Determining Household Size

When determining the size of the applicant’s household in order to validate eligibility, the following types of individuals count towards the total number in the household:

  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Other children/siblings
  • Other relatives and unrelated individuals living in the same household
  • Foster children should be counted when determining household size, but only for non-foster student applicants within the household.
  • If the student applicant is a foster child, then written proof automatically qualifies the foster child for the SGO Scholarship.

Child Living with Parent, Relatives, or Friends

In cases where no specific welfare agency or court is legally responsible for the child or where the child is living with one parent, other relatives, or friends of the family, the child is considered to be a member of the household with whom she/he resides. Children of divorced or separated parents are generally part of the household that has custody.

Joint Custody

When joint custody has been awarded and the child physically changes residence, the child is considered part of the household where she/he resides. In these situations, if both parents apply for the benefits at the same local education agency for the child, and different eligibility statuses result, the greatest benefit level is used. For example, if the mother’s situation results in eligibility for free meals but the father’s application is denied, the child would receive free meals regardless of which parent has custody at the time. The Indiana School Scholarship Tax Credit Program is authorized and governed by Indiana Code 6-3.1 – 30.5

If a student applicant resides in two homes due to joint/split custody agreements, SEC refers to guidance from the USDA Manual for School Meals (Page 39).  The federal free/reduced meal program is administered by each individual state under the direction of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Additional information regarding the program, income eligibility and options for validating income eligibility is available within the USDA Manual for School Meals.