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Opportunity Scholarship NC 2023 – Eligibility, Requirements & How to Apply

Opportunity Scholarship NC program provides low-income children with private school vouchers. 

 

These school vouchers can be used to pay for tuition, transportation, equipment, and other necessary private school expenses by families.

 

OSP has grown from serving just over 1,200 students in 2014 to 12,284 students for the 2019-2020 school year, with 15,000 scholarships available to students this school year to attend the private school of their parent’s choice (2020-21). 

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Furthermore, an estimated 500-1,000 students are still on the waitlist for this school year. OSP will have 36,000 students by the 2028-29 school year, thanks to the North Carolina General Assembly and consistently growing demand for the program. 

 

In this guide you’ll find all the information you need on how to qualify, apply, and make use of this important scholarship opportunity.

 

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What is the Opportunity Scholarship NC

 

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) was founded on the belief that all families in our state, regardless of zip code or income, should have access to the school that best meets their child’s needs. 

 

Since 2014, OSP has served thousands of families and students from across North Carolina through a private school scholarship worth up to $4,200 per year, providing tuition assistance to ensure low-income and working-class families eligible for the program have equal access to the school of their choice.

 

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OSP has grown from serving just over 1,200 students in 2014 to 12,284 students for the 2019-2020 school year, with 15,000 scholarships available to students this school year to attend the private school of their parent’s choice (2020-21). 

Furthermore, an estimated 500-1,000 students are still on the waitlist for this school year.

 

OSP will have 36,000 students by the 2028-29 school year, thanks to the North Carolina General Assembly and the consistently growing demand for the program.

 

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Benefits of Opportunity Scholarship NC

 

The Opportunity Scholarship NC has amazing benefits for all involved! Here are some of the benefits of the scholarship: 

 

  • Allows more low-income and working-class families to send their children to private schools.
  • It removes the financial burden in many households and provides an opportunity for higher-quality education.
  • Opportunity scholarships (vouchers) give families with children in underperforming public schools the choice of sending their child to a private or religious school.
  • Offers parents greater control over how their child receives their education.
  • Increases overall quality of education by encouraging competition between public, charter, virtual and private schools.
  • Provides children with access to a quality education regardless of what neighborhood they live in or if they have a disability or not.
  • Expands educational freedom and choice for parents regardless of the income level of the family or school district they live in.
  • Opportunity Scholarship NC offers a high-quality education at a lower cost.
  • The scholarship is flexible and puts parents in charge of their children’s education.

 

Who is eligible for the scholarship?

 

If a student’s household income does not exceed 175 percent of FRL ($89,841 for a family of four in 2022-23), they are eligible for vouchers. 

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In addition, students must have attended a public school during the previous semester. 

 

Kindergartners, first graders, foster children, dependents of full-time active military members, and children adopted within the last year are eligible for vouchers and do not need to attend a public school.

 

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What are the requirements for the scholarship?

 

  • Comply with all health and safety regulations.
  • Be accredited by the state board of education, a national or regional accrediting agency, or a member of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, or receive no state funding.
  • Provide documentation to the state for tuition and fees charged.
  • Conduct a criminal background check on all employees with the most decision-making authority.
  • Give parents an annual written explanation of the student’s progress, including standardized achievement test scores.
  • Every year, administer a nationally standardized test to voucher students and report the results to the state.
  • Provide the state with graduation rates for voucher students.
  • Contract with a certified public accountant to conduct a financial review for schools that accept students with more than $300,000 in financial aid.

 

Other things to Note

 

The Division of Nonpublic Education shall identify the Eligible School as meeting the requirements of Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes.

 

  • The Eligible School must be located in North Carolina.
  • Participation in the Program is not permitted for home schools as defined in G.S. 115C-563(a).
  • On behalf of Scholarship recipients, the Authority will make direct payments to Eligible Schools.
  • Scholarships shall be awarded to students who meet the eligibility requirements outlined in Rule 0200.
  • Scholarships will be distributed directly to Eligible Schools only after the Authority receives all documentation required under Rules.0401 and.0402 and in a manner acceptable to the authority.
  • Disbursements will not be made until the Parent approves the Scholarship for direct deposit into the account of the Eligible School.
  • Disbursements shall be made at a date determined by the Authority after the start of each Semester.

 

How to apply for the scholarship?

 

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The scholarship is a tuition assistance program for eligible students who attend a direct-payment school. Scholarships are awarded through a lottery system.

 

Step 1: Examine the program specifications.

 

Step 2: Determine your income eligibility.

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Step 3: Create a MyPortal account.

 

Step 4: Fill out an application on MyPortal.

 

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Application Closing Date for Opportunity Scholarship NC

 

The priority deadline for applying for the school year 2022-2023 was March 1, 2022.

 

The next application cycle (for the school year 2023-2024) will begin on February 1, 2023. The priority application deadline is March 1, 2023.

 

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Opportunity Scholarship NC: FAQ

 

Q: How much is the Opportunity Scholarship NC?

A: The Opportunity Scholarship will cover 90% of the required tuition and fees, up to a maximum of $4,200.

 

Q: When can I apply for NC Opportunity scholarship?

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A: The priority deadline for applying for the school year 2022-2023 was March 1, 2022. The next application cycle (for the school year 2023-2024) will begin on February 1, 2023. The priority application deadline is March 1, 2023.

 

Q: How do you get private school vouchers in NC?

A: If a student’s household income does not exceed 175 percent of FRL ($89,841 for a family of four in 2022-23), they are eligible for vouchers. In addition, students must have attended a public school during the previous semester.

 

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Conclusion

 

The Opportunity Scholarship NC 2023 program is a great opportunity for you or your child if you meet the eligibility requirements. 

 

The scholarship is just one of the many ways in which North Carolina has the plan to ensure that every child has an opportunity for quality education and a future.

 

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