Friday, August 14, 2009

What About Money to Go to School BEFORE College?

One of the thorniest questions I get as a librarian is how to find money for K-12 private education. It's not easy. There are few sources, and often the wait is long. But a few sources of information exist that are worth checking out.

One is the page on financing a private school education by the National Association of Independent Schools. That, in turn, provides a link to organizations that provide scholarships to private schools. Note, however, that these are arranged by state. Many funders give to particular geographic areas. In addition, some of these organizations only give to the schools, not the students.

Another place to look is at Jon Harrison's page at Michigan State University on precollege scholarships. While it's heavy on Michigan resources, it has other states, too.

In the state of Ohio, some children get an interesting option from the state: if they live in a school district that has substandard schools, they may be eligible for scholarships to attend private schools in the area (EdChoice).

In the Toledo area, the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Inc. makes scholarships to low-income K-8 grade children in Lucas, Fulton, or Wood counties to attend non-public schools as funds become available. If they are not, parents can apply to be put on a waiting list. When the funds do become available, a lottery is held for the eligible recipients, but the demand is huge, and the funds not nearly as much. Maximum scholarship is $1,000, and families must make a minimum contribution of $500 per year. Currently, 71 area schools qualify as recipient schools. Income requirements apply. For more information, call 419-244-6711, extension 219. In Michigan, the Education Freedom Fund provides scholarships for children to attend private schools, also with a minimum contribution by parents of $500 a year. Contact them at (616)459-2222.

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