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Special Needs

Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

Created in 2011, the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students with special needs that can be used at the participating school and/or private service provider(s) of their choice. The scholarship is renewable through high school graduation or the student's 22nd birthday.

When parents use a "JP" Scholarship, they become responsible for making sure that their child is receiving all the special education services that they need. There is no longer a public school district responsible for making sure your child receives FAPE. Many parents are comfortable with this, but it's definitely something to make sure you're prepared for! 

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.

How much is the scholarship worth? 

Special Needs Scholarship amounts vary based on the child’s special education category. The chart below shows the current scholarship amounts.

Special Education Category

Scholarship Amount
2014-15

1. Speech or Language Only*

$7,317*

2. Specific Learning Disability, Cognitive Disability or Other Health-Impaired – minor

$9,649

3. Hearing or Vision Impaired or Severe Behavior Disability

$15,048

4. Orthopedic Impairment or Other Health Impaired-major

$18,142

5. Multi-handicapped

$20,000

6. Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Hearing and Vision Impaired

$20,000

*Scholarships awarded to students in the speech or language only category cannot be used
toward private school tuition. They are limited to cover services on the student’s IEP. 


What can we use the scholarship for?

Special Needs Scholarships can be used toward tuition at the participating school of your choice. Participating schools can be private or public schools available to students outside of that district’s boundaries.

Scholarships can also be used to pay for services at private service providers, like therapists.

This empowers parents to mix and match services from schools and providers. Click here for a list of participating schools and providers. This list is available on the Ohio Department of Education's website at https://scholarship.ode.state.oh.us.

How do we apply?

  1. Research - Check out the list of participating schools and providers. Use the evaluation tools, and choose the school and or provider on the list that is the best fit for your child.
  2. 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 the regular admission process at the private school.
  3. 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?

The deadline for the first academic term is April 15. The deadline for the second academic term is November 15.

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, that makes more than 11,000 scholarships available.

How many students receive the scholarship?

In the 2013-14 school year, there are 2,336 students who receive the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship.

Will I have to pay 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 leftover costs there will be if any.

How is the scholarship funded?

The Special Needs Scholarship is funded through the State of Ohio using funding already allocated for that child’s education.

The Ohio Department of Education administers this scholarship program.
For more information on the program from the department, click here.

If you have any questions about this scholarship program,
please fill out the contact form on this page and we'll get back to you soon with answers.
You can also always give us a call at 614-223-1555 or 1-800-673-5876.