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Opportunity Scholarship

Program Announcement 5/2/24 – The NC General Assembly is considering legislation (House Bill 823) to provide additional funding to the Opportunity Scholarship and ESA+ programs. This legislation has several additional steps needed before it can become law, and there is no deadline by which action must be taken.  Should the bill become law, and additional funding become available, SEAA will begin awarding eligible students with applications received during the priority period (February 1-March 1) in accordance with our awarding process as soon as possible.

After awards are offered to the students from the priority period, and should funds remain available, the application could re-open. Parents who did not apply during the priority period can sign up here to be notified. These families will receive an email with instructions to complete an application at that time.

We will also post any updates on SEAA’s website.


The Opportunity Scholarship program was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. Scholarships are awarded based on a family’s household income and can be used to pay the required tuition and fees to attend an eligible private school.


Who Can Apply?

Parents of any North Carolina student entering kindergarten through 12th grade.

What are the eligibility requirements? 

Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship: 

  • At least 5 years old by August 31 or at least 4 years old by April 16 and approved for Kindergarten according to State guidelines 
  • Lives in North Carolina 
  • Has not graduated from high school 
  • Has not enrolled in a post-secondary institution full-time 

Note: Scholarship amount is determined by household income 

How Much is the Scholarship?

Scholarships range from approximately $3,000 to $7,000 and are based on a family’s household income. Scholarships can be used to pay the required tuition and fees to attend an eligible private school.

  • Families may be responsible for other specific fees charged by a school.


When Can I Apply?

February 1 – March 1, 2024

See How to Apply for more information.

Which schools are eligible for Opportunity Scholarship funding? 

Students with an Opportunity Scholarship must attend a Direct Payment School.  Parents must complete the admissions process at their selected school.  Selecting a direct payment school in MyPortal and receiving an award does not guarantee admission to the school.  Parents should contact the direct payment school directly regarding completing the appropriate steps for admission and enrollment at the school in addition to accepting their scholarship award. 

How Are Scholarships Awarded?

  • Students who received the Opportunity Scholarship in 2023-2024 will be considered first for 2024-2025 awards.
  • New applications submitted between February 1 – March 1 will be awarded based on household income. For more information, see Awarding Process.


Is My Student Guaranteed a Scholarship?

Due to expanded eligibility requirements, we expect to receive a higher number of applications than in previous years.  If the number of eligible applications exceeds the amount of funds available, students will be added to a waitlist to fill slots that may become available at a later date.


Need More Information?

Choose from one of the following:

How to Apply

Learn how to apply for the Opportunity Scholarship

Current Scholarship Families

Download forms and get help managing your current scholarship

School Personnel

Register a school or manage your school’s participation in the program

Opportunity Scholarship Data





1-855-330-3955 (K12 Program staff toll-free)