Scholarships awarded for 234 new students to attend a D.C. private school in the 2016-17 school year under the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

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June 3, 2016

Washington, DC (June 3, 2016) — Serving Our Children announced today they have awarded 234 new scholarships for the 2016-17 school year. For the current 2015-16 school year, 1244 students are receiving scholarships to attend a private school in the District, and most of these students will continue to receive scholarships under the program next year. Sixty percent of these families receive SNAP and/or TANF benefits.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), provides federally funded scholarships to students from low-income families in grades K-12 to attend a participating private school in the District. High school students may receive an award of up to $12,679 and elementary and middle schoolers may receive up to $8,452 to cover the cost of tuition and fees for the school year. These scholarships have the potential to change the educational and career trajectory for many children from low-income families.

Since the program began, more than 6,385 students have been awarded an OSP scholarship. The program has a 90% graduation rate, and most go on to enroll in colleges and universities around the country. This year, Serving Our Children received nearly 2400 new applications from families seeking scholarships. Because of limited funding, two lotteries were conducted to randomly select students to receive awards for the next school year.

“We are delighted to welcome our new families into the Scholarship Program,” said Kevin Chavous, President of Serving Our Children. “It is our hope that the Department of Education will make additional funds available from previously allocated OSP funds, and will allow applications from students already attending private schools, as has been allowed in the past. That way, many more students could benefit from the opportunity to receive a quality education in one of the District’s excellent private schools.”

Jennefer Lopez, an OSP graduate who attended Mount St. Mary’s University with a double major in Business and Economics, said, when speaking at a policy summit hosted by the American Federation for Children “Dreams do come true. You’re the pilot to your own future. There are people that can help you get far …. The Opportunity Scholarship was my help and my blessing for myself and my siblings.” Her two younger siblings are also recipients of a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship.

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