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From the WV Hope Scholarship Handbook


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. An ESA allows each family to have access to an account for each eligible student in their household. All purchases will be made via an ACH electronic transfer and will be pre-approved by the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office. In 2021, West Virginia, along with Indiana and New Hampshire, became the sixth, seventh, and eighth states in the United States, after Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee, to enact education savings account programs. The following sections will help guide you as you utilize your Hope Scholarship.  

Qualifying for the Hope Scholarship Program 

To qualify for the Hope Scholarship Program, a student must meet the following criteria: • The student must be a resident of West Virginia. • The student must be under 21 years of age. If at any point during the school year the student turns 21, they will no longer be eligible and their account will be closed. • The student has not successfully completed a secondary education program; AND • Was enrolled full-time in a public elementary or secondary school program in West Virginia for the entire instructional term during the academic year immediately preceding the academic year for which the student is applying to participate in the Hope Scholarship Program; OR • Is enrolled full-time and attending a public elementary or secondary school in West Virginia for at least 45 consecutive calendar days at the time of application. o The student must continue to attend and maintain a 90% attendance rate until an award letter is issued by the Hope Scholarship Board; OR • The student is eligible or required at the time of application to enroll in a West Virginia kindergarten program for the first time under West Virginia’s compulsory school attendance law (W. Va Code § 18-8-1a). (i.e., the student must be at least five years old prior to July 1). If the student won’t be five years old before July 1, the student may become eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program if the student successfully enrolls in a public kindergarten program in West Virginia through the public kindergarten program’s early entrance process. If a student who has not yet attained the age of five years old by July 1 and who is unable to enroll in a public kindergarten through an early entrance process otherwise attends a kindergarten program authorized under W. Va. Code §18-8-1a, that student is considered an existing private or homeschool student since the student is no longer eligible for kindergarten.   If a Hope Scholarship student becomes ineligible to participate in the program during the academic year based on the above rules or by not filing a renewal application, his or her account will be terminated.