First Year EdChoice Applicants Surpass 5,000

Aug 16, 2011, 17:36 ET from School Choice Ohio

Summer application period pushes number of new applicants to the most since 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanks to a recent expansion to the EdChoice Scholarship Program, an additional 1,606 students took advantage of a summer application window to apply for an EdChoice scholarship for the upcoming school year. These additional students pushed the total number of new applicants to the program this year to more than 5,000 for the first time in four years.

The summer application period for the 2011-2012 school year is now closed, and the Ohio Department of Education reported that of the 1,606 applicants, 31 are renewals and 1,575 are new. These summer applicants join the 15,397 students who applied during the original application period, which means a total of 17,003 Ohio students applied to participate in the EdChoice Scholarship Program this year.

"Even during the summer when school is the last thing on most parents' minds, interest in the EdChoice program remains strong," said School Choice Ohio Executive Director Chad Aldis. "The combined number of new applications in the spring and summer application windows has resulted in the most new entrants to the program since 2007."

The Ohio Department of Education opened the summer application window to accommodate newly eligible families and eligible families that were unable to apply during the original application period.

The state budget, signed by Gov. John Kasich on June 30, increased the number of EdChoice scholarships available from 14,000 to 30,000 this year and 60,000 next year. In addition, students who attend public schools that are in the bottom 10 percent of schools in the state, based on Performance Index scores, are now eligible. It is estimated that the number of eligible students increased from 85,000 to 90,000.

"Unfortunately, school choice is still not a reality for many families in the state," said Aldis. "While the expansions made in the state budget were a great step forward for school choice in Ohio, there is still work that must be done to ensure that all families in the state have the same opportunity to choose the best learning environment for their child."

EdChoice scholarships are worth up to $4,250 per year at the elementary and middle school level and up to $5,000 per year at the high school level. Once a student receives a scholarship, he or she can continue to renew the scholarship through high school graduation.

For more information about Ohio's educational choices, visit

School Choice Ohio (SCO) is committed to the goal of every child in Ohio having access to a quality education. Because this is not yet a reality, the organization works tirelessly to educate both the public and our leaders on the importance of empowering parents to find the best educational setting for the needs of their children. SCO believes that all parents should have the opportunity to choose which school is best for their children, regardless of their income level.

SOURCE School Choice Ohio