How EdChoice helps local families with tuition assistance
Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School has been a participating school in the Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program for many years. Thanks to recent rule changes made by the state, VASJ has been able to offer vouchers to even more local students who are eligible.
The EdChoice Program provides students from underperforming public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. Each year, the state uses a number of factors to identify public schools whose students are eligible to receive EdChoice scholarships to attend qualifying private schools. Each of these schools is then designated an EdChoice school.
Any student entering ninth through 12th grade whose assigned home public school is EdChoice designated is eligible for the program. Students who are awarded the scholarship receive $6,000 applied toward their high school tuition.
Residents of Euclid, Richmond Heights, Wickliffe, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Bedford, Maple Heights, Parma and Garfield Heights are eligible for the EdChoice Scholarship at VASJ. Residents of these cities who are attending private school and have not previously been eligible for EdChoice will also qualify at VASJ. In addition, residents of Willowick, Eastlake, South Euclid and Lyndhurst may qualify for the program.
Scholarships are renewable through 12th grade as long as residence requirements are met, all required state tests are taken and school absences are fewer than 20 per year.
“EdChoice is a big financial help to families,” said Megan Scheider, director of government programs and compliance at VASJ. “Catholic education is a sacrifice for families from a financial standpoint. This program provides almost two-thirds of tuition, which makes it much more manageable for families.”
For local families interested in the program, the first step is to have the student apply to and be accepted at VASJ. The school will then reach out to eligible families and submit an application on their behalf in the spring. Official award letters are typically mailed out in July, although VASJ often knows ahead of time if families have been accepted into the program.
Thanks to this program, Scheider said VASJ can be a choice for many local families when it may not have been a feasible option in the past.
“Most of our families, if they didn’t have EdChoice, our school wouldn’t even be an option,” she said. “The difference between the scholarship and tuition can still sometimes be a challenge, but at least it makes it within grasp.”
“The experience of being in a faith-based environment has an impact on kids that’s sometimes hard to quantify,” Scheider added. “Even for families that aren’t Catholic, they still benefit from being in a faith-based environment.”
For more information about the EdChoice Program, visit education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Scholarships/EdChoice-Scholarship-Program.
For questions specific to VASJ, contact Megan Scheider at 216-481-8414 ext. 140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.