The new Opportunity Scholarship Program expands school choice in North Carolina by providing education scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year for eligible children who choose to attend private school. The State Education and Assistance Authority (SEAA) will administer the program and award the scholarships. The program’s first scholarships will be awarded for the 2014-2015 school year.
Year 1 (2014-2015 school year)
Eligibility requirements for the first year of the program are slightly different than those for subsequent years. The SEAA is required to make applications available for the 2014-2015 school year no later than February 1, 2014. They must begin awarding grants by March 1, 2014. The SEAA will adopt temporary rules to administer the program for the first year which may include using a random lottery system to award the scholarships.
To qualify for a scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year, a child must:
- Reside in a household with a income level not in excess of the amount required for the student to qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch
- Be a full-time student who has not graduated from high school and attended a public school during the 2014 spring semester
After Year 1
Eligible students must reside in a household with an income level not in excess of 133% of the amount required for the student to qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program. First priority will be given to eligible students who received a scholarship grant during the previous school year.
In addition to meeting the income requirement, a student must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Received a scholarship during the previous school year
- Was a full-time student attending a public school during the previous semester
- Is entering kindergarten or the first grade
- Is a child in foster care
- Is a child whose adoption decree was entered not more than a year prior to applying for the scholarship
Eligibility amount after Year 1:
- $4,200: Students residing in a household with an income level not in excess of the amount required to qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch will be eligible for a scholarship of up to $4,200. No scholarship will exceed $4,200 per year or the amount required to pay for the student’s tuition and fees, whichever is less.
- 90% of tuition and fees: Students residing in a household with an income level between 100% and 133% of the amount required to qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch will be eligible to receive a scholarship of up to 90% of their tuition and fees at the nonpublic school. This may, in some circumstances, equal the full $4,200.
Additional information about the program will be made available on the State Education Assistance Authority’s website: www.ncseaa.edu
Office of Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam:
Amy O’Neal, 919-715-2644
General Office Phone Number: 919-733-2962
Office of Rep. Rob Bryan,
General Office Phone Number: 919-733-5607
More Information About Opportunity Scholarship Grants
SB 402: Opportunity Scholarship Provision