Private scholarships offer parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their children through tuition assistance from private sources rather than from government. Most private scholarships offered around the nation cover only a portion of private school tuition costs. Nevertheless, parents are lining up to receive what some might consider meager tuition assistance.
In 1991, the privately funded Educational Choice Charitable Trust began to offer tuition assistance to low-income families in Indianapolis. In the 1998-99 school year, more than 30 programs affiliated with the Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation (also known as CEO America) offered private scholarships for over 13,000 low-income students to attend their schools of choice. More than $61 million was raised by CEO America to fund these scholarships, but the unfortunate fact is that over 44,000 students are on waiting lists in hopes of receiving one of the scholarships. 84
Job providers have also begun to recognize the importance of getting involved in education. Corporations including Golden Rule Insurance Company; Harley Davidson, Incorporated; and Bell Atlantic Corporation see their previous support of government education to have been a waste of resources and are now seeking to provide families greater choice through private scholarships.85