For purposes of program eligibility, the term “household” means a group of related or unrelated individuals who are living as one economic unit (sharing housing and income/expenses). All members counted in “size” should also be included in income calculation. For example, a grandmother is living with the family and is sharing all income and expenses. She should be included in the household size and her income should be added to the household income calculations. However, if she lives with the family but keeps her finances separate (even if she shares in the rent), she would not be considered the same economic unit and therefore would not be included in the calculation of household size or income.
If a family applies in the spring for the following school year using a current year tax return and does not meet the income requirements we cannot approve that student with an assurance form until the fall of the school year in which they are enrolled. For example: A family applies in the spring or early summer of 2022 to attend the school in the fall and they use a tax return from 2021. Their AGI in 2021 was too high, but there was a job loss in January of 2022. We can’t know until later in the year what their income will actually look like for 2022. There could have been a severance package, or there may be a new job with substantial income. An assurance form could be used in the fall when the details are clearer, or we could wait until the spring of 2023 to see their 2022 tax return. We realize that this makes planning difficult for your school (you may be enrolling a student without knowing if they will qualify for SGO funding). However, we cannot award a scholarship without sufficient proof that the income is within the guidelines.
Foster children should be counted when determining household size, but only for non-foster student applicants within the household. If the student applicant is a foster child, then written proof automatically qualifies the foster child for the SGO Scholarship (host family income does not need to be within the limits).
As long as the school and parent agree that the child is ready for kindergarten, the state law allows that student to start attending kindergarten before the fifth birthday, and the child would be eligible for an SGO scholarship the same year.
No, the student must be CURRENTLY ATTENDING kindergarten in order to receive the SGO scholarship and, if eligible, the Choice scholarship could be pursued for the child’s first grade year.
- It is important that the school's financial aid policy addresses mid-year withdrawals, and that there has been good communication with the parent about how scholarship funds have been pro-rated.
- The school will calculate the unused portion (if any) of the scholarship award and work with SEC to either (a) apply the unused portion to another eligible student or (b) refund the money back into the school’s dedicated fund at Sagamore (no administrative fee will be assessed).
- A student would need to have received at least $500 in SGO funds to maintain a voucher track for future school years.