North Carolina has become the latest state to offer every student within its borders educational freedom, expanding eligibility in its longstanding voucher program to include all students, and increasing spending power for participating families. The Tar Heel State joins seven others that have either created a new universal choice program or expanded an existing program to include all students this year.

“For 10 years, North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarships have been a lifeline for students from low-income families, providing them a path to learn in an environment that meets their needs and empowers them to achieve their full potential,” said EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow. “Thanks to the bold leadership of North Carolina policymakers, all students in the state will now be able to access a school that meets their needs. We join North Carolina families in celebrating today as The Tar Heel State becomes the latest to contribute to 2023 being the Year of Universal Choice!”

While Gov. Roy Cooper did not endorse the program expansion into law, he chose not to veto and allowed it to become law without his signature.

The Opportunity Scholarships program was enacted in 2013 and launched the following year, providing families vouchers to pay for private schooling and related expenses. Historically, only students from low-income families have been allowed to take part, with 24,077 participants at the start of the 2022-23 school year. Voucher amounts moving forward will be based on family income, ranging from approximately $3,200 to $7,200.

North Carolina joins Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Ohio in creating new universal choice programs this year or expanding existing choice programs to include all or nearly all students. They join Arizona and West Virginia, where universal programs previously existed. Today, some 36% of students nationwide are eligible for a private choice program, a 60% increase from just two years ago.

“This is a transformative time for education, where we have the opportunity to break down barriers and empower families like never before,” Enlow continued, noting that 2023 is the Year of Universal Choice. “With North Carolina’s expansion, nearly 20 million students now have access to a learning environment of their family’s choosing.”

To speak with Robert Enlow about the North Carolina voucher program, school choice trends and legislation, or existing educational choice programs across the country, contact Chantal Lovell at, or 989-251-8388.

EdChoice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to empower every family to choose the learning environment that fits their children’s needs best. Learn more at


For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Chantal Lovell, EdChoice | 989-251-8388