Who qualifies?

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program, which launched officially during the 2014-15 school year, seeks to help our state’s low-income and working-class families obtain a quality education for their children. Program eligibility requirements are based on household income and student enrollment, and are included in the table below.

All families must apply through the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority website.

2016-17 North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program Income Eligibility


*Household can include anyone residing in the same household as you. For example, this could mean a grandmother or aunt residing in your residence.

Additionally, at least one of the criteria below must be met. A student must:

  • Have received this scholarship the previous year
  • Have been enrolled in a North Carolina public school for the entire Spring 2016 semester
  • Be entering kindergarten or first grade
  • Be a child in foster care
  • Be a child whose adoption decree was entered no more than a year prior to applying for the scholarship

 Who gets priority to receive a scholarship?

  • First priority is given to eligible students who received a scholarship during the previous school year and reapply by the end of the priority application cycle.
  • New families who apply by March 1 each year will be considered in the first lottery.
  • New families not receiving a scholarship in the lottery or applying after the March 1 priority application deadline will be placed on a waitlist and awarded scholarships based on their number on the waitlist.

Click here to return to NC Opportunity Scholarship menu.