What is the Hope Scholarship?
West Virginia parents now have more flexibility and choices to educate their children. The Hope Scholarship, passed in the Legislature during the 2021 Regular Session, is a portion of state-allocated educational dollars that funds a student for use on a range of state-approved educational items.
The Hope Scholarship is an Education Savings Account program, more commonly known as an “ESA.” The Scholarship will allow parents and families to use the money to fund an individualized learning experience that works best for their child.
How much money will my family be eligible to receive?
The new Hope Scholarship gives parents $4,300 each year, per child to customize each individual child’s education. However, that amount may be subject to change each year based on the state’s education funding formula.
I have more than one child. Are they all eligible?
The Hope Scholarship gives eligible parents approximately $4,300 per child, per school year. They will receive the funds in two deposits. The first on August 15 and the second on January 15.
How can I use my child’s Hope Scholarship?
Below is the list of qualified expenses as approved by the Hope Scholarship Board.
- Private or parochial school tuition and fees.
- Tuition and fees for programs of study, curriculum, or supplemental materials in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, or the arts.
- Tuition and fees for programs of study or the curriculum of courses that lead to an industry-recognized credential that satisfies a workforce need.
- Tuition and fees for a program or curriculum that a public school offers to Hope Scholarship students, pursuant to W. Va. Code §18-31-8(f).
- Tutoring services provided by an individual or a tutoring service: Provided, that tutoring services cannot be provided by a member of the Hope Scholarship student’s immediate family.
- Fees for nationally standardized assessments, advanced placement examinations, any examinations related to college or university admission, any examinations for industry certification exams, and tuition and fees for preparatory courses for the aforementioned exams.
- Tuition and fees for nonpublic online learning programs.
- Tuition and fees for alternative education programs.
- Fees for after-school or summer education programs.
- Fees and materials for enrollment in dual credit or college-level courses.
- Educational services and therapies, including, but not limited to, occupational, behavioral, physical, speech-language, and audiology therapies.
- Fees for transportation are paid to a fee-for-service transportation provider for the student to travel to and from an education service provider.
- The cost of school uniforms required by a participating school.
- Vocational supplies or equipment required for a K-12 course of study.
The Board may also approve an expense not listed.
You can view an exhaustive list of qualified expenses on Pages 8 and 9 of the rules.
How many students will be eligible for the Scholarship?
Eligibility is not merit-based. In order to be eligible for the program a child must be:
- Under 21
- A resident of West Virginia
- Currently enrolled in the public school system and have been enrolled for at least forty-five calendar days in an instructional period. Unless your child is going into kindergarten, then the enrollment requirement does not apply.
Your child may be eligible if you answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Are you a resident of West Virginia?
- Is your child be attending, full-time, a public elementary or high school in the state for the 2021/2022 school year?
When will the Hope Scholarship be available to my family?
The program is scheduled to begin in the Fall 2022 school year, with an application period to open by March 1, 2022.
My child is homeschooled. Are they eligible?
If you are currently a homeschool student or enrolled in a private school, you are not eligible for the Hope Scholarship. However, the Hope Scholarship law states that if by 2024, fewer than 5% of current public-school students enroll in the program, then the Hope Scholarship will be available to homeschool and private school West Virginia students in 2026.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO APPLY FOR THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM:
Parents/guardians must complete a letter of intent to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program. You are responsible for sending it to the county superintendent in your county of residence. CLICK HERE for a sample Notice of Intent letter that may be used.
You must create an account through the Education Market Assistant (EMA) portal link HERE before applying.
You will need your child’s WVEIS ID#. This is assigned by your County Board of Education. (If you do not have a WVEIS ID# for your incoming kindergarten student, please contact your county board of education.)