Paying to send your child to a private school is a financial sacrifice, no doubt about it. For many families, tuition can feel like roadblock with no detour.
Expansion of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program during the state’s 2021 legislative session opened the door to a Catholic education for many families that previously considered it unattainable.
By increasing the program’s household income eligibility guidelines, lawmakers expanded the number of Indiana students who are now eligible for the Indiana Choice Scholarship (commonly referred to as vouchers). Coupled with a higher dollar value now being awarded to each student, the new law is expected to give Indiana parents more options when choosing the right high school for their children.
The Income Eligibility Chart on this page shows the maximum income that families of varying sizes can earn to qualify for the state dollars. While there are a few exceptions or potential add backs to this number, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) listed on a family’s tax return is the dollar amount used. For example, under the new law a family of five earning up to $172,272 will qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship.
How to claim your award
Establishing income eligibility is the first step toward receiving the state financial aid. A second eligibility criteria, known as a track or pathway, must also be established. Private schools participating in Indiana’s Choice Scholarship program, like Bishop Chatard, can provide families information to assist them in meeting this requirement.
BCHS President Bill Sahm explained that qualifying students attending Bishop Chatard can receive an Indiana Choice Scholarship in the $5,000 to $6,000 range depending on the student’s township residence. Under the 2021 law, Choice Scholarship awards amount to: tuition and fees charged at the eligible school OR 90 percent of the per-student state funding for the student’s school corporation of residence. Multiple students in the same family may receive the scholarship.
Students who qualify for a Choice Scholarship will also qualify for a minimum $500 Tax Credit Scholarship.
Indiana has operated as a school choice state since 2011. According to the Indiana Non-Public Education Association, about 273,000 children have benefited from the program by being able to attend the non-public school of their choice.
“Making the Bishop Chatard educational experience more affordable is truly a blessing for all of us who believe that Bishop Chatard is the best high school option available,” President Sahm said.