Preschool scholarships available, deadline Thursday

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 30, 2015) – More children in Marion County will gain access to early education through the state’s “On My Way Pre-K” program and the new Indy Preschool Scholarships. But, interested families must act quickly because the application deadline is Thursday.

The preschool grants are geared toward low-income families. Program administrators say families must make around $33,000 per year in order to qualify. Once applications are reviewed, children will be selected through a lottery system. Parents will notified about their child’s status by mid-May.

“If you don’t apply, you won’t even have the choice,” said Beth Stroh, director of education at United Way of Central Indiana. “And so you’re putting aside the opportunity for a $2,500 to $6,500 scholarship for your child.  So, at least get an application in then if you’re selected you can make the decision about whether or not you want to pursue it.”

As of Wednesday, around 3700 applications had been submitted. The goal is to get around 5,000.

“We know that there are 7,000 to 10,000 children that would be qualified for these scholarships, so we’d like to get as many applications as possible that would include all of them,” Stroh said.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was a big supporter of using city funds to make early education accessible to more children. A recent study found the cost of early education is too much for 37 percent of preschool aged kids living in poverty in the Circle City.

Families who wish to apply online have until midnight to submit the form. Parents planning on faxing applications must do so before 5 p.m. Thursday.

For more information, visit www.onmywayprek.org or www.indypsp.org.

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