July 30, 2021

How to qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program

Background

The Choice Scholarship (voucher) Program was established in 2011 to provide every Indiana student access to the school that best meets their learning needs. The Choice Scholarship provides qualified students financial aid to help pay tuition at a non-public school of their choice.

How to Qualify

STEP 1: MEET INCOME REQUIREMENT: Families must meet the income requirement of 300% of the federal Free or Reduced-Price School Meals (FRL):

Income chart

STEP 2: MEET A PATHWAY: The student must then meet one of the following student eligibility criteria referred to as “pathways” or “tracks”:

  • Two Semesters in a Public School Track – The student attended an Indiana K-12 public school (including a charter) for at least two semesters immediately preceding the first semester of receiving a Choice Scholarship
  • “F” Public School Track – The student would be required to attend a specific public school based on his/her residency that that has been assigned an “F” grade. (However, he or she is not required to attend that public school before becoming eligible nor return to that school should the grade be raised).
  • Special Education Track – The student has a disability that requires special education services and has an individualized education plan (IEP) or service plan (SP).
  • Pre-K Track – The student received an Early Education Grant (On My Way Pre-K) and is attending kindergarten at the same school that they attended for preschool.
  • Foster Care Track – The student is in foster care.
  • Sibling Track – The sibling of the newly applying student received either a Choice Scholarship or an SGO Scholarship in a previous school year, including a school year that does not immediately precede the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.
  • Previous Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Track – The student received an SGO Scholarship in a previous school year, including a school year that does not immediately precede the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.
  • Previous Choice Scholarship Student Track – The student received a Choice Scholarship in the school year immediately preceding the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline to apply for a 2021-22 Choice Scholarship?

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is currently accepting applications for the fall semester. Applications for this upcoming semester must be submitted by September 1, 2021.

How do I apply for the Choice Scholarship?

Students must first apply and be accepted into a non-public, voucher-accepting school; then the school will submit the student’s Choice Scholarship application to the IDOE.

How much funding will my student receive under a Choice Scholarship?

A Choice Scholarship amount is the lesser of:

  • Tuition and fees charged at the eligible school or
  • 90% of the per-student state funding for the student’s school corporation of residence.

Does every school accept the Choice Scholarship?

No. Only non-public schools that have applied to the IDOE to be a Choice Scholarship accepting school participate. Currently, there are over 300 Choice accepting schools in Indiana. A full list can be found on the IDOE’s website. (https://www.doe.in.gov/choice/2021-2022-participating-choice-schools)

Does the Choice Scholarship last the entirety of my child’s education?

No. A Choice Scholarship is awarded annually to a qualified student. A student must apply each year and must continue to meet the program’s income eligibility and pathway requirements.

Where can I find more information?

Contact the non-public school of your choice to find more resources and learn if your child might qualify.


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