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NC Opportunity Scholarship Application Period is Now Open for the 2024-2025 School Year

The Opportuntiy Scholarship website on a laptop

Last week, North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program application period opened, allowing parents to apply to scholarships to go towards their child’s non-public K-12 education. This means that if you think your child would thrive in a private school or other non-public option, you may be eligible to receive thousands of dollars to help cover those costs. The North Carolina General Assembly expanded this program last year, and here’s what you need to know.

Opportunity Scholarship Eligibility

  • Hundreds of non-public schools across the state participate in the Opportunity Scholarship program, and the scholarship covers tuition, fees for books, transportation, equipment, and other expenses required by the school. You can see the full list of schools here.
  • Scholarships are provided on a sliding scale depending on family income, so all families can apply regardless of their income level. Learn more about how much you may be eligible to receive. (Opportunity Scholarship funds are not unlimited, so scholarships will be granted as long as the appropriated funds are available.)
  • To be eligible, students must:
    • Be at least 5 years old by August 31 or at least 4 years old by April 16 and approved for kindergarten according to State guidelines;
    • Live in North Carolina;
    • Not have graduated from high school;
    • Not have enrolled in a post-secondary institution full-time.

Don’t wait! The application closes on March 1st, and the awards begin in April!

Every child and family is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all option for education. Whether it’s a desire for your child to receive a Christian education, to go to school in an environment that suits their learning style, or even to be educated in a hybrid model where parents can be more hands-on, there are schools designed to meet these requirements.

More About the Opportunity Scholarship Program

North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program was created in 2013 with the intent of helping equip lower-income families with the resources they need to enroll their children in the school that best meets their needs. The program has continued to expand ever since, and in the 2023-2024 State Budget, the General Assembly further expanded program eligibility and funding. State lawmakers appropriated $176.5 million in 2023-24, $191.5 million in 2024-25, and this amount increases significantly to $415.5 million in 2025-26, and then increases by $15 million in each of the next six fiscal years, topping $505.5 million in the 2031-2032 fiscal year.

North Carolina has been a leader in the school choice movement for years, and we are so excited to see this continue with initiatives like the Opportunity Scholarship program! You can learn more about what school choice looks like in our state here.

Want to learn more about the types of schools available in North Carolina? We interviewed leaders from a variety of schools to learn all about what makes them unique. You can listen to these interviews here.


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