The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students with special needs who have an IEP. The scholarship can be used at the participating school and/or private service provider(s) of your choice. The scholarship is renewable through high school graduation or the student’s 22nd birthday.
When parents use a Peterson Scholarship, they become responsible for making sure that their child is receiving all the special education services that they need. The school district where you live is no longer responsible for making sure your child receives a free and appropriate education (FAPE).
Who is eligible?
Any student in grades K-12 with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from their home school district is eligible to apply for a Special Needs Scholarship.
We can help you determine your eligibility for Ohio’s Scholarship Programs.
How much is the scholarship worth?
Special Needs Scholarship amounts vary based on the child’s special education category. See Categories below.
Students must be enrolled in the scholarship program for the entire school year to receive the full scholarship amount.
*Scholarships awarded to students in the speech or language only category are limited to covering services included in the student’s IEP and cannot be used to cover school tuition.
|Special Education Category|
|Speech or Language Only*|
|Specific Learning Disability, Cognitive Disability or Other Health-Impaired- minor|
|Hearing or Vision Impaired or Severe Behavior Disability|
|Orthopedic Impairment or Other Health-Impaired-major|
|Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Hearing and Vision Impaired|
* Scholarships awarded to students in the speech or language only category are limited to covering services included in the student’s IEP, and cannot be used to cover school tuition. Click here to see current award amounts by category.
What can scholarships be used for?
Special Needs Scholarships can be used to cover the cost of educational services at the participating school or private service provider(s) of your choice. Participating schools can be private or public schools approved by the Department of Education.
To see a list of the schools and service providers that accept the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship, follow these steps:
Click here to access the dashboard
Click on “Select Program” in the top left-hand corner
Click on “Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship”
How do we apply?
Research – Check out the participating schools and providers. Choose the school and or provider on the list that is the best fit for your child.
Apply to a School or Provider – Reach out to the school or provider of your choice and begin their application process. Your child must go through their regular admission process.
Apply for the Scholarship – If your child is accepted, the private school or provider will apply for the scholarship on your behalf.
When do we apply?
Applications are accepted year-round. If you apply between April and June, your scholarship will not be available until July 1st.
How many scholarships are available?
The number of available Special Needs Scholarships is capped at five percent of the total number of students in the state with special needs. Currently, approximately 11,000 scholarships are available.
Will I have to pay for any costs?
Any costs above the scholarship award are the responsibility of the family. It is important to make clear what services will be provided, what exactly will be covered by the scholarship, and what additional costs there will be if any.
How is the scholarship funded?
The Special Needs Scholarship is funded through the State of Ohio using funds already allocated for that child’s education.