To be eligible, students must meet the following requirements:
Qualifying families can earn up to (but not exceed) 300% of the Federal Free or Reduced-Price Lunch Program (FRL). For example, a family of four can earn up to $154,012.50 in the 2022–23 school year. In Northwest Indiana, nearly 80% of families are financially eligible for the scholarship. For more information, visit the Indiana Department of Education.
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The total household income may include several types of income including wages earned from work, welfare/child support/alimony, retirement/disability benefits, and more.
Students must also meet the requirements of one of eight possible student eligibility tracks. The tracks are listed below and outlined in more detail with the Indiana Department of Education.
No, preschool students cannot currently receive a Choice Scholarship. However, students who received an Early Education Grant to attend pre-K at an eligible Choice school at which they intend to enroll for kindergarten and are from families that meet the income requirement are eligible to apply for a Choice Scholarship that could potentially kick in before first grade.
Kindergarten students may be eligible. In order to qualify, a student must satisfy one of the eight eligibility tracks and each of the following requirements:
Yes, the applications are technically separate, but the school at which your child is enrolled is responsible for submitting the Choice Scholarship application on behalf of your child. Once you have applied and are accepted to a Choice school, the school will then begin the process of submitting your application for the Choice Scholarship. Only an approved Choice school may submit a Choice Scholarship student application.
Only approved Choice schools may submit applications. Your application will be submitted by the approved Choice school after you have applied to that school and been accepted through their regular school admissions process.
Before starting your application, make sure you have researched schools in your area to ensure you have found the school that is the right fit for your child and family. Next, check to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship. You can also use the calculator at NWIChoiceScholar.org to see how much your child may qualify for.
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), Office of School Finance, reviews Choice Scholarship applications and determines who is awarded scholarships.
Once your Indiana Choice Scholarship application has been submitted, the Choice school will then review your materials and issue an award letter or a denial letter. If you receive an award letter, the initial amount listed is an estimated award amount. The actual amount will be updated and issued later on in the school year when all necessary information becomes available.
Students may continue to receive free or reduced lunch, as well as curricular materials assistance, so long as they qualify for such assistance and those costs are not already included in the tuition fees and amounts covered by the Indiana Choice Scholarship.
Yes, siblings may be eligible under the Sibling Track pathway. To be eligible under the Sibling Track, the student's sibling must have received a Choice Scholarship or SGO award in any previous school year. This means that, for the 2021-2022 school year, the sibling must have received the Indiana Choice Scholarship or SGO award in any year up to and including the 2020-2021 school year.
No, you do not need to be Catholic to qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship and attend a Catholic school. The Choice schools affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Gary welcome all students and families, regardless of religion, ethnicity, race, or income.
You can check your eligibility using the NWI Choice Scholar tool, powered by Big Shoulders Fund. Find out if you are a candidate, here: NWIChoiceScholar.org.