North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship

 

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Act was passed by the General Assembly in July 2013 to help students from low-income and working class families attend private school by offering them state-funded tuition scholarships of up to $4,200 per student per year.  Since the program launched in the 2014-15 school year, it has faced a number of legal challenges. However, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Opportunity Scholarship Program in July 2015.

Read a statement from PEFNC’s President Darrell Allison about that decision here. Read the Opinion of the Court here and here. The 2015-16 school year thus represented the Opportunity Scholarship Program’s first year free of looming legal challenges and has ushered in an era of unprecedented program stability for families statewide.

Fast facts on Opportunity Scholarship Program participation:

  • More than 1,200 students received scholarships during the Program’s first year of operation in 2014-15.
  • Families have submitted nearly 23,000 student applications in the three years since the Program launched.
  • The Program is expected to serve 6,200 students for the 2016-17 school year.
  • Generally, 90 percent of recipients choose to renew their scholarships.
  • More than 420 North Carolina private schools are now registered to participate in the Program.
  • Massive funding expansion now provides for significant growth in participation over the next decade. Because of the expansion, which was signed into law in July 2016, an additional 2,500 scholarships will be available to students each year for the next 10 years. By 2028-29, nearly 36,000 students could receive scholarships worth up to $4,200.

Data from the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

Which counties lead the state in Opportunity Scholarship recipients?

Counties OSP Participation

Source: North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

Which counties lead the state in Opportunity Scholarship applicants?

Counties OSP Application

Source: North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

To stay up to date on the Opportunity Scholarship application process, sign up for PEFNC’s e-newsletter here.

For more information, read the 2016 Opportunity Scholarship Facts or click on the banners below.