Bulletin #10 - Byrd Scholarships 11/18/2003


Did you know: Byrd Scholarships are not a lot of benefit for the risk we will be taking as homeschoolers included in this federal legislation:



(please review that entire page for more details)

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under the heading:

84.185 Byrd Honors Scholarships


Applicant Eligibility: The State educational agencies (SEA), which supervise public elementary and secondary schools in the States, are responsible for administering the program. For the purposes of this program, the States include the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Palau, The Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Beneficiary Eligibility: A student must meet residency and citizenship requirements, be a graduate of a public or private secondary school or have been accepted for enrollment at an institution of higher education, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, and show promise of continued academic achievement to be eligible to receive a scholarship.


(as a note here: We looked up the actual code..TITLE 20 > CHAPTER 28 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part A > Sec. 1070d-33. .the eligibility requirements as stated on the CFDA website above, says a student needs to be a graduate "or" be admitted to an institution of higher education. The Federal Code says graduate "and" be admitted. Please be reminded to always look at what the actual statutes say! Here is the actual statute: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/20/1070d-33.html and this is what the statute says about eligibility:

Sec. 1070d-36. - Eligibility of scholars

(a) High school graduation or equivalent and admission to institution required


Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart shall be a graduate of a public or private secondary school or have the equivalent of a certificate of graduation as recognized by the State in which the student resides and must have been admitted for enrollment at an institution of higher education.

(b) Selection based on promise of academic achievement


Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and show promise of continued academic achievement)



Formula and Matching Requirements: Each participating State is allotted scholarships (amounting to $1,500 each) based on the ratio of the State's population ages five through seventeen years to the population ages five through seventeen in all participating States, except that no State shall receive less than 10 scholarships.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance: Awards may be made for up to 4 years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Award Procedure: Annual allotments are provided through grant awards to the State educational agencies for making scholarships to qualifying students. Students apply to their State of legal residence for a scholarship under this program. Student applicants must follow the application procedures as directed by each State. Each participating State awards scholarships to eligible students in accordance with selection procedures approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education.


In fiscal year 2002, a total of 27,334 students received $1,500 in Scholarships.

What will homeschoolers have to show to "demonstrate outstanding academic achievement?

How will homeschoolers have to define "being enrolled as a full-time student, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress?"

What selection procedure will the US Secretary of Education decide will be appropriate for homeschoolers?

Is $1,500 worth the cost of homeschool freedom?


Federal legislation that is being considered (HR2732/SB1562) to revise to the Byrd Scholarship program will only invite further reporting requirements and regulation for homeschoolers and the risk shown here outweighs the benefit!

Remember, when the government gives away money, it will want accountability, and accountability inevitably leads to regulation. There are many public and private scholarships available that contain certain criteria for eligibility. Students in public schools do not qualify for all scholarships. If homeschoolers do not qualify under the particular criteria of any one scholarship, they should seek funding elsewhere. Taking the extra time and effort to seek out funding elsewhere is far more preferable than to accept funding from the government and risk potential regulation.



Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD imjfaron@sbcglobal.net