Demand for Opportunity Scholarships sets record in first week

By David Bass

February 6, 2024

More than 32,000 new applications for the Opportunity Scholarship Program came in during the first week of priority enrollment, setting a new record in demand for the program and tripling the number of applications submitted in February 2023.

The numbers were first reported by the school-choice advocacy organization Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), and they are based on data from the North Carolina Education Assistance Authority, the state agency that administers the program.

“I am thrilled and yet not at all surprised by the overwhelming enthusiasm from new applicant families and students,” said PEFNC president Mike Long in a statement. “Demand for the Opportunity Scholarship Program continues to rise, and the expansion of the scholarship now means more families across our state will be empowered by parental school choice.”

Applications for the program opened Feb. 1. Shortly after midnight on that day, the application website crashed as parents rushed to apply.

The program is now available to all North Carolina families — regardless of income — with families at the lower tiers of income receiving first priority. As of Dec. 13, 32,170 students were receiving Opportunity Scholarships.

The priority window for applications closes March 1.