Lower-income black parents face the challenge of affording top-notch schools for their children. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), which aim to assist in that purpose. The organization offers scholarships and endorses scholarships that are offered by partner institutions. These opportunities can make the difference between creating a future for certain children or leaving them to suffer the consequences of an inadequate education.
Washington Scholarship Fund
Created in 1993, this scholarship program is specifically for children living in Washington, D.C. The money awarded via this program is raised from donations collected from individuals and other organizations. To qualify, families must be at or below 270 percent of Washington D.C.’s poverty level. Students in kindergarten through eight grade will receive $2,000 for tuition costs if selected. Students in grades nine through 12 will receive $3,000. Recipients of the scholarship can attend a host of schools in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
The Education Freedom Fund
BAEO recommends the Education Freedom Fund, which focuses on helping children in the state of Michigan. Students in kindergarten through the eighth grade can qualify for a scholarship. Parents are required to pay at least $500 in school fees for their child to be eligible for the program. The program gives $1,000 to selected candidates each year and the money must be applied toward tuition at a private school of the parents' choice. Once selected, students can be enrolled in a variety of private schools including religious and secular ones.
Philadelphia BAEO Scholarship Program
The BAEO’s Philadelphia Chapter provides financial assistance to residents of the city. One scholarship is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This program gives up to $4,000 which can be used to pay tuition at a private school selected by the student's parents. Another scholarship opportunity is the Deidre L. Bailey, Esq. Scholarship Program, which gives up to $7,000 to young girls in the eighth grade so they can attend a private high school.
Children’s Scholarship Fund
Parents seeking to send their children to private school can take advantage of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, available throughout the United States. The program offers tuition assistance to children in kindergarten through eight grade. Parents will still have to pay up to 50 percent of the tuition. Children must be at least five years old to qualify. Parents must demonstrate financial need and the scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The BAEO partners with the Children’s Scholarship Fund.
Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.