to the system to enter student application data.

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    What does my school need to do to participate?

    In general, to participate in the EdChoice program, a nonpublic school must hold a valid state charter and comply with the Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools. Each chartered nonpublic school participating in the EdChoice program will be required to register with ODE and agree to follow the rules of the program, including administering Ohio Achievement Assessments.

    The specific requirements are listed on the Statement of Intent to Participate, located on page 2 of the chartered nonpublic school registration form

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    My school has not yet registered – can we still register to participate in the program?

    ODE is continuing to accept registrations from chartered nonpublic schools that are interested in participating in the EdChoice Scholarship program. We are updating the listing of participating schools on our Web site as we receive additional school registrations.

    If your school is interested in participating and accepts the program requirements, you can print a copy of the registration form and complete the required information, sign both sides of the form, and mail it to ODE (address is on the form). You can also fax a copy to (614) 466-8700 – if you fax, please also mail the hard copy so ODE has an original, signed copy on file.

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    What is the general program implementation timeline?

    The program implementation timeline is as follows:

    • Feb – Student application process for the 2013-2014 school year begins.
    • Mid-April – Student application and renewal process ends.
    • Mid-June – ODE and schools complete student application verifications.
    • July  – Scholarships awarded by lottery if necessary. Students and schools notified of scholarship awards.
    • August/September –  school year begins. New EdChoice Scholarship students begin attending participating private schools.

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    Can participating schools charge fees to EdChoice Scholarship students or their families?

    The EdChoice Scholarship covers tuition only. If a school has fees that are charged to parents that are not considered part of tuition, then those fees can be charged to the families of EdChoice students. Such fees may include application fees, workbook fees, lab fees, etc. ODE will be requesting that participating schools submit tuition policies and fee schedules.

    If your school has a “registration fee” or “tuition down-payment” that is charged to incoming families and that is later applied to tuition, that fee is part of the tuition and should not be charged to EdChoice Scholarship-eligible students.

    Please remember that many EdChoice Scholarship families have limited ability to pay fees. Therefore, ODE may contact schools to discuss any fees that exceed $100.

    Please contact EdChoice Program staff if you have questions about any specific fees at our toll free number 877-644-6338.

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    Can I charge EdChoice families tuition if my school’s tuition amount exceeds the EdChoice Scholarship maximum amount?

    If your nonpublic school charges tuition that exceeds the maximum amount of the EdChoice scholarship and if the student’s family income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, by law, your school cannot charge the family the difference.

    If the student’s family income is above 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, the family may choose to either pay the tuition difference or carry out volunteer service at your nonpublic school in lieu of cash payment of tuition.

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    To which grades do testing requirements apply?
    The Ohio Achievement Assessments are given to students in grades 3 through 8. The Ohio Graduation Test is a group of tests required for graduation from high school that are first given to 10th -graders. Your school should already be administering the OGT if you have high school students.

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    What assessment tests are required and how do schools access them?
    If your school registers to participate in the EdChoice program, ODE will provide you with the appropriate achievement Tests

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    Are students required to get a specific passing grade on the Ohio Achievement Assessments? Will low scores prohibit a student from moving on to the next grade?
    The law requires that each EdChoice scholarship student take the applicable grade-level tests; it does not require that students achieve a specific level of proficiency.

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    Will all students in my nonpublic school be required to take the tests, or is it just for EdChoice system students?
    Only EdChoice scholarship students will be required by law to take the Achievement Assessments. Your school could choose to test all students and ODE would provide the tests.

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Last Modified: 4/15/2013 10:37:19 PM