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In first round, 13,511 Opportunity Scholarship offers sent to low-income families

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The N.C. State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) has notified the families of 13,511 students that they have been offered an Opportunity Scholarship for the 2024-25 school year, according to a press release. These students are “new” students, which means they do not currently receive an Opportunity Scholarship.

Opportunity Scholarships are state-funded vouchers families can use to pay for eligible private schools. NCSEAA is the state agency designated by law to administer K12 scholarship programs, including the Opportunity Scholarship.

EdNC previously reported that about 72,000 applications were received ahead of the deadline on March 1, 2024.

Families were notified on March 29, 2024, and all of the families notified of offers were in Tier 1, which consists of households with the lowest income levels and whose student will receive up to the maximum scholarship amount of $7,468 based on the tuition and fees charged by the private school they will attend.

Families in Tier 1 must accept or decline the award offer by April 19, 2024, or it will expire, according to the press release. To do so, families must log into their MyPortal account, go to their To-Do List, and click on “Respond to Award Offer.” Here is more information.

Courtesy of NCSEAA

NCSEAA also notified the other families who applied for Opportunity Scholarships. Families can see notifications in their MyPortal account.

In early May, NCSEAA will extend offers to some Award Tier 2 families — how many are extended will depend on the how many Tier 1 families accept or decline their offers.

“There are not sufficient funds available to offer students in Tiers 3 and 4 an award,” said the press release. “If additional funds become available, NCSEAA will notify families as soon as possible.”

As of Jan. 23, 2024, 32,341 students had Opportunity Scholarships in North Carolina. You can hover on the counties in this map to see how many recipients each county currently has.

Keep in mind that what we don’t know is how many of the new students receiving offers for the Opportunity Scholarships were already in private school.

Stay tuned.

Clarification: This article was updated on April 2, 2024, with additional information provided by NCSEAA to clarify that the maximum award amount is also based on the tuition and fees charged by the private school attended.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.