The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

New Hampshire - School Choice Scholarship Program

Enacted 2012 • Launched 2013 • Tax-Credit Scholarship

New Hampshire offers tax credits to businesses for donations to nonprofits that provide private school scholarships. Available tax credits were capped at $3.4 million in the first year and are capped at $5.1 million in the second year. That cap will increase by 25 percent per year thereafter if usage is above 80 percent.

Latest Stats (2012-13)

  • Students participating: 103
  • Schools participating: 47
  • Scholarship organizations: 1
  • Average scholarship value: $1,246

Program Details

Student Funding
The average value of all scholarships given by a scholarship organization cannot exceed $2,500, except for students with special needs, whose scholarships cannot be less than $4,375. That amount is adjusted each year to reflect the changes in the Consumer Price Index. For homeschoolers, the scholarship is limited to 25 percent of the program’s average scholarship, or $625.

Student Eligibility
Students must be ages five to 20 and must come from households where family income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line ($70,650 for a family of four in 2013-14). In the first two years of the program, scholarship organizations are required to award 70 percent of scholarship funds to students who previously attended a public school or who already received a scholarship. Additionally, 40 percent of scholarships awarded must be given to students who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.

Legal Developments
On June 17, 2013, the Strafford County Superior Court ruled New Hampshire’s tax-credit scholarship program unconstitutional under the state constitution’s “No-Aid Clause” because it allowed scholarship funds to be given to students attending religious schools. The judge’s ruling did not completely strike down the program, however, ruling that the tax-credit scholarships could still be used by students to pay tuition at secular nonpublic schools and out-of-district public schools, or to pay homeschooling costs. The decision is expected to be appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Duncan v. State of New Hampshire, Strafford County Superior Court, Docket No. 219-2012-CV-00121.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: 300 percent x poverty
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: Yes
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Scholarship Cap: $2,500 (average)
• Testing Mandates: None
• Credit Value: 85 percent
• Total Credit Cap: None
• Budget Cap: $5.1 million

Governing Statutes
N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 77-G:1-10

Friedman Contact
Michael Chartier | michael@edchoice.org

Related Research

10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
5/1/2004 The Constitutionality of School Choice in New Hampshire

Related News

3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
3/29/2013 Hiner | Don't stand between a child and education
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
8/27/2012 President's Comments: School Choice Still Rising with More States Coming on Board

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