North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship and ESA+ Priority Applications Close March 1, 2024

Submit your Opportunity or ESA+ Scholarship application(s) by March 1! Incomplete applications will not be included in the scholarship lottery.   For further assistance visit MyPortal Frequently Asked Questions or call: 855-330-3955, M-Th (8am-6pm), F (8am-5pm). *Extended hours Thursday, 2/29 until 7:00 p.m. and Friday, 3/1 until 6:00 p.m.
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How to Apply for the Opportunity Scholarship

 

The number one inside a circle Create a MyPortal Account 

as early as December

MyPortal is the platform families use to apply for the Opportunity Scholarship. It is where you will receive important notifications about your application.

Applying for the Opportunity Scholarship does not enroll your student in a school. You will need to follow the admissions process for your school of choice.

The number two inside a circleApply for the Opportunity Scholarship

February 1 – March 1

Note: apply any time in this window. There is no advantage to applying February 1st.

Add student(s) to your MyPortal parent account and complete your application(s). Parents applying for more than one student should submit a separate application for each student and enter the same household size & income for each student.

See the “Completing an Application” section of the “MyPortal Guide for Parents” (Guia-de-MyPortal-para-padres.pdf (ncseaa.edu)) for instructions on how to complete the application.

  • After you submit the application, you will be notified whether your student is eligible to receive the award and their Award Tier amount, if applicable.
  • Use the Award Tier amount provided in the notification to calculate how much the scholarship may cover at your school of choice.

Apply by March 1.

Eligible applications submitted between February 1- March 1 will be awarded based on household income, starting with Award Tier 1. Scholarships will be offered to families in Award Tiers 2-4 as funds remain available. For more information, see the Awarding Process page..

Need help determining your household size and income? See the following resources:

 

The number three inside a circleCheck for Notifications

Early April

Check MyPortal regularly for an award offer or waitlist notification. If your student receives an award offer, you will have a deadline to accept or decline your student’s award in MyPortal.

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.

If you receive an award offer, accept or decline the award in MyPortal (For more information see “After an Award: What are the Next Steps?”).

 

the number four inside a circleComplete Required Tasks

Mid-April – July 1

All applications are subject to income and/or residency verification. If you are selected for income or residency verification, we have resources to help you complete the process.

Make sure your School Choice is correct in MyPortal.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


No. MyPortal allows for one parent of record on the account. If you wish to make a change, the parent of record must email the program to request that the information be changed. An Identity Task will be added to your record and steps must be completed before these changes can be made. Change of Parent Form


When parents are separated or divorced and share joint custody (50/50) of the student(s), either one can be the MyPortal account owner and apply for a new award or renewal.  Note: if your filing status for 2023 taxes was ‘married filing jointly’ or ‘married filing separately’ then you must include both spouses’ income for the purposes of the program.


Parents may update their email address or mailing address in MyPortal. Other identity tasks require authorization. To make a change to any of the following information, the parent of record must email the program to request the correction. An Identity Task will be added to your record and steps must be completed before these changes can be made:

  • Parent or student name
  • Parent or student date of birth
  • Parent or student social security number


No. Students in preschool or transitional Kindergarten are not eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship program. The scholarship may only be used for students entering Kindergarten through 12th grade.


No. However, more than 600 schools are currently registered as Direct Payment Schools and we welcome those not registered to begin the process between January-June.  Students must attend a school that accepts direct payments to use Opportunity Scholarship funds. Find your school of choice on the list of Direct Payment Nonpublic Schools.

 


Yes. The program is designed to be flexible. Students who receive the Opportunity Scholarship may enroll full-time in a Direct Payment private school or choose from a variety of co-enrollment options (see below). Co-enrollment is contingent on the policies of the local public school district.

Enrollment options:

  • 1 private school
  • 1 private school + 1 private school (co-enrollment)
  • 1 private school + 1 public school (co-enrollment)
  • 1 private school + 1 homeschool (co-enrollment)

Please note: attending full-time public school or homeschool are not options for the Opportunity Scholarship program.


The school would need to successfully complete the school registration process to accept the Opportunity Scholarship. New school registration takes place between January and June each year.


Yes.  As long as your student lives in North Carolina on the first day your school begins, you may apply for the scholarship.  Be sure to have documentation readily available to provide our agency to verify your NC residency.


Yes.  We encourage parents to submit an application for each student, on the same day, if possible.  Reminder: apply by 3/1/24!


Yes. If you go back to your Applications and Renewals section in MyPortal, you will see the option to edit your application until awarding begins in April. Until then, you may make corrections to your application and then save and submit the updated information.

Corrections you submit to the application are updated in real time.  If you would like to confirm your corrections have been successful, you can check your student’s eligibility status at any time by going to the Eligibility and Award Information section of your account.