Nebraska

Nebraska Education Scholarships

  • Voucher
  • Enacted 2024
  • Launched 2024

Nebraska education scholarships provide financial grant-in-aid benefits to families to offset part or all the cost to pay for a nongovernment, private education at a qualified school in Nebraska. The program prioritizes students from low-income families and the sizable award provides more equitable access.

We do not administer this program.

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  • $8,584

    Initial account value

  • 25%

    Scholarships will be available to students in the bottom performing 25% of schools

  • 75%

    Account value as a percentage of public school per-student spending

Student Funding

The education scholarships program provides families with a financial grant-in-aid of $8,584 annually to pay for the cost to educate an eligible child.

A $10,000,000 direct appropriation, beginning for fiscal year 2024-2025, funds the program for scholarships, with up to 7.5% allowable for administrative costs.

A priority system for awarding scholarships. The first priority group is students currently receiving a scholarship through the program or students who received a scholarship under the Opportunity Scholarship Act, prior to its repeal, during the previous school year and siblings residing in the same household of students receiving scholarships.

Second priority goes to eligible students from a household with an income not exceeding 185% of the federal poverty level; a student whose application for public enrollment transfer established in section 79-234 has been denied; students with an individualized education program; students experiencing bullying, harassment, hazing, assault, battery, kidnapping, robbery, sexual offenses, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school; students in foster care; and students in a family with a parent or guarding in an active duty role in a branch of armed forces, or whose parent or guardian was killed serving in the line of duty.

Third priority is for students from household incomes between 185% of the federal poverty level and 213% of the federal poverty level.

The final priority group is students from households greater than 213% of the federal poverty level but less than 300% of the income eligibility for the free and reduced lunch program.

(Last updated June 5, 2024)  

Student Eligibility

To qualify for program participation, a student must be a Nebraska resident. First time scholarship recipients must be entering kindergarten or ninth grade in a qualified school, or the first-grade level offered by the qualified school; transferring from a public school after at least one full semester immediately prior enrollment; or is the member of an active duty or reserve military family transferring into Nebraska from another state or country.

A student who has previously received an education scholarship through the program and is continuing education at a qualified school remains eligible until the student graduates from high school or reaches twenty-one years of age, whichever comes first.

A student who previously received the Opportunity Scholarship Act, which is repealed effected October 31, 2024, and is continuing education at a qualified school is eligible for the program until completion of high school graduation or until reaching age twenty-one years of age, whichever comes first. Siblings residing in the same household as education scholarship recipients are eligible for participation. Students enrolled in qualified schools with a household income not exceeding 230% of the federal poverty level ($71,760 for a family of four in 2024) qualify for an education scholarship.

(Last updated June 5, 2024)  

EdChoice Expert Feedback

A program’s universality is measured on three points: Student eligibility, funding amount and source, and use of funds. Eligibility and funding amount and source have been explained above. Here, we explain how funds for this program may be used.

Nebraska’s education scholarships may be used to fund all or part of the cost to educate a participating child to attend a qualified privately operating school located in Nebraska.

(Last updated June 5, 2024)  

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: Income priority levels for <185% FPL,185% FPL < 213% FPL, and 213%FPL<300%FRL
  • Prior year public school requirement: Limited requirement
  • Geographic limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: Limited by Appropriation- Up to 1,164 Scholarships Available
  • Account Value: $8, 584
  • Testing Mandates: None
  • Budget Cap: $10 million

Parent Requirements: 

  • None 

School Requirements: 

  • Nongovernmental and privately operated elementary or secondary school located in Nebraska
  • Operated not for profit
  • Comply with antidiscrimination provisions of 42 U.S.C. 1981 as such section existed on January 1, 2024
  • Comply with all health and life safety laws or codes that apply to privately operated schools
  • Fulfill accreditation and approval requirements established by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 79-318

(Last updated June 5, 2024)  

Governing Statutes

None.

(Last updated June 5, 2024)