Immaculate Heart of Mary School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
IHM School and Preschool on 2 Hour Delay TODAY 1/24/19




Immaculate Heart of Mary and the EdChoice Scholarship Program



The Mission of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School is to provide a rigorous Christian education rooted in the gospel values of Jesus Christ.  Moreover, Immaculate Heart of Mary parish is committed to making that education accessible and affordable. To that end, IHM provides tuition assistance and financial aid for those who qualify. 


The State of Ohio provides tuition vouchers for public students to attend private schools through Ohio’s Educational Choice (EdChoice) assistance program for qualified applicants. A commission of dedicated parishioners and the school administration spent time researching the program and developed recommendations about the acceptance and implementation of EdChoice assistance.  After careful consideration, the commission recommended that IHM begin accepting EdChoice Scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year.



EdChoice FAQ's:



Q: What is EdChoice?

A:  The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) states that “(t)he Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program provides students from designated public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools.”  It offers state-funded scholarships to students who would otherwise attend “low-performing” or “failing” public schools. The scholarship must be used to attend a private school that accepts such scholarships.



Q:  Who is eligible to receive this Scholarship?

A:  The Ohio Department of Education lists the following criteria for Eligibility:        


  • Those enrolled in and attending EdChoice public school buildings in their districts of residence;
  • Students enrolled in and attending community schools (statutorily created charter schools; not private schools) who would otherwise be assigned to EdChoice public school buildings;
  • Students enrolled in and attending public schools in their districts of residence or in community schools who would be assigned to EdChoice public school buildings for the upcoming school year;
  • Students enrolling in Ohio schools for the first time who would be assigned to EdChoice public school buildings;
  • Students eligible to enter kindergarten in fall (and who will be 5 years old by September 30th) who would be assigned to EdChoice school buildings
  • Students who DO NOT qualify for Traditional EdChoice due to their public school building BUT meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines may apply for the EdCHoice Expansion Scholarship.


In short, any prospective IHM student who lives in Ohio is eligible to apply for an EdChoice Scholarship if they are students who would be assigned to EdChoice eligible school OR meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Helpful flowcharts to determine eligibility are provided by clicking the link HERE.



Q:  What is an “EdChoice” public school?

A:  An “EdChoice” public school is one that failed to meet one or more of the state mandated performance criteria.  Such a school is then designated an “underperforming” or “failing” school for a specific time frame.  If the school subsequently meets all of the performance criteria, it is removed from the underperforming list.  



Q:  How did IHM become a participant in the EdChoice Scholarship Program?

A:  Private schools who choose to participate in the EdChoice Scholarship Program must complete and submit an application to the Ohio Department of Education.  



Q: My child is eligible, how do I get an EdChoice Scholarship?

A: There is a two-step process to receiving an EdChoice Scholarship.  First, an eligible prospective student must apply and be accepted as an IHM student before a scholarship will be awarded.  Upon acceptance, a scholarship application must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Education. More information may be found HERE.



Q: How are the EdChoice Scholarships awarded?

A: The State of Ohio determines who is awarded EdChoice Scholarships based

on information in your application and the eligibility criteria.  IHM is not involved in the decision.



Q:  How much is the scholarship and what does it cover?

A: The scholarship for students entering K-8 covers the cost of tuition only. It is not intended to cover the entire cost of educating the student.  It only covers tuition up to that amount and cannot be used for fees, uniforms, materials, and other associated costs.  The prospective IHM school family will be responsible for these costs.



Q:  How long does the EdChoice Scholarship last?

A:  Currently, once awarded, the state permits a recipient to re-apply for the scholarship every year up through their last year of High School; even if the “underperforming” public school to which they are assigned meets all relevant performance criteria and is removed from the list.  Moreover, the student is given priority in the awarding of scholarship funds.  However, the state is under no obligation to continue this policy and could change it any time.



Q:  Does acceptance of EdChoice scholarships impact the quality education that IHM provides?

A:  The parishioner led advisory board along with the school administration carefully analyzed the potential impact of accepting EdChoice scholarships on both the quality of the education and the mission of the IHM school.  The addition of the EdChoice Scholarship program has not impacted our quality of education in any way. 



Q:  Does EdChoice affect the admissions process?

A:  No, acceptance of EdChoice Scholarships has not required any changes to our admissions policy or procedures. IHM continues to maintain its standards in accepting new students.  It is important to note that the prospective student must be accepted prior to the awarding of a scholarship, so the program has never affected our acceptance process.



Q:  Does EdChoice Scholarships effect the Catholic Identity of the school?

A:  No, the private school retains complete autonomy over its operation and programming.  The IHM parish continues to provide a rigorous Catholic education rooted in the Gospel values of Jesus Christ.  Our mission remains to provide for the formation and development of “each child as a Christ-like, accountable, respectful and engaged disciple of Christ.”



Q:  Does EdCHoice require changes in curriculum or the use of additional resources?

A:  IHM School constantly re-evaluates how best to meet the needs of our students.  As their needs change, IHM School adapts to meet those needs.  The acceptance of EdChoice scholarships mandates no changes in how the school meets the educational needs of its students.



Q: What about additional testing?

A: The state does require that any EdChoice Scholarship recipient take standardize testing and report those results to the state.