Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the Hope Scholarship Program?

The Hope Scholarship Program is an education savings account (ESA) program that will allow parents and families to utilize the state portion of their education funding to tailor an individualized learning experience that works best for them.

How much money could I receive for my Hope Scholarship student?

The Hope Scholarship amount will vary annually depending on the amount of state aid funding per pupil provided to county boards of education for public school students. The scholarship amount for the 2023-24 year will be $4,488.82. The scholarship amount for the 2024-25 school year will be $4,921.39.

When can I apply for the Hope Scholarship Program for the 2023 – 24 School Year?

The application deadline for the 2023-2024 school year closed on February 29, 2024. No additional applications for that year are being accepted.

When can I apply for the Hope Scholarship Program for the 2024 – 25 School Year?

New applications for the Hope Scholarship Program can be submitted from March 1 to June 15 annually to be eligible for 100% of scholarship funds. The application windows for new applicants for the 2024 -2025 school year and the corresponding funding amounts are outlined in the chart below.

Application Window

Funding Amount

Mar. 1, 2024 to June 17, 2024   

100% of Scholarship

June 16, 2024 to Sept. 15, 2024   

75% of Scholarship

Sept. 16, 2024 to Nov. 30, 2024   

50% of Scholarship

Dec. 1, 2024 to Feb. 28, 2025   

25% of Scholarship

After Feb. 28, 2025   

No funding for current year but may apply for subsequent school year.

What happens if I decide to return my child to public school full-time?

If your child decides to return to public school, he or she can no longer participate in the Hope Scholarship Program. You will need to notify us at hopescholarshipwv@wvsto.com that you have returned to public school and include the name of the county board of education or charter school in which your child will be enrolled. Any remaining funds in your child’s Hope Scholarship account within the EMA portal will be returned to the state and/or sent to the public school to fund your child’s public education. Your child would be ineligible to return to the Hope Scholarship program during the same school year but could apply for the Hope Scholarship again for future school years.

My child was approved for the Hope Scholarship but we are now moving out of state.  Can my child still participate in the program? 

No, if your child is no longer a resident of West Virginia, he or she can no longer participate in the Hope Scholarship Program because they no longer meet the statutory eligibility requirements. If you move out of the state, please notify us in writing at hopescholarshipwv@wvsto.com so that we can take the necessary steps to close your child’s account in the EMA portal. Failure to report moving out of state could be considered fraud.

My child is a student with disabilities. Can my child participate in the Hope Scholarship Program?

Yes, your child may participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.   However, it is important to understand that the student’s participation in the Hope Scholarship Program is a parental placement under 20 U.S.C. §1412 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and participation in the Program releases the public school system of the County from its obligation to provide the student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). For more information about the rights of parentally placed students under IDEA and applicable state laws and regulations, please refer to the information contained in West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2419: Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities and the corresponding Procedural Safeguards Brochure found at Policy 2419 - West Virginia Department of Education (wvde.us).

For more information about IDEA and public school special education services for students with disabilities in West Virginia, please visit Special Education - West Virginia Department of Education (wvde.us) for more information. Parent resources for students with disabilities can be found at Parent Resources - West Virginia Department of Education (wvde.us).

General Eligibility

Does my student qualify for the Hope Scholarship Program?

To qualify for the Hope Scholarship, a student must be a West Virginia resident and be either:

  • Eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten for the year for which they are applying for the Hope Scholarship
  • Enrolled full-time in a West Virginia public elementary or secondary school for the entire instructional term of the academic year preceding the academic year for which the student is applying to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.
  • Enrolled full-time and attending a public elementary or secondary school in West Virginia for at least 45 consecutive calendar days during the current instructional term at the time of application. The student must remain enrolled and attending the public-school program until a decision is reached on the Hope Scholarship application. 

Can my child remain enrolled full-time in public school and receive the Hope Scholarship?

A child cannot remain enrolled full-time in a public elementary or secondary school program and receive the Hope Scholarship at the same time. If a child is accepted into the Hope Scholarship Program, they can no longer be enrolled full-time in West Virginia public school.  A child can, however, utilize their scholarship funds to purchase part-time services from a West Virginia public school. 

Are current private school students eligible to apply as new Hope Scholarship applicants? 

If a student is currently enrolled in a private school or was enrolled full time in a private school the previous academic year, the student is not eligible to apply as a new applicant for the Hope Scholarship Program.  However, the student could become eligible by enrolling full time and attending a public elementary or secondary school program in this state for at least 45 calendar days at the time of application. The student must remain enrolled and attending the public school until a decision letter is issued regarding participation in the program, which could take up to an additional 45 calendar days.

Are current home school students eligible to apply as new Hope Scholarship applicants?

If a student is currently being home schooled, the student is not eligible to apply as a new applicant for the Hope Scholarship Program. However, the student could become eligible by enrolling full time and attending a public elementary or secondary school program in this state for at least 45 calendar days at the time of application. The student must remain enrolled and attending the public school until a decision letter is issued regarding participation in the program, which could take up to an additional 45 calendar days.

When will current non-public school and home school students be eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program? 

If the participation rate of the combined number of students in the Hope Scholarship Program and students eligible who have applied to participate in the Hope Scholarship program as of July 1, 2024, is less than five percent of net public school enrollment adjusted for state aid purposes for the previous school year, then, effective July 1, 2026, all West Virginia students will be eligible to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.

My child will be graduating from high school.  Am I permitted to apply for the Hope Scholarship Program and use the funds to pay for my child’s college tuition? 

No, once a student graduates from a high school program, he or she is not eligible for the Hope Scholarship. The program is intended for students in grades K-12 only.

My child’s application was determined ineligible for the Hope Scholarship Program.  How do I appeal this decision?

An appeal for ineligibility may be submitted on the Appeal Request Form and submitted to the Hope Scholarship Board (Board) for consideration, within 45 days of being found ineligible for the Program. Pursuant to W. Va. Code R. §112-19-11, the Board appointed a three-member appeal committee to be the arbiter of all appeals submitted to the Board.

Eligibility – Kindergarten Students

My child is attending a private Pre-K program.   Does that impact their Hope Scholarship eligibility?

No, the fact that your child attended a private Pre-K program does not impact Hope Scholarship eligibility.  All incoming kindergarten students who meet the July 1st deadline are eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program regardless of where they attended Pre-K. 

My child turns five years old after July 1st, but I would like them to start a kindergarten program a year early.  Is there a pathway to become eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program?

Students who turn five years old after July 1st can become eligible for the Hope Scholarship if the student successfully enrolls in a West Virginia public kindergarten program through the program’s regularly established early entrance process that determines your child meets the criteria to start kindergarten a year early.   

My county of residence does not offer an early entrance process for kindergarten.   Are there any other options available? 

County boards of education are authorized but not required by W. Va. Code to have an early kindergarten entrance process. If your county of residence does not have an early entrance process, under the State’s open enrollment laws, you may seek to have your child admitted through the early entrance process of another West Virginia county board of education.

My county board of education doesn’t offer early entrance testing until after the June 15th application window deadline to receive full scholarship funding? When should I apply for the Hope Scholarship program?

Your child is not eligible for the Hope Scholarship until a county board of education has determined that your child qualifies for early entrance under the county’s early kindergarten entrance process. Please wait until you have documentation from the public school indicating that your child has been deemed eligible for early kindergarten entrance before submitting a Hope Scholarship application. When submitting your application, please include the early entrance documentation when uploading the other required application documentation. The early entrance documentation will be needed to override the standard eligibility determination based on your child’s date of birth being after the July 1st cutoff for kindergarten. If the determination from the county is made after the June 15th deadline to receive 100% of the scholarship, your child will unfortunately fall into the next application window for 75% of the scholarship funding for the initial year of eligibility.

My child is an existing private (or homeschool) kindergarten student, but they started kindergarten a year early without applying for the Hope Scholarship Program.  Are they eligible for the Hope Scholarship for the year for which they should have started kindergarten based on their birthdate? 

No, your child is not currently eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program. Because your child will have already completed a kindergarten program, they will be entering first grade and no longer eligible for kindergarten. 

My child will turn five years old after July 1st and was not found eligible for early entrance to kindergarten by a West Virginia county board of education when the testing was completed.  If I start my child in a private or homeschool kindergarten program anyway, will they be eligible for the Hope Scholarship the next year when they would have otherwise started kindergarten?

No, if your child completes a private or homeschool kindergarten program, they will be treated as an existing private or homeschool student and will not thereafter be eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program as a kindergartener.

Eligibility – 45 Day Rule

I am interested in enrolling in West Virginia public school for my child to become eligible for the Hope Scholarship under the 45-day rule. Can my child also participate in a nonpublic or homeschool program at the same time they are enrolled full-time in public school?

Yes, pursuant to an interpretation by the West Virginia Attorney General (which can be found here), your child may also pursue nonpublic and/or homeschool educational options at the same time they are enrolled full-time in a West Virginia public education program. This practice is commonly referred to as dual enrollment. The Attorney General’s opinion makes it clear that WV county boards of education and other WV public schools, such as charter schools, cannot prohibit a student from simultaneous participation in both a public school program and a nonpublic education. Please keep in mind that to be eligible for the Hope Scholarship, the student must meet all public school enrollment requirements, must maintain at least a 90% attendance rate during their public school enrollment period, and must remain enrolled and attending the public school program until they receive a final decision on their Hope Scholarship application. Dual enrollment while attending an in-person public school educational program may be difficult. Accordingly, dual enrollment is most commonly pursued through a virtual WV public school education option.

Does enrollment in public school over the summer count towards the 45-day eligibility provision for the Hope Scholarship Program? 

No, the 45 consecutive days enrolled and attending public school must take place during the regular 180-day instructional term.

If my child can’t reach 45 consecutive days in public school before the end of the current school year, can the “clock” be stopped and restarted when school resumes again in the fall?

No, we are unable to pause counting the 45-days when the current instructional term ends.  To become eligible under the 45-day rule, a student would have to remain enrolled in public school when school resumes in the fall for an additional 45-days. 

Do weekends, holidays, OSE days, and other school breaks count towards meeting the 45-days? 

Yes, the 45-days are consecutive calendar days, which would include any weekends, holidays, OSE days, or other school breaks that take place before the last day of the current instructional term.

Does my child have to meet any specific attendance rates during their public enrollment period under the 45-day rule?

Yes, during the public enrollment period, students cannot have unexcused absences that exceed the threshold to be considered chronically absent, which is ten percent of the calendar days enrolled in the public school.   This 90% attendance rate must be maintained during the entire period that the student is enrolled in public school – the original 45-days to meet the minimum requirement and the period of time while the student’s Hope Scholarship application is being processed. For example, if the total calendar days before a decision is reached on a Hope Scholarship application is 60 days, a student could have no more than 6 unexcused absences during that period of time. If you unenroll your student from their public school option prior to receiving an award notice, your student will not be eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program.

How does the application process work for a student under the 45-day rule?

Students who become eligible for the Hope Scholarship under the 45-day rule should apply in the online portal after they have completed all 45 days in public school. Parents should not submit the application until they are confident the 45 days have been completed, as early submission will result in a denial of the application since the student won’t yet have met the eligibility criteria for the Hope Scholarship Program. Applications are accepted year-round and the scholarship funding amount will depend on the timing of submission of the application once the student has established their Hope eligibility by completing the 45 days in public school.

My child became eligible under the 45-day rule by attending a public charter school. Once approved for the Hope Scholarship, how do I notify the public charter school that I wish to withdraw?

To withdraw from the public charter school to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program, you must submit a copy of the Notice of Intent form to the public charter school in addition to the county superintendent of your county of residence. The Notice of Intent serves as the official request for the public charter school to withdraw your child in WVEIS.

Eligibility – Full Time Enrollment Preceding Year

Does enrollment in a virtual public school elementary or secondary program count towards Hope Scholarship eligibility? 

Yes, enrollment in a virtual program offered by a West Virginia public school, including the new statewide virtual charter schools,  is treated the same as in-person enrollment in a public-school program.

My child was enrolled in public school for the full 2022-23 school year, but I withdrew my child from public school during the 2023-24 school year.   Is my child eligible to apply as a new Hope Scholarship applicant for the 2024-25 school year? 

No, to be eligible for the 2024-25 school year, a student must have been enrolled in public school for the full 2023-24 school year, as that is the academic year immediately preceding the year for which the student is applying to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program. 

Notice of Intent

If I wish to educate my child at home under the Hope Scholarship Program, what Notice of Intent form do I utilize for submission to my local county superintendent?  Do I need to send a Notice of Intent to Participate in the Hope Scholarship Program, a Notice of Intent to Homeschool, or both?

If you wish to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program, you will only need to submit a Notice of Intent to participate in Hope Scholarship to your local county superintendent. A sample Hope Scholarship NOI form can be found here. On that form, you should indicate that you are selecting an Individualized Instructional Program for your child so that the county superintendent is aware of which Hope Scholarship pathway you are choosing for your child. This notifies them that you will annually be submitting your child’s test results or determination that your child is making academic progress commensurate with his or her age and ability by June 8 to remain eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program. Although students with Individualized Instructional Programs under Hope Scholarship may share many common traits with traditional homeschool students, there is a distinction between the two under West Virginia Code and a traditional homeschool NOI is not required.

When should I send my Notice of Intent to Participate in Hope Scholarship to the County Superintendent? 

Parents of incoming kindergarten students need to send their Notice of Intent to participate in Hope Scholarship to the county superintendent before applying for the Hope Scholarship. If the parent of an incoming kindergarten student needs to obtain a WVEIS ID# for their child, simply mark “Incoming Kindergarten” on the Notice of Intent form and the county will assign a WVEIS ID# to the student for your Hope Scholarship application. If an incoming kindergarten student has attended public pre-kindergarten or received special education services from the public school system, the student will already have a WVEIS ID# to include on the Notice of Intent form.

Parents of existing public-school students in other grades should submit their Notice of Intent to Participate in Hope Scholarship to their local county board of education after they receive their Hope Scholarship eligibility determination letter.

I am not sure if my child will attend a participating school or utilize the Individualized Instructional Plan option under Hope Scholarship?   What do I put on the Notice of Intent? 

Please put the most likely option for your child on the Notice of Intent form. If you end up ultimately selecting a different option for your child, please send a revised Notice of Intent form to the county superintendent so that they can update the WVEIS Hope Scholarship module to reflect the appropriate type of records to expect for your child annually.

Do I have to submit a Notice of Intent annually to my county board of education or is it a one-time requirement?

Submission of the Notice of Intent to the county board of education is a one-time requirement.  It does not need to be sent annually.  Families will need to submit revised Notice of Intent forms if they move or have a change in Hope Scholarship pathway.

My Hope Scholarship family moved.  Do I need to submit a revised Notice of Intent to my county of residence?  If my new home is in a new county of residence, what should I do?

Yes, if your family moves, you will need to submit a revised Notice of Intent.  If your new residence is in the same county, you would submit the revised version to the same county where your original submission was sent.  However, if your new residence is in a new county, you will need to send the updated Notice of Intent form to the county superintendent of the new county. Please include a note that indicates you have moved from another county (include the county name) who had been tracking your children for Hope Scholarship purposes.  You will also need to send a letter to your previous county board of education notifying them that you are moving out of the county and have sent a Notice of Intent to Participate in the Hope Scholarship to the county superintendent of your new county of residence.

My child has changed pathways under the Hope Scholarship Program from the participating school pathway to the Individualized Instructional Plan (IIP) pathway?  Should I submit a new NOI to my county board of education?

Yes, if you change to a different Hope pathway option for your child, please send a revised Notice of Intent form to the county superintendent so that they can update the WVEIS Hope Scholarship module to reflect the appropriate type of records to expect for your child annually.

My child will be attending a microschool. What Hope Scholarship pathway should be marked on the Notice of Intent Form?

Students attending a microschool should be marked as Individualized Instructional Program (IIP) students on the Notice of Intent Form.

My child is currently attending a West Virginia public charter school but will be participating in the Hope Scholarship Program moving forward. Where should I submit my Notice of Intent?

If you are attending a West Virginia public charter school, you must submit your Notice of Intent to both the county superintendent of your county of residence and to the public charter school. Sending the Notice of Intent to the public charter school serves as the official request for the public charter school to withdraw your child in WVEIS. Sending the Notice of Intent to the county board of education lets the county know they will need to begin tracking your child as a Hope Scholarship student moving forward.

Renewal Applications

My child was approved for the Hope Scholarship program and participated this year.  Do I need to submit a renewal application?

Yes, you must submit a renewal application for your child annually so that we know you intend to continue participation in the Hope Scholarship Program. 

When must renewal applications be submitted each year?

The renewal application window will be open from January 3rd to June 15th each year. Students who fail to submit a renewal application by the deadline can apply as a new applicant, but will be subject to the eligibility requirements for new applicants.

Is the renewal application process different from the new application process?

Yes, all renewal applications must be submitted by June 15 annually. The year-round application windows for the 2024 -25 school year are for new applicants only. Continued proof of West Virginia residency is required annually with the renewal application, but the birth certificate is only required with new applications.

Are there any other requirements to renew my child’s Hope Scholarship each year? 

Yes, there are annual continuing eligibility requirements that students must fulfill to continue with the Hope Scholarship Program. All eligible students must have submitted a Notice of Intent to the county board of education for their first year of participation in the Program. For students attending a participating school under the Hope Scholarship Program, the participating school must send an annual notice of your child’s attendance at their school to the county superintendent of your county of residence by no later than June 8th. For students in the Individualized Instructional Plan (IIP) pathway, there are two options to demonstrate appropriate academic progress to the county superintendent of the county of residence by no later than June 8th annually.

  • Nationally normed standardized achievement test of academic achievement in accordance with West Virginia Code §18-31-8(a)(4)(A); or
  • A certified teacher conducts a review of the student’s academic work annually.

If I choose to have a certified teacher conduct a review of my child’s academic work, is there a specific form that must be used? 

Hope Scholarship staff created a sample academic progress review form that can be found here.  As long as the form used by the certified teacher contains all of the necessary language to meet the statutory requirements, they can use an alternative form.  

Can I use a certified teacher who is licensed or certified by a state other than West Virginia to complete my child’s portfolio review? 

Yes; however, that teacher must submit a copy of their teaching license/certificate with their attestation of student academic progress. West Virginia county boards of education have no other way to verify the credentials of the certified teacher if they are licensed by another state. 

I would like to use a certified teacher who is not registered to participate with the Hope Scholarship Program to perform my child’s academic progress review.  Is that allowed?

Yes, you may use any certified teacher to complete your child’s academic portfolio review.  However, if that certified teacher is not registered to participate in the program, there is no mechanism to pay them for their services using Hope Scholarship funds.   This would not be an extenuating circumstance that would allow you to submit the amount paid out-of-pocket for the services for reimbursement. 

If I choose the nationally normed standardized test option for meeting my child’s continuing eligibility requirements, what subjects must be tested?

Pursuant to W. Va. Code §18-31-8(a)(4)(A)(i), the child must be tested in reading, language, mathematics, and when available for the student’s grade level, science and social studies

Is there a particular nationally normed test that must be used to satisfy the testing requirements?

There is no specific test or test provider that must be used to meet the nationally normed standardized testing requirements. The testing provider must have documentation to support that the test was nationally normed.

What if I can’t find a nationally normed test that meets the requirements available for purchase on MyScholarShop?

If there are no nationally normed tests available for purchase on MyScholarShop and you wish to pursue this option for your child, the Board has now added the nationally normed tests used to satisfy the statutory requirements to the Board’s Reimbursement Policy found here.

I am unable to find a nationally normed standardized test option for my child’s grade level that contains science and social studies. What should I do?

Effective June 7, 2024 with the passage of HB 4945 during the 2024 legislative session, science and social studies are only required when available for the student’s grade level. If no nationally normed standardized tests exists for your child’s grade level with those subjects, your child would only need to test in the subjects of reading, language, and mathematics.

Can my child take the West Virginia General Summative Assessment that public school students take to satisfy my child’s academic reporting requirements?

No, your child cannot use West Virginia General Summative Assessment scores to meet the statutory requirements. The WV Department of Education has clarified that this test is not nationally normed so it does not meet the requirements.

Can my child use their SAT scores to satisfy their academic reporting requirements for the 11th grade?

The WVDE has clarified that the SAT may be accepted as the 11th grade assessment if the Hope Scholarship student scores in the fourth stanine, which requires an overall SAT score of 860 or above. If the student does not have a score of 860 on the SAT, the ability to show improvement from the previous year may be satisfied if the student took the PSAT and improvement is demonstrated. If the student did not previously take the PSAT and does not score in the fourth stanine on the SAT, the SAT would not be an acceptable assessment under the statutory requirements and the Hope Scholarship student may want to consider utilizing a portfolio review by a certified teacher to meet the annual academic progress requirements.

Can my child use their PSAT Score to satisfy their academic reporting requirements for the 10th grade?

The WVDE has clarified that the PSAT may be accepted as the 10th grade assessment if the Hope Scholarship student scores in the fourth stanine, which requires an overall PSAT score of 860 or above. If the student does not achieve at least an 860 on the PSAT, the score cannot be used to satisfy the academic reporting requirements and the Hope Scholarship student may want to consider utilizing a portfolio review by a certified teacher to meet the annual academic progress requirements.

Can my child use their ACT scores to satisfy their academic reporting requirements?

No, your child cannot use ACT scores to satisfy the requirements. The WVDE has clarified that the ACT is not accepted as a nationally normed assessment at this time.

Scholarship Usage

How will Hope Scholarship money be distributed and spent?

The Treasurer’s Office has contracted with a third party to administer Hope Scholarship accounts electronically through the Education Market Assistant (EMA). Each family will have access to an EMA account for each eligible student in their household. All purchases will be made via an ACH transaction and will be pre-approved by the Treasurer’s Office. The annual Hope Scholarship amount will be split into two distributions, with the first half being placed into the student accounts by August 15 and the second half being placed into the student accounts by January 15.

What can families spend the money on? 

Families will spend their Hope Scholarship funds directly through the Education Market Assistant (EMA) platform with participating schools, education service providers, and vendors for qualifying educational expenses listed below (noncomprehensive list – the full list can be found in the Parent Handbook). Hope Scholarship funds are not sent to the parents. Reimbursements for payments made out-of-pocket with non-Hope Scholarship funds will only be considered in limited circumstances as defined in the Hope Scholarship Reimbursement Policy.

  • Tuition and fees for private school, non-public online programs, or alternative education programs
  • Services provided by a public school (extracurricular, individual courses)
  • Tutoring services
  • Fees for standardized or advanced placement exams
  • Fees for preparation courses
  • Educational services and therapies
  • Supplemental materials (supplies, textbooks)
  • Transportation fees
  • Any other qualifying expense as approved by the Hope Scholarship Board

Can I use my student’s Hope Scholarship funds to pay tuition at a private school in a surrounding state?

Yes, Hope Scholarship funds can be used to pay tuition at private schools in surrounding states if those private schools have signed up to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.

Do we lose any remaining Hope Scholarship Funds at the end of the instructional school year?

No, remaining Hope Scholarship funds will rollover into the new school year as long as your student remains eligible for the Program.

Education Service Providers / Schools

How can interested Education Service Providers sign up to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program? 

Education Service Providers must sign up for participation in the Hope Scholarship Program through the Education Market Assistant (EMA) platform. Interested nonpublic schools should visit the Schools’ page for more information and to complete the New School Provider Request Form. All other education service providers, including interested suppliers of goods/commodities, should visit the Service Providers page for more information.

How will Education Service Providers receive payment if they participate in the Hope Scholarship Program?

Hope Scholarship students will direct their funds electronically to participating Education Service Providers through the EMA platform. The funds will then be sent directly from the EMA platform to the Education Service Providers via ACH transactions. Hope Scholarship funds will be available to students in the EMA accounts twice a year – half of the funds will be available by August 15 and half of the funds will be available by January 15. Any refunds of Hope Scholarship funds by an Education Service Provider must be electronically deposited back to the student’s EMA account – the funds cannot be refunded, rebated, or shared with a parent or student in any other manner.

I am starting a new Microschool.   Do I register as a School or an Education Service Provider in EMA?

Microschools must register as an Education Service Provider in EMA.  They will not need a unique link to sign up for the program like a nonpublic school. 

I am interested in registering my nonpublic school from a different state to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.   What steps to do I need to complete to register?    

Please complete the New School Provider Request Form found here to obtain a unique registration link for your nonpublic school. Upon receipt of the completed online form, Hope Scholarship staff will send a request that an account be established in the online portal for your school. You will receive a unique link to complete the registration process once your account is created. This process can take 1-3 weeks depending on the timing of submission of your request.

I am interested in registering my new Exemption (b) or Exemption (k) West Virginia nonpublic school to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program.   What steps to do I need to complete to register?   

Please complete the New School Provider Request Form found here to obtain a unique registration link for your nonpublic school. Upon receipt of the completed online form, Hope Scholarship staff will send a request that an account be established in the online portal for your school. You will receive a unique link to complete the registration process once your account is created. This process can take 1-3 weeks depending on the timing of submission of your request.

Reimbursements

I would like to make purchases out of pocket and submit them for reimbursement instead of using the MyScholarShop platform to purchase goods and services. May I submit those purchases for reimbursement?

Reimbursements under the Hope Scholarship Program are limited to those authorized under the Board’s Reimbursement Policy found at Microsoft Word - Hope Reimbursement Policy (hopescholarshipwv.com).   Outside of the limited circumstances authorized by the Board for reimbursement, such as the purchase of off-the shelf curriculum, all purchases made by Hope Scholarship families should be made directly using the EMA portal, including the MyScholarShop platform.  Reimbursement requests for out-of-pocket purchases that do not meet the specific circumstances authorized by the Board’s Reimbursement Policy will be denied by Board staff. 

What type of supporting documentation is needed to submit a reimbursement request under the Hope Scholarship Program? 

All reimbursement requests submitted in the EMA portal must include a detailed invoice that clearly indicates the items that were purchased so that Hope Scholarship staff can determine if the item is a qualified expense authorized by statute or the Hope Scholarship Board.   Reimbursement requests must also be accompanied by proof of payment of the invoice, such as a zero-balance receipt. 

My reimbursement request submitted in EMA was determined ineligible for the Hope Scholarship Program.  How do I appeal this decision?

A denied reimbursement request must be submitted through the EMA portal for the Hope Scholarship Board (Board) to review.  This is accomplished by clicking the Appeal button in the EMA reimbursement module.  Pursuant to W. Va. Code R. §112-19-11, the Board appointed a three-member appeal subcommittee to be the arbiter of all appeals submitted to the Board.

My child is a newly eligible Hope Scholarship student and I purchased off-the-shelf curriculum prior to receiving my child’s first installment of Hope Scholarship funding. Is my purchase eligible for reimbursement?

No, your purchase is not eligible for reimbursement under the Board’s Reimbursement Policy. The Board’s policy specifically states that reimbursements will be denied if the account holder purchases the item prior to the Hope Scholarship funds being available in the student’s EMA account, even if the item would have otherwise been considered for approval.