Qualified families interested in participating in North Carolina’s education Opportunity Scholarship Program during this school year can still apply for scholarships for the spring semester! That’s because state lawmakers provided an increase in funding for the school choice program in the State Budget for the 2015-16 school year. The increased funding leaves a significant number of scholarships available for additional students for the second semester that begins in January.
The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), which distributes the scholarships, will leave enrollment open for this school year until January 31, 2016, and will distribute the remaining scholarships as families apply and are determined to be eligible. Visit the NCSEAA website for more details and to submit an application.
In a 4 to 3 ruling in July 2015, the State Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows lower income families to apply for scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year to help cover the costs of sending their children to participating non-public schools. In September, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a State Budget that increased funding for the school choice program to $17.8 million for the current school year, and to $24 million for the 2016-17 school year, which will ultimately allow about 6,000 students to receive scholarships.
For those wishing to apply for Opportunity Scholarships for the 2016-17 school year, that enrollment process will begin on February 1, 2016.