Income-Based Scholarship Program

  • Voucher
  • Enacted 2013
  • Launched 2013

Ohio’s Income-Based Scholarship Program allows income-qualified students to receive vouchers to attend private schools, provided they are not eligible for Ohio’s other school voucher programs. This is an expansion of Ohio’s “EdChoice” voucher program. All income-qualified K–12 students became eligible starting in the 2020–21 school year. Continue reading to learn more about this program’s funding, eligibility, regulations, governing statutes and more.

We do not administer this program.

  • 20,700

    Participating Students (2021–22)

  • 38%

    of Families with Children Income-eligible Statewide

  • 511

    Participating Schools (2021–22)

  • $4,972

    Average Voucher Value (2021–22)

  • 36%

    Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Ohio’s Income-Based Scholarship Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Student Funding

Vouchers are worth up to $5,500 for students in K–8 and $7,500 for high school students, not to exceed the private school’s actual tuition and fees. Families who earn below 200 percent of the federal poverty level cannot be charged the difference between tuition and the voucher.

(Last updated February 15, 2023) 

Student Eligibility

For the 2022–23 school year, students are eligible if they are from families with income no more than 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($69,375 for a family of four in 2022–23). Those at or below this income level are eligible for maximum vouchers when they first apply and renew their vouchers. All income-qualified K–12 students became eligible starting in the 2020–21 school year. Only students from low-income families who do not qualify for the Educational Choice Scholarship Program are eligible. Once a family qualifies for the EdChoice Expansion scholarship,
they will no longer have to submit proof of income to renew.

Once they receive a voucher, a student is eligible in future years. As of September 23, 2022, once a family qualifies for the Expansion scholarship, they will no longer have to submit proof of income to renew. Renewing students who were ineligible because their household income was above 250 percent of the federal poverty limit can receive the full award amount provided the student remains enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school. A sibling of a student receiving an EdChoice IB scholarship is automatically eligible.
(Last updated February 15, 2023) 

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Ohio’s Income-Based Scholarship Program helps thousands of students access schools that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do much more to expand educational opportunity.

Eligibility for the vouchers is initially limited to 250 percent of the federal poverty line. Four in 10 of  Ohio’s students are eligible for a scholarship and less than 5 percent of students statewide actually use one of Ohio’s five educational choice programs (including the Cleveland Scholarship Program, the Autism Scholarship Program, the Educational Choice Scholarship Program and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program).

The average voucher value is about $5,000, which is about 36 percent of the average expenditure per student at Ohio’s district schools, but the cap on voucher values is somewhat higher ($5,500 in grades K–8 and $7,500 in grades 9–12).

In order to expand access to educational choice, Ohio policymakers should expand eligibility to all students statewide. The program could also be converted into an education savings account to ensure that all students have access to the education that’s the right fit for them, whether private school or a customized course of education.

Ohio’s voucher program generally avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations.

(Last updated February 15, 2023) 

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 250 percent x Poverty (no means testing for renewals)
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Voucher Cap: $5,500 (K–8) / $7,500 (9–12)
  • Testing Mandates: Nationally norm-referenced tests

School Requirements:

  • Be chartered by the state
  • Meet state standards for chartered nonpublic schools
  • Comply with state laws regarding nondiscrimination and health and safety codes
  • Administer background checks on teachers and staff that work with children must

(Last updated February 15, 2023) 

Governing Statutes

Ohio Rev. Code § 3310.032

(Last updated February 15, 2023) 

Income-Based Scholarship Program State Groups

That Support School Choice

School Choice Ohio works to ensure that families across the state know about the education options available for their children. They also advocate for the expansion of quality options for every child.