Statewide Enrollment: FAQ

What is the Louisiana Scholarship Program?

The Louisiana Scholarship Program is a program designed to provide students with additional opportunities to attend the school of their choice. Applicants are eligible to receive state-funded Scholarships to enroll in participating nonpublic schools or high performing public schools.

Current Scholarship Students

Want your child to stay at his or her current school? No problem!

If your current school serves the grade your student will enter in 2018-2019, you are guaranteed a seat if you wish to return. If you wish for your child to return to his/her current school, no action is required on your part.

To apply to a school other than your current school, follow the instructions under “How to Apply”. Continuing Scholarship students do not need to submit eligibility documentation.

Students in Terminal Grades

Please be sure to submit an application if the school your student attends does not serve the grade your student will be in next year. For example, if your current school serves K-7th, a new application must be submitted for students who will be in 8th grade next year. Scholarship students that are in a terminal grade that do not reapply for a Scholarship will lose their award for the 2018-19 school year.

Eligibility Requirements for New Applicants

To Be Eligible for a Scholarship, your child must:

  • Be a resident of Louisiana.
  • Be entering grades 1-12 or entering kindergarten for the 1st time.
  • Have attended a “C,” “D,” “F,” or “T” school for the 2017-2018 school year, or is attending kindergarten for the first time.
  • Have a family household income that meets the requirements below:
    2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines (Click to enlarge)

How to Prove Eligibility

PROVING INCOME ELIGIBILITY

In order to be eligible to receive a Scholarship, families must submit proof of income by bringing one of the following documents to the first choice school site listed on their application.

The following documents are accepted for INCOME verification:

  • 2016 Federal Tax Return, total income
  • Most recent unemployment compensation statement
  • Most recent pension statements
  • Most recent Social Security benefits statement for parent/guardian
  • SNAP Benefits
  • Louisiana Purchase Card Budget Sheet or Benefits Statement
  • Placement form from DCFS, in the case of foster children

RESIDENCY VERIFICATION

In order to be eligible to receive a Scholarship, families must submit proof of residency by bringing one of the following documents to one of the schools listed on their application.

The following documents are accepted for RESIDENCY verification:

  • Rental lease agreement or mortgage Electricity/Gas Bill
  • Telephone Bill (Must be a landline - cellular phone bills will not suffice)
  • Cable/Internet Service Bill
  • Sewerage/Water Bill
  • Current Official Letter from a Government Agency (DSS, DHH, DCFS)
  • Homestead Exemption Notice
  • Property Tax Notice
  • If a family does not own or rent the home they live in (for example, they are temporarily staying with relatives during a housing search) the owner/renter of the house they are living in must submit a notarized letter confirming the family lives with them. They will also be required to submit proof of residence in that person’s name.

PRIOR YEAR SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY

  • Eligible students entering grades 1-12 must have attended a school with a grade of C, D, F or T during both the October 1, 2017 AND February 1, 2018 public school count dates. Students who did not attend such school on those count dates will not be eligible for a Scholarship.
  • Students applying to kindergarten must be entering kindergarten for the first time and must be 5 on or before September 30, 2018.
  • Because eligibility will be determined after the application window has closed, we cannot guarantee your eligibility at the time of submission.
  • Being determined eligible does NOT guarantee a seat at a Scholarship school.

How to Apply

Families applying for a Scholarship for a child not currently enrolled as a Scholarship student in grades K-12th MUST confirm their eligibility. Students currently participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program are not required to re-confirm eligibility.

To apply at a school located outside of Orleans Parish:

  1. Complete an online application at http://www.louisianabelieves.com/scholarship or at a participating Scholarship school.
  2. Bring income and residency documentation to any school listed on your application. See “Income Eligibility” and “Residency Eligibility” sections above to learn what documents are required to prove income and residency eligibility.
  3. Application Deadline: February 23, 2018

How do I know which schools are participating in the program?

A list of participating schools is available online at http://www.louisianaschools.com.

Does it matter how quickly I apply?

No. There is no preference for early applications. All qualified applicants who meet the deadline will have an equal chance of selection, regardless of whether they are the first or the last to submit an application.

Do I need to prove eligibility at every school I rank on my application?

No. You only need to prove your eligibility at one of the schools. That school will then mark your child's application as eligible. In the case of Orleans Parish, the Family Resource Center will mark the child's application as eligible.

What will the program cost me?

The program is free to all qualifying students. For nonpublic schools, the Scholarship will cover the full amount of a school’s tuition and required fees, up to the maximum state allocation per student. However, we encourage you to reach out to schools of interest to see what services are included. Public schools will receive the full value of the maximum state allocation. Funds will be paid directly to the school on behalf of the student. Uniforms and any optional fees, including field trips and lunch (if school does not participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program) will be your responsibility.

Where can I find a list of C, D, F or T schools?

The list can be downloaded as an Excel file (XLSX) here.

Do all students who apply to the program receive Scholarships?

The Louisiana Department of Education will attempt to place as many applicants as possible in their preferred school choice; if the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available at a specific school and grade level, then those Scholarship seats will be awarded through an unbiased lottery process. Acceptance in another school may be available on a limited basis and not guaranteed.

Will participating schools provide transportation?

Providing transportation for all Scholarship students is not a requirement of this program. Please check with the participating school of your choice to determine if transportation services are available.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about the Scholarship Program, please visit the program’s website, email studentscholarships@la.gov, or call the Louisiana Department of Education’s Help Center at 1.877.453.2721. The Help Center is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How does this program serve students with disabilities?

The Louisiana Department of Education does not consider a student’s disability when matching students to schools. Some Scholarship schools may offer additional education services for students with disabilities, but all schools must enroll all students awarded, regardless of disability. Please check with the school(s) of your choice before listing it on your child’s application to ensure it is able to meet your child’s needs.

What if my child is entering a grade their current school does not serve?

You must submit a new application and list choices that serve the appropriate grade, but you are not required to resubmit eligibility documentation. Students in terminal grades receive preference in the lottery but are not guaranteed a placement. If you do not submit an application, your child will not receive a placement for next year.