What Ohio’s EdChoice program can mean for you, and what scholarship money could be available
Updated: Sep 28
Ohio recently expanded the EdChoice program to allow families of all income levels to apply for some scholarships to be used in grades K-8 and 9-12. The program provides state-funded scholarships to K-12 students who meet the eligibility criteria. The scholarship must be used to attend private schools that meet the requirements for program participation. You can find a complete list of the schools in your county by clicking the link here and selecting your county from the dropdown menu.
For 2023, the maximum voucher a family can qualify for in grades K-8 is $6,165, and for 9-12, $8,407. This maximum voucher amount is reduced as household income increases. Those in the highest bracket can only receive a maximum of $650 for grades K-8 and $950 for grades 9-12. The voucher amount is based on household income and the percentage above the federal poverty level. The federal poverty levels are adjusted for family size. You can find a complete breakdown of this in the chart below.
Use your household income and family members to find out your maximum voucher. Then, divide that number by the poverty guideline to get a percentage. For example, for a family of 4 making $140,000 a year, $140,000 / $30,000 is 4.66. Convert to a percentage, 466%, and use the following chart to see what voucher you would qualify for.
So, in the above example, the family would be eligible for $5,200 for grades K-8 and $7,050 9-12. Anyone under 450% qualifies for the maximum voucher.
Here is another chart that displays the scholarship eligibility based on income and family size:
Applying for the Ohio EdChoice Scholarship
If you meet the eligibility requirements and have chosen a school, you must complete a scholarship request. The process may vary by school, so check with the school Principal to be sure, but a general guideline of the application process is as follows:
· Verify your income on the Ohio Department of Education’s website.
Use the document below to guide you through the income verification process
· Complete the EdChoice Request Form Application – your school will be able to get you this application.
· Have a copy of your utility bill that shows your name, mailing address, AND service address. EdChoice is particular about it being a utility bill that lists mailing and service addresses.
· Have a copy of your child’s birth certificate
The application, utility bill, and birth certificate will likely get submitted to the school, and they will submit it to Ohio EdChoice, but just check with them on the process.
Then, you must wait for mail confirmation from the Ohio Department of Education regarding the scholarship decision and/or if there are any issues in verifying your income and/or eligibility. Your school will also be notified.
Qualifying for the Scholarships
If you are close to reaching one of the income breakpoints and have access to an employer-sponsored plan, you may want to consider contributing pre-tax dollars to lower your yearly income. This will impact your annual income and scholarship eligibility for next year and might be a good option, especially if you have multiple children receiving the voucher. Your Financial Advisor would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail if you have any questions that are specific to your situation.