It is our goal to provide the best resources possible to help you better understand the Indiana Choice Scholarship program and its potential impact on your family and our parish. There is much to examine, and we welcome questions. This Frequently Asked Questions list will be updated throughout the Choice Impact Study.
What is the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program? The Choice Scholarship Program provides state funding to qualifying students that is used to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students qualify based on eligibility criteria and household income.
Does Sts. Peter & Paul School have any experience with the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program? Yes, Sts. Peter & Paul School is already an established participant in the Choice program. Our non-parishioner, tuition-paying families are eligible to apply for the Choice Scholarship. Multiple families do currently receive scholarships.
Does accepting Choice dollars from the state affect Sts. Peter & Paul’s curriculum? Sts. Peter & Paul is accredited by the state of Indiana. In order to be accredited, our school must already follow state guidelines. In short, accepting Choice dollars does not have an additional effect on our curriculum.
Are the funds received through the Choice Scholarship program restricted? Yes, the funds received through the Choice program can only be used for school expenses. However, expanding our tuition model and accepting Choice dollars for all qualifying parishioner families could allow Sts. Peter & Paul to reallocate funds to other parish needs, mission-focused projects or community endeavors.
How do I know if my family qualifies for a Choice Scholarship? Effective June 29, 2023, the following must be satisfied to qualify for a Choice Scholarship award:
Student must have legal settlement in Indiana;
Student must be at least five years old and less than 22 years old by October 1 of the school year that the student is applying; and
Student is a member of a household with an annual income of not more than 400% of the amount to qualify for the federal free and reduced price lunch program. View the Choice Eligibility guidelines and income rules.
What if my family does not qualify for a Choice Scholarship? Currently, almost 97% of Indiana families qualify for a Choice Scholarship; however, we realize that Sts. Peter & Paul will have families who do not qualify. During this study period, we will explore options to provide assistance to those exceeding the qualification requirements.
What will Sts. Peter & Paul School’s tuition be for parishioners? Financial analysis and school data will be vital in deciding parishioner tuition. Parents’ responses to the upcoming Choice Impact Survey will give us valuable data to use in determining tuition rates.
Are incoming kindergarten students eligible for a Choice Scholarship? Yes, a parent/guardian of a kindergarten student may apply for a Choice Scholarship if the child meets all requirements. All incoming families will be educated on the Choice Scholarship program.
Are preschool students eligible for a Choice Scholarship? No, the Indiana Choice Scholarship program begins with kindergarten.
How does a family apply for a Choice Scholarship? Sts. Peter & Paul School’s Choice Scholarships are overseen by our school principal, Mrs. Howington. Following a timeline set forth by the state, Mrs. Howington walks participating families through the application process and paperwork.
How will sensitive tax documents and Choice applications be kept secure and confidential? Privacy and confidentiality are always top-of-mind in the parish and school offices. Our school principal, Mrs. Howington, currently oversees the Choice application process. There are steps in place to ensure all sensitive information is kept secure and confidential.
We realize the impact the additional Choice applications could have on our school office and principal. Options for a system built to handle the influx of Choice applications and paperwork will be explored through the Choice Impact Study.
Will the Indiana School Choice program go away? No one knows for sure what the future holds. Currently, trends show that school choice is not going away anytime soon.