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Hope Scholarship board reviews this year’s applications received and awarded

West Virginia’s Hope Scholarship Board got an update on the latest numbers for families using the program for students leaving the public school system.

Overall, applications including renewals stands at 5,047 students awarded with just over 50 declared eligible and ready to be awarded.

So the bottom line is, more than 5,000 students have been awarded scholarships for the coming year.

Additionally, 179 were found ineligible, and 595 are on hold because of missing documentation. And 400 are considered submitted but awaiting review.

“The processing team continues to work through those submitted applications, and we anticipate that all applications will have at least been initially reviewed by July 1, and they are well on pace to meet that goal,” said Amy Willard, deputy treasurer of savings programs.

The first scholarship payments for the 2023-24 school year will be available in student accounts no later than August 15, she said.

There was an increase of the Hope Scholarship amount for the coming school year to $4,488.82.

The Hope Scholarship is an education savings account program available for kindergarten through 12th grade students. It is designed to allow parents and families to use the state portion of their child’s education funding to tailor an individualized learning experience that works best for their child.

The Legislature passed and the governor then signed a bill establishing the Hope Scholarships in 2021. The program is set up to provide money for students leaving the public school system to use for a variety of education costs. There’s a 45-day minimum enrollment period in public schools to become eligible.

West Virginia’s program also allows students old enough to enter the school system for the time to be eligible immediately.

Families can use the accounts for a range of expenses like homeschooling, private school tuition, online learning, after-school or summer-learning programs or educational therapies.

In addition to filling out the application, state law also requires participating families to fill out a notice of intent to participate in the program with their local county superintendent. A sample template for that notice is also available online at HopeScholarshipWV.com.

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