Opportunity Scholarship Program

Program Information

  • V
  • Program Type: Voucher Program, Means Tested

Student Participation

  • Student must meet at least one of the following:
    • Received an Opportunity Scholarship last year (renewal); or
    • Was a full-time student attending an NC public school or Department of Defense school in NC last spring semester; or
    • Was entering kindergarten or 1st grade; or
    • Was in foster care or was adopted within the last year; or
    • Have a parent on full-time active duty with the military
  • Family income cannot exceed 133% of the amount required to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program ($61,758 for family of four in 2018)
  • Register with the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, thus meeting the following criteria:
    • Administer to all students in grades 3, 6, 9 and 11 each school year a nationally standardized achievement test
  • Meet state nondiscrimination policies
  • Provide the state with documentation for tuition and fees charged
  • Conduct criminal background checks on staff members with the highest decision-making authority
  • Provide parents with an annual written explanation of the student’s progress, including scores on standardized achievement tests
  • Annually administer a nationally standardized test to scholarship students and provide the test results to the state
  • Provide graduation rates of scholarship students to the state
  • Contract with a certified public accountant to perform a financial review for schools receiving more than $300,000 in scholarship grants

Data Update

Schools Participating
2016 Expenditures


Scholarship Cap
- Whichever is less:
-- $4,200
-- Tuition and fees
-- 90% of tuition and fees for students with a family income exceeding income level for free or reduced-price lunch qualification ($46,435 for family of four in 2018)
Enrollment Cap
- Kindergarten and 1st grade awards may not exceed 40% of total scholarships awarded
Program Funding
- $24.8 million (2016–17)
- $34.8 million (2017–18)
- $44.8 million (2018-19)